‘Tis the Season to Stock the Cellar With Holiday Wines
Thanksgiving is the next major holiday on the horizon. But this season brings all sorts of festive gatherings that call for a variety of holiday wines. No matter what occasions bring you together with family and friends, be sure to plan your wine selection as carefully as the rest of your menu.
Need some guidance on choosing holiday wines this season? We’ve got you covered.
Holiday Wines: Figure Out What You Like
You may already have a wide selection of favorite wines. If not, it’s time to start narrowing the field. Fortunately, this is a fun task, and it doesn’t involve memorizing the latest Wine Spectator ratings. All it takes is a little strategy.
Epicurious suggests using one of these three approaches for assembling your personal wine list:
Different varieties of wine from one region.
Same variety of wine from multiple regions.
Same variety of wine at multiple price points.
These strategies will help you identify regions that produce wines you like, or varieties you enjoy regardless of region. Plus you may find that you like lower-priced wines just as well as the more expensive ones, depending on the variety or the region. A bigger price tag doesn’t always mean you’ll like that bottle of wine better.
Holiday Wines: Consider Importers
A recent article on Bon Appétit offers a fourth approach that could be even more helpful: check out wine importers whose tastes match yours. Importers travel the world in search of new wines; think of them as talent scouts. They connect wine producers with distributors, bringing new finds to people who wouldn’t ordinarily be exposed to them.
Holiday Wines: From Appetizers to Dessert
For an eating event like Thanksgiving, you’ll want more than one variety of wine, let alone more than one bottle. The same is true for other gatherings throughout the season. That’s why it’s helpful to have a wide selection of favorite wines ready to go.
All Recipes walks you through the courses of Thanksgiving dinner, with wine recommendations for each one based on variety. We found several sources, including All Recipes, advise starting with sparkling wine. While champagne is lovely, you can also try Prosecco or Cava, or a domestic sparkling wine. Bubbles are fun, festive and light — ideal for pairing with appetizers. We also found multiple votes for serving port or a Riesling with dessert. Sweet wines go well with sweet treats.
Holiday Wines: What to Do With Leftovers
We understand if the concept of leftover wine is foreign to you. But if you’ve stocked the wine rack with a wide selection, we wouldn’t be surprised if you end the evening with a few open bottles that aren’t empty.
Epicurious notes that leftover wine is ideal for adding to sauces, especially if you’re braising meat. Take a hint from All Recipes and pour leftover wine into smaller containers. Less air means your leftover wine will degrade more slowly.
Holiday Wines: If All Else Fails…
Say you don’t have time to do your oenophile homework, and you need the Cliff Notes version. Fortunately, we found a couple lists of recommendations already out for this holiday season.
Chowhound just released their rundown of the 15 best wines to serve at Thanksgiving. While you won’t necessarily be able to find them all at your local store, Chowhound has helpfully linked to each one on Glassful so you can order your top choices.
If you’re keeping a close eye on budget, check out these wine picks from SheKnows: Every bottle is under $20.