Acckkk, the crazy holiday entertaining season is only weeks away, or is it upon us already?! The Nutcracker Ballet is back in town soon, evergreen displays are up; endless holiday music accompanies your shopping forays. You swear if you hear “White Christmas” one more time you are going to scream your head off at some unsuspecting cashier!
But don’t fret, the wine & food aspect of the next month or so is simply scumptiously fantabulous! The foodies and gourmands’ noses are buried in cookbooks, carefully selecting canapés and entrees to please everyone’s palate. Easy as pie, planning what to eat.
What most people agonize over is that annual question – you know, what wine to serve at Christmas dinner with that damn roasted turkey. Gobble, gobble. It is a wine and food matching conundrum, with varying opinions from national wine writers and critics; the issue dominating the Food and Entertainment sections of our national and local papers and online wine sites. It eats up soooo much ink and cyberspace every December.
THE MEAL is usually a blend of many contrasting flavours and textures; from the roasted, meaty turkey to the fruity cranberry sauce, to the earthiness of the vegetables to the creamy, buttery taste of the potatoes, to the herb-infused bread stuffing. Yikes! What a gastronomical nightmare!
It is difficult to match one wine to the entire meal; some people serve several wines, possibly a sparkling or dry rosé to start, then a white wine for those who request white meat and a lighter fruity red to a medium red for those who eat dark meat.
Others may make the decision to serve either white or red wine but not both. One wine and food author believes that the tangy sweet cranberry sauce is so difficult to match with ANY wine, that one should just serve a sparkling the entire meal!! Cheers to that thought!
My advice is to go with whatever wine makes you happy if you are hosting the dinner. If you are a Winter White Wine gal, go ahead and pop open an off-dry Riesling or a buttery Chardonnay. For the more adventurous try a Gruner Vetliner from Austria.
For those Red Hearts, you can always go with the standards – Pinot Noir, Gamay, good Beaujolais or fruity Merlots. Stretch your taste buds and pick up some Shiraz Grenache blends for a bit more spice and yummy black fruit flavours. CHEERS!