The holidays are just around the corner, which means that it’s time to start thinking about all of the great wines you’ll get to serve, drink and share during the festivities to come.
To add an exciting twist to your celebrations, we’ve rounded up a few unique wine pairings for traditional holiday meals that promise to pleasantly surprise everyone’s palate.
Italy’s Feast of the Seven Fishes La Vigilia
The Feast of the Seven Fishes is a traditional Italian celebration held on Christmas Eve. This culinary tradition is believed to have originated in Southern Italy and has become a cherished part of holiday festivities. Traditionally, this meal is paired with Italian sips. But, consider switching it up this year by serving crisp and refreshing whites like Albarino (Lot 174) from Rías Baixas, Spain or Muscadet Sevre et Maine (Lot 170) from Loire Valley, France. These wines go swimmingly well with white sauces and citrus-based seafood dishes like linguine with clams or grilled branzino. With a tomato-based dish like mussels marinara, try Bourgueil (Lot 209), a delicious Cabernet Franc from Loire Valley!
France’s Le Réveillon de Noel
In France, Christmas Eve dinner, known as Le Réveillon, is a festive affair that lasts for hours. It often includes starting with delicacies such as foie gras and oysters, followed by roasted meats like turkey and duck, and finished off with a variety of cheeses. With such a long and heavy meal in front of you, we recommend starting the festivities with a fresh, bubbly and bright palate cleanser like Prosecco (Lot 50). While you might be tempted to serve up a California Pinot Noir and Chardonnay with a meal like this (and you wouldn’t be going wrong with that choice), we recommend keeping it French and bringing in more unique options like a Sancerre Pinot Noir and Vouvray, both from France’s Loire Valley.
Spain’s Cordero Asado (Roast Lamb)
In Spain, roast lamb (Cordero Asado) is a common Christmas dish, especially in regions like Castile, and is accompanied by side dishes like roasted vegetables and potatoes. If you want to try something different than pairing this dish with Rioja, we’d recommend serving up something robust and jammy, like California Zinfandel (Lot 180), or something big and bold like Barolo (Lot 26)! If you’re really feeling adventurous, try this dish with a bottle of Lot 222 Bordeaux Blanc (100% Sauvignon Blanc), especially if the lamb is herb-crusted!
Traditional Christmas Feast in the US
Here in the United States, Christmas meals vary based on family traditions, cultures, and regional preferences! However, there are some common dishes that frequently appear in traditional holiday dinners, and at the center of it all is usually a roasted turkey, glazed ham, or prime rib.
Traditionally, we may find ourselves reaching for Napa Cabs and California Pinots (nothing wrong with that!), but we’d recommend branching out and exploring other wines the world has to offer! For roasted turkey, pop open a deliciously fruity Beaujolais Villages (Lot 218). For a glazed ham, we’d recommend an off-dry white like Riesling (Lot 66) from Germany. And for something hearty like prime rib, we’d recommend a bold, Italian red like Langhe Rosso (Lot 60).
From California, to Italy, to Spain and France, we hope you enjoy exploring the world of wine with us this holiday season. Remember, personal preferences play a big role in wine pairing, so feel free to use this as a starting point, and explore combinations that suit your taste buds and those of your guests! We’re grateful to be a part of your celebrations and hope you have a wonderful holiday season!