kelly magyarics

washington, d.c.-based wine, spirits & lifestyle writer / wine educator

703.203.9463

Holiday wine and food pairings

In the upcoming weeks, I'll be offering suggestions for wine and food pairing tips for the holidays. Here are some ideas to get you thinking as you plan your menus for holiday get-togethers:

Pomegranate Sparkler: Pomegranate is being called “the new cranberry.” For a festive and refreshing cocktail, fill a Champagne flute two-thirds with Prosecco or Cava, and then top with pomegranate juice.

Thanksgiving: Try a California red Zinfandel or French red Côtes du Rhône with your turkey. For white wine lovers, offer a Vouvray from France’s Loire Valley: a crisp, food-friendly white made with the Chenin Blanc grape.

Hanukkah: Serve a mildly oaked Chardonnay, or a California or French Syrah, with lamb chops or rack of lamb. Check your wine store for kosher wines, which are becoming more readily available.

Christmas: The crisp peach and apple flavors of a German Riesling work wonderfully with baked ham. To bring out the spiciness of any cloves you added before cooking, try a spicy Gewurztraminer from the U.S. or Alsace.

Mulled wine: To enjoy this winter warmer, take a bottle of inexpensive red table wine, and add cinnamon sticks, cloves, nutmeg, sugar, and orange slices. Let the wine simmer (do NOT let it boil), and then serve it in mugs garnished with cinnamon sticks.