'Tis the season of celebration, and the time has come to select the ideal wines for all your festive gatherings. The abundance of options might seem daunting, but fear not—we've got you covered! A select few bottles serve as perfect companions to the holiday season, whether you're orchestrating a cookie swap, presenting a grand holiday feast, or gifting a bottle to a friend's joyful gathering.
REISLING: Daytime Festivities
The historical roots of Riesling grapes trace back many centuries to Germany, particularly the Alsace region bordering France. The ancestral lineage of Riesling grapes includes varieties that eventually gave rise to Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc, among other well-known strains.
This luminous and aromatic white wine, renowned for its vibrant citrus and tropical notes, emerges as a holiday superhero. The grape possesses a natural high acidity, akin to a splash of lemon over fish, intensifying flavors and allowing Riesling to effortlessly complement an array of dishes—from spicy cuisines to creamy cheeses and salty charcuterie.
Pro Tip: Look at the Alcohol By Volume (ABV) on the label to gauge whether the Riesling is dry or sweet. Generally, a lower ABV indicates a sweeter taste. Although most Rieslings are dry, those with less than 10% ABV boast a discernible sweetness on the palate. Choosing between a dry or sweet Riesling boils down to personal preference, so why not embark on a delightful experiment to discover your preferred style?
Serve in Bormioli Rocco’s InAlto Uno Medium Glass.
BUBBLY: Holiday Cocktail Parties
Large gatherings often boast myriad flavors, making bubbly the go-to choice for such occasions. Whether faced with uncertainty about the menu or the host's preferences, sparkling wine effortlessly injects a festive spirit into any event while seamlessly complementing diverse dishes on the table.
The science behind sparkling wine's status as a holiday essential is fascinating: the carbonation in these effervescent delights forms a chemical bond with specific palate molecules, cleansing the mouth and creating a fresh sensation. This unique reaction positions sparkling wines as the perfect supporting cast at gatherings laden with various flavors, enhancing each taste in succession.
Pro Tip: Allow your budget to guide your choice of sparkling wine. Italian Prosecco and Spanish Cava, being more affordable options, typically boast soft, citrusy flavors. As you venture into the Champagne category, the price and the complexity of aromas and flavors tend to rise, offering a luxurious touch to your celebratory sips.
PINOT NOIR: Fancy Holiday Dinners
Pinot Noir ranks with some of the oldest grapes in the world. It’s grapes that have been around since the Roman times. With its blend of moderate acidity, soft tannins, and a lively array of fruit flavors, Pinot Noir stands out as a crowd pleaser. It's a favorite for sit-down gatherings, as it pairs seamlessly with a variety of main courses. Not only does Pinot Noir enhance the flavors of the dishes on the table, but it also manages to satisfy both red wine enthusiasts and those who lean toward white wines.
While the most renowned Pinot Noirs originate from France, exceptional bottles are crafted across the globe, ensuring there's a Pinot Noir to suit every palate. The wine's natural medium body and well-balanced tannins make it a versatile companion for centerpieces like turkey, ham, and fish—making Pinot Noir the ultimate dinner table chameleon.
Pro Tip: Take a global journey through Pinot Noirs. Given the adaptability of the Pinot Noir grape, its resulting wines showcase incredible diversity. To uncover your favorites, consider exploring bottles from various corners of the world, such as France, New Zealand, South Africa, and Oregon. Each bottle will offer a unique blend of fruit flavors, earthy tones, and aromatics, making the exploration a delightful adventure for your taste buds.