Every year, I see a ton of people doing a “What to pair with your Holiday Meal” post. Therefore my blog would not be complete without a similar post to finish off its first calendar year of existence. However I’m just going to do a run down of what is being served at my house this Christmas and what I’m pairing with it. Perhaps you can glean some ideas from it.
Assorted cheese including Humbolt Fog, Manchego, and Brie.
Stone ground wheat crackers
Veuve Clicquot N/V Champagne
Light and Bubbly: I really love this Champagne. It’s consistently a good value and widely available. It is also a perfect intro to Champagne for people who don’t drink it on a regular basis as it focuses on pure fruit with hints of lemon curd and toasted brioche with a fine mousse and nicely balanced dosage.
Pumpkin Bisque with holiday spices garnished with toasted pumpkin seeds
Souverain 2008 Winemaker’s Reserve Chardonnay
Buttery Beauty: Now I helped blend this wine so just be aware that I have a personal interest in it however I really like pairing it with this soup because the wine has such great intense flavors and it complements the intensity and the thickness of the soup. It has intense notes of tropical fruits, brown baking spices and is dry with a full body. The wine finishes cleanly with spices and toasted walnuts lingering.
Brown Sugar Glazed Baked Ham
Herb Roasted Turkey Breast
Sautéed Green Beans with Almonds and Caramelized White Onions
Roasted Garlic and Herb Mashed Potatoes
Stuffing with Onions, Herbs and Spices
Homemade Cranberry Sauce.
Robert Mondavi Winery 1999 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve
Spicy and Smoky: I love the Mondavi Reserve Cabernets and have several vintages in my cellar. The ’99 is drinking very nicely right now and I wanted to share it with my family. The notes of black currants are highlighted by some lovely fig and date notes that are beginning to develop adding to the complexity of the wine. The tannins are soft and plush and the spices on the palate it makes a nice complement to the holiday meal.
Philippe Raimbault “Mosaique” Pouilly-Fume 2008
Fresh and Grassy: With that much herbs being thrown around in my kitchen I must have a Sauvignon Blanc somewhere. We found this wine on our last trip to France and I really love how the flavors of dried herbs, limes, and chalk mix together to create an old world wine with hints of new world styles in it.
Fresh Pumpkin Pie with Homemade Whipped Cream
Seasonal Yellow Pears with Salted Caramel Sauce
Beringer Nightingale 2006 Napa Valley
Sweet and Luscious: Again, in the interest of disclosure I work for the company that makes this wine however I have nothing to do with the production directly and I wasn’t working for them during this vintage. I just really like it as a well balanced late-harvest wine that conveniently comes in a 375mL as there will not be enough people at my house to finish off a 750mL bottle of dessert wine. The grapes are affected by botrytis which gives the wine beautiful honey and sweet yellow pear aromas to complement the full, sweet body and lingering finish.
As you can see it will be a busy weekend in the kitchen for me but I hope it will be an enjoyable meal for my family as we celebrate the Christmas Season. For more information about how to pair wines with food see my earlier Blog post The Pirate’s Code of Wine and Food Pairings (http://www.novacadamatre.com/?p=72).
Finally, Merry Christmas to you, my readers, and a wonderful and happy New Year’s as well. Please drink responsibly and enjoy what you drink because life is too short not to drink great wines!