Your Holiday Pairing Guide | Wine Enthusiast
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Your Holiday Pairing Guide

Wine Enthusiast Executive Editor Susan Kostrzewa and Food Editor Nils Bernstein sat down for a Facebook Live segment to share popular holiday dishes and their perfect wine pairings. If you missed it, don’t fret. Here’s your handy guide to planning a scrumptious holiday soirée this season, from start to dessert.

A wine for when guests arrive

Bodegas Eidosela 2015 Ethereo Albariño (Rías Baixas); $15, 90 points. Lime and grapefruit aromas are a touch pithy and feline but don’t go overboard. Citrusy and minerally on the palate, this tastes of lime, green melon and green banana. A pure, tangy finish holds firm. Best Buy. —Michael Schachner

The Dishes

  • Simple seafood appetizers, such as oysters, crab toast and seared scallops
  • Indian or Thai spiced dishes or curries

A white wine for lighter fare

Boeckel 2015 Riesling (Alsace); $13, 90 points. A reticent nose on this wine tells only of earth and faint citrus at this point. The uncompromisingly dry palate however, is perfumed with conifer and citrus zest around a fluid, concentrated center. The tart, super-clean lemon finish tingles enticingly. Best Buy. —Anne Krebiehl MW

The Dishes

A white wine for heartier fare

Shea 2013 Shea Vineyard Chardonnay (Willamette Valley); $35, 95 points. Here is an utterly irresistible wine—spicy, sensuous and layered with beautifully ripened citrus, tree and tropical fruits. A whiff of pine needle continues as a flavor thread, along with vanilla, buttered nuts, lemongrass and macaroon. This wine just keeps on going. Editors’ Choice. —Paul Gregutt

The Dishes

A juicy red for pork and poultry

Langmeil 2013 The Fifth Wave Grenache (Barossa); $53, 94 points. Grenache is being treated with more and more respect around Australia, which means more bottlings are reaching the variety’s potential. Gentle herbal notes intertwine with bunches of black cherries and a hint of vanilla in this medium- to full-bodied example. Hints of red peppercorn capture a unique combination of fruit and spice, while the finish is long and crisp. —Joe Czerwinski

The Dishes

A bold red wine for richer fare

G D Vajra 2012 Ravera (Barolo); $60, 94 points. Intense and well structured, this offers scents of wild berry, blue flower, chopped herb and a balsamic note. The firm palate boasts juicy black cherry, crushed raspberry, pipe tobacco, licorice and clove alongside a backbone of polished tannins. A mineral note lifts the finish. Drink 2020–2027. —Kevin O’Keefe

The Dishes

  • Goose
  • Standing rib roast
  • Truffles

A sparkling for dessert

Schramsberg 2007 Reserve Sparkling (North Coast); $120, 96 points. Made from 76% Pinot Noir and 24% Chardonnay, spice-tinged fruit aromas and toasted baguette complexity make a grand entrance on the nose. It then gushes bold and complex flavors, like toasted walnuts and almonds, poached pears and a touch of ginger. Although big and broad in flavor for a sparkling wine, it’s very well structured and a good bet to age through 2022 or longer. Cellar Selection. —Jim Gordon

The Dishes

  • Gingerbread
  • Fruitcake
  • Hard cheeses, such as aged gouda, manchego and Parmigiano-Reggiano


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