Friday, November 30, 2012

How-To: Select Wine for your Holiday Gathering

Holidays are a time to spend time with family and friends, and share a bit of our lives together. But with so many visitors, it's hard to chose which bottle of wine to open. With a special meal, you want a special wine. So, how do you select the perfect wine for your perfect holiday gathering?

  • For a special guest, learn their preference for wine, then make it a great gift to share with your other guests.
  • For a large group, select an "approachable" wine--wine in a style and flavor profile familiar to most everyone. Merlot, Pinot Noir, Pinot Grigio, and of course, a bit of bubbly can't hurt.
  • For a special meal, focus on the recommended pairing. For poultry, select something light to match the delicate flavor of the bird, like an Old World Pinot Noir or oaked Chardonnay. For ham, select something that will stand up to the saltiness, maybe the sweetness in a Riesling might work.
  • At a special meal, stick to one red and one white selection and have enough bottles on hand to make sure there is enough to go around.
  • Unless you are trying to impress your significant other's wine connoisseur parent, or sitting down with your wine enthusiast friends, do not break open your most expensive bottles. Save these for the people in your life who will truly appreciate them.
  • Yet, it's OK to splurge a little on holiday wine. Look for good discount deals this time of year, which will save you when buying for big group. Wine shops and wineries alike offer great discounts, and some will provide free shipping.
In the end, your goal should really be to simply seek out some delicious wine. Your guests are there to enjoy each other's company, not critique what you serve. Ask your local wine shop to help you if you need recommendations. Cheers!

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