‘Tis the season for wine. Ok, ok- it’s always the season for wine so which wine will be flying off the shelves (and out of kegs) this holiday season? Bold beauties and fruity finishes are making us want to curl up in front of the fireplace with a glass (or three) all season long. While these wines likely have their year-round fans, they’re holiday favorites thanks to their compounds that allow them to pair well with Turkey and all its fixings. Are you ready to refresh your kegs and serve some festive wine on tap? These varietals are sure to delight your customers’ palates.
Cabernet Sauvignon has higher levels of a compound called Methoxypyrazine, which is why it’s noted for aromas of black pepper, green peppercorn, and black currant. Wonder why Cabs pair so well with fatty steaks and other comfort foods? Researchers found that the tannins in Cabernet Sauvignon act as “scrapers” to fats and proteins that collect on your tongue from the food that you eat. Steak has higher levels of these proteins and fats, making Cabernet Sauvignon the perfect wine to pair with your fatty favorites.
Check out Cabernet Sauvignon from: Napa Valley, Spain, Northern Virginia, Chile
Pair with: Steak and other fatty meats
Velvety Malbec is perfect for sipping while watching your favorite Christmas movie, listening to carolers, or wrapping presents. It’s just so easy to drink, it doesn’t have to be accompanied by a hearty meal but pairs well with one, nonetheless. Malbec grapes are small and dark in color with thick skins, producing a wine that has spicy and savory fruity flavors and medium tannin levels. Malbec wines are often higher in alcohol than Merlot or Pinot Noir, containing up to 15% ABV.
Check out Malbec from: Chile, California, and Mendoza wine region in Argentina
Pair with: Turkey, chicken, and lean cuts of beef or blue cheese for those avoiding meat
High in acidity and extremely versatile, pinot noir pairs perfectly with turkey, as well as numerous other comfort food staples. Its light body, complex structure, and elegant tannins make it a great wine to pair with fatty fish and seafood, veggie inspired dishes like roasted carrots, caramelized cauliflower, and mushrooms, and gamey meats like duck and rabbit. Pinot Noir’s earthy character is accentuated by its long, smooth finish and its light body makes it easy to drink.
Check out Pinot Noir from: Oregon, California, Australia, and Burgundy, France.
Pair with: Duck, rabbit, turkey, and hearty vegetables
Ok white wine lovers, I hear you. A rich and oaky, fruit forward Chardonnay is sure to pair well with your holiday offerings. Known for its ripe fruit notes, ranging from apple and lemon to papaya, melon, and pineapple, Chardonnay is a dry, medium to full bodied wine that is easily manipulated and personalized by the winemaker and their techniques.
Chardonnay is the most popular white wine grape, is easy to grow, and depending on its body, can pair well with most of your menu.
Check out Chardonnay from: Sonoma County, Oregon, and Virginia
Pair with: Baked chicken, fried chicken, any chicken you can get your hands on, your holiday turkey, fresh cheese, and firm fish
While wine is never out of season, there are certain varietals that pair better with holiday favorites like turkey and hearty veggies. Not only do wines that pair well with Thanksgiving and Christmas dishes allow your guests to embrace the holidays, seasonal menus see 26% more orders. Will you be changing out your taps for the holidays?