If you're relatively new to the wonderful world of wine, you probably already know a few of the basics. For instance, you're undoubtedly aware that white wine goes with fish and red wine goes with red meat, but if you're like many people, that's about where your knowledge ends. The good news is that learning about wine is fun, and there's really no wrong way to go about it. With the onset of the holiday season only a few short weeks away, you may already be considering holiday menus and other home entertaining specifics. Whether your hosting style is casual potlucks or formal sit-down dinners, you'll need to bring some wine to the table. Following are four wines you should have on hand this holiday season.
Sparkling wines aren't just for popping open at midnight on New Year's Eve — they're great for a refreshing change of pace after holiday dinners featuring an abundance of rich foods. You can also serve regular rosé wine, but the sparkling sort adds a festive accent fitting for the holiday season.
You can't go wrong with a full-bodied cabernet on a chilly winter evening, especially if you're spending it by the fire with family or friends. To amp up its season appeal, heat the wine without bringing it a boil after sprinkling in cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg. This traditional holiday treat is known as mulled wine, with individual recipes handed down through generations. Don't be afraid to experiment with various spices — who knows, you may end up creating your very own version to pass on someday.
Although many people consider white wine appropriate only for the warm season unless used as a table wine when seafood is being served, a good chardonnay is an important basic to have in your wine repertoire during the holiday season for two main reasons — it's a good before-dinner wine to serve with a cheese course, and it provides an alternative for guests who simply don't care for red wine but don't mind enjoying a glass of white.
Sauternes is a sweet wine ideal for serving with a luscious dessert after a holiday feast. It's a full-bodied white wine that goes great with fruit-based desserts, cheesecakes, and perhaps the most traditional of holiday sweets: spiced plum pudding. As well as being a good special occasion wine, Sauternes adds an element of holiday cheer to ordinary evenings.
Get in touch with a wine store, such as JJ Buckley Fine Wines, for more recommendations.