With the holidays upon us, many a host or hostess wonders "what wine should I serve with my meal?" Is there a "right" answer to this question? It depends. If you want to host a great event, then yes! Pick the right wine and your guests will rave about your party! If you're OK with a lackluster affair, then no – your unopened boxed wine from last Christmas should be just fine.
Here are some tips for those of you that do want to have a memorable party! And really, why would you bother to host a party if you did not want it to be memorable? It's not as difficult as you think to select a wine that works for the occasion.
What do Thanksgiving and Christmas have in common? We all over-indulge! Because we expect to pack on the pounds over the holidays and save "working out" or "losing weight" for our New Year's resolution, let's do our part to cut the calories just a bit – while not feeling like you're being driven. So put your heavy micro-brews in the back of the fridge and head out to your local wine shop.
If you plan on serving turkey like most people, a Viognier or gamey Pinot Noir is a safe bet. And why not skip the rich desserts all together and serve a sweet dessert wine instead? A white Riesling, Moscato, or even an Icewine will save on calories and does not make you feel like you're skimping.
Since your party-hosting will obviously extend into New Years, let's talk bubbles! Champagne, champagne, champagne! But do not save your most expensive bottle for the strike of midnight – by that time your guests may have indulged a bit too much to notice (or care). Serve your classy, sparkling wine early in the evening. Our favorites come from New Zealand and California.
What about your vegan guests? Do you need to be concerned about animal products in the wine you serve? Well, you do need to be aware of it. Many wine producers are using different agents during the fining process when removing solid particles from the finished wine. Ask your local store for some tips – your corner street wine store is a great place to start.
Whether you over-indulge during the holidays or can brag that it's easy for you to practice restraint (good job!), There are ways to cut calorie corners and still enjoy your favorite vino.