Pair the Perfect Wine with Your Holiday Meal

December 13, 2015


The holiday season is upon us. It is a time for planning get-togethers with friends and family and looking forward to the new year ahead. Hopefully, you’ll have some vacation time available to take a breather from the nonstop pace of work and email.


The holidays also kick off a frenzy of shopping for gifts for loved ones, significant others, co-workers and friends. Some people in your circles will be easy to shop for. Others, not so much. Still, it can be a fun challenge to find the perfect gift for the person who already has all the gizmos, gadgets and bling.


Sharing a meal with your loved ones or hosting dinner at your home is another way to celebrate the holidays. Sharing a meal is an intimate way to connect with friends, family members or significant others. Whether you do the cooking yourself or hire a personal chef to prepare a meal for you and your guests, eating good food together is a wonderful opportunity to share a memorable experience.


As a personal chef in Atlanta, I enjoy spending time during the holiday season consulting with clients, designing custom menus, shopping for the highest quality ingredients and creating amazing dishes for clients in their homes.  I especially enjoy consulting with clients and figuring out where their tastebuds want to go. During consultations I am often asked which wines go best with different holiday meals.


The answer to that question depends on which protein is the star of your meal.


Choosing the Best Wine to Match Your Menu


Holidays are all about tradition and different cultures celebrate the holidays with different traditional meals. For many Americans, ham and turkey are the anchors of the holiday dinner.  Roast pork is the classic centerpiece of Christmas plate on the Latino menu.


If you’re serving ham, choose pinot noir for your red wine and riesling for your white wine. Pinot noir also goes well with roast pork (I like chenin blanc as my white wine to go with roast pork).


If you’re serving steak or roast beef, select a cabernet sauvignon. White wines go great with turkey, so if that’s on your menu, choose a sauvignon blanc. Chardonnay is a great accompaniment to duck.


Many people prefer white wine with fish, so pinot blanc, chardonnay or sauvignon blanc are all excellent choices for most seafood dishes. However, salmon and red snapper pair well with pinot noir.


If you’re planning a vegetarian menu, consider rosés or a white wine like sauvignon blanc. Dishes with buttery or creamy sauces like alfredo sauce or yellow curry go well with white wines. Red wine is a well matched with tomato-based red sauces like marinara or barbecue sauces.


I hope your holiday season is filled with enjoyable gatherings and delicious food. Whatever your holiday plans, remember all meals are perfect when paired with love.


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