Spending the holidays celebrating with family and friends, and enjoying delicious food, holiday music, and fabulous wine is what I love most about the season. Holiday wine pairing doesn’t have to be complicated.

Preparing, shopping, decorating, cooking… the list goes on, and on. Holiday stress is a real thing, and if you are the host, picking out the right wines may send that stress meter up a few notches.


Always Begin with Bubbles!

A crisp Cava or Sparkling wine is a great way to stimulate the appetite prior to the meal.

Thibaut Jannisson Wine

There are a ton of helpful hints and recommendations on how to pair wines on the web to assist you. Pre-game and make your selections well ahead of time, it will be one less thing you will need to worry about the closer it gets to the big day.

Meander around your local wine shop and ask the wine stewards lots of questions; see what’s popular amongst customers. If you spend time dining in a nice restaurant, ask to speak to the sommelier and poach information.

Keep in mind; it isn’t rocket science, and ultimately you want to keep it simple to be appreciated by the masses.


Holiday Wine Pairing Ideas

Blank Stare Sauvignon Blanc and Christmas Lantern

Here are a few of my favorite pairings to get you started:

  • Cabernet Sauvignon – Duck, venison, lamb, cheddar cheese.
  • Syrah – Turkey, game fowl, grilled and barbequed chicken, eggplant, walnuts, pumpkin.
  • Petite Verdot – Duck, pork spare ribs, lamb, sweetmeats.
  • Chenin Blanc – Fennel dishes, crab, blackened fish, figs.
  • Cava – Stuffed mushrooms, olives, salami, cheese, roasted almonds, caviar, cheese pies.

One last thing, there is no need to break the bank. When buying wine for large gatherings, think about making wine purchases from places like Costco or Trader Joes. Wine does not have to be pricey to be good, and often you can find some great values on some excellent wines at those stores.

Happy Holidays!