Red with red, white with white. Right?
If there is a theme running through my wine posts is that there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to wine and food pairing; drink what you like.
But there are tips or thoughts that you might want to keep in mind when heading out today to pick up the wine for tonight’s, tomorrow’s, next week’s Holiday Feasts:
Matching the wine at Christmas is really about matching the side dishes and the condiments. If you are the family that glazes the baby carrots with brown sugar, serves sweet potato pie, or enjoys their turkey basted with maple syrup, you probably want to avoid a sweet wine, like a Viognier, that might make the dishes seemed treacly.
If you are serving braised brussel sprouts, which can be bitter and sharper in taste, you might want to head towards the sweeter wines like a Riesling or a more medium-bodies red like a Merlot, avoiding a thinner, drier wine like Pinot Noir, something to tone down the strong flavour of the veggie.
When heading to the liquor store today, look for a dry rosé from the South of France to serve with your turkey, or a floral bubbly like Prosecco with the fruit-cake. A traditional sage stuffing could work well with a creamier white such as a Sancerre.
Here are a few wines that you might want to consider:
Chateau de Manissy Rose (LCBO $11.95) – this French rosé is so pretty! It’s a gorgeous shade of pink and, although fruity (think raspeberries), it is dry and works very well with food. If you have both red and white drinkers at the holiday table, this could satisfy both.
Mouton Cadet Reserve Blanc (LCBO $14.60) – unlike some whites, this one is not overly lemony, with sweet pear flavours that would tone down any braised veggies (the afore-mentioned brussel sprouts) and complement the creaminess of mashed potatoes and gravy.
Chateau des Charmers Gamay Noir (LCBO $11.70) – Unless you are serving Chrismas steak, or are a die-hard big bold Cabernet Sauvignon fan, I think you will find this wine is a good red to serve with any roasted veggies and bird. It is medium-bodied, lower in tannins with lots of cooked, Christmasy fruit flavours.
De Chanceny Creman de Loire Rose Brut (LCBO $16.55) – this is a Cabernet Franc rose bubbly that is fruity, but not sugary. I find it a good fit for turkey with gravy as well as a nice wine to serve before the meal.
Bottega Vino de Poeti Prosecco (LCBO $29.95) – a slightly more expensive Prosecco, I love this wine for its all-around versatility. You can serve it before the meal for a toast, or with the sweet desserts that we all say we won’t overdo but inevitably do.
Whatever you serve, enjoy the occasion and, please, stay safe this holiday season.