by Jack Nicholson
All year around, fine wines from numerous areas of the world provide outstanding and enjoyable tasting adventures. However, there is no better time of year than Christmas to celebrate memorable wines and meals with family, friends, neighbors and other special individuals in our lives.
Many people have considerable knowledge of wines and certainly will provide wonderful pairings for their family and Christmas Holiday guests. For others who may not have such knowledge, this information should help make wine selections that work best for them.
When visiting a wine merchant, be sure to ask for help from their expert staff people. Wines range from low and moderate price to quite expensive and here the experts will assist to make the appropriate choices.
There are hundreds of wine growers and grape varietal choices from all over the world, so the suggestions that follow are wine types not brands. Hopefully, this will lead to great choices for your holiday gatherings.
WHITE WINES FOR APPETIZERSAND MAIN COURSE
Sparkling wine, Prosecco, Champagne Riesling – from semi dry to slightly sweet. Apple, citrus, flavors to honey, spices.
Pinot Grigio – Light body with citrus flavors. Quite popular
Sauvignon Blanc – Slightly less dry than Chardonnay. Very pleasant taste
Chardonnay – Most favored white. Dry to slightly sweet, medium body, citrus hints, very drinkable
RED WINES FOR MAIN COURSE
Zinfandel Unoaked – easy drinking, hints of fruit flavors
Zinfandel Oaked – more full body, rich, pleasantly intense
Pinot Noir – Delicate, tasty with cherry, strawberry hints, light to medium body
Merlot – Very drinkable, medium to full body, pleasant lasting taste
Cabernet Sauvignon – King of reds! Medium to full body, smooth lasting taste, typically aged in French or American oak barrels where the wine combines with the oak to produce a wide range of tastes.
Of interest the Tempranillo grape in Spain has many of the same characteristics and tastes of Cabernet Sauvignon.
Malbec – Signature red grape wine from Argentina and Australia. Rich, full bodied, perfect for pairing with grilled beef
Bordeaux – Extensive selection of fine Bordeaux wines particularly from France
Sauternes, Late Harvest White Wines and Tawny Port White wines are bottled when young compared to red wines. They should be carefully kept but not stored for years as they are to be consumed as the peak of their flavor
Red Wines are best stored in a cool, dry place, away from bright light and heat. They should be lying down while stored so the wine is keeping the cork moist. A dried up cork can allow air to enter the bottle, causing it to spoil, turn into sour wine
This information is the proverbial “tip of the iceberg.” Begin your wine exploration journey and enjoy!