You’ve planned the menu, shopped for groceries, and cooked the holiday meal. Or perhaps you’ve placed the takeout order. Either way, have you considered what wines will accompany your special meal?
Pairing wine with holiday food can be overwhelming since the holiday table offers so many flavors. Your task is to find versatile wines that enhance the food and are crisp enough to refresh the palate during a long, filling meal. Generally, full-bodied white wines and lighter red wines fit this description.
This holiday season, consider these Texas wines to complete your menu:
2019 Cheramie Wine Riesling – With a hint of sweetness, this wine has the profile to complement the sweeter dishes at the table including your favorite sweet potato casserole and the customary cranberry relish. Medium-dry with aromas of citrus, lemon, and green apple. www.cheramiewine.com $23 Local delivery available.
2018 Pedernales Cellars Texas High Plains Viognier Reserve – Love Chardonnay? Give Viognier a try. This Viognier is a medium-bodied wine that delivers powerful tropical fruit notes. Versatile enough to enjoy with the main meal as well as turkey sandwiches the following day. www.pedernalescellars.com $40
2019 CL Butaud Ramato – Using an ancient winemaking style, Pinot Gris is left in contact with its skins so that the wine develops more color than a standard white wine. This orange wine has the right texture to stand up to both the main course and a wide variety of side dishes. www.clbutaud.com $22
2019 William Chris Vineyards High Plains Rosé – Forced to pick just one wine to serve? Rosé is my choice. This one delivers both delicate floral and pleasant fruit notes. A blend of 60% Mourvèdré, 20% Sangiovese, and 20% Malvasia Bianca. www.williamchriswines.com $22
2019 The Austin Winery Red Wine Texas High Plains –This light-bodied, easy drinking red wine may convert those who profess to drink only white wine. And with only 11% alcohol by volume, it’s a great choice for those who open the wine when the cooking begins. A blend of 90% Cinsault and 10% Mourvèdre. www.theaustinwinery.com $27
2019 French Connection Wines Counoise Texas High Plains – Usually a blending grape, Counoise is difficult to pronounce (coon-WAHZ) but easy to pair. It delivers plenty of lively red fruit aromas and a zippy finish that refreshes the palate. These grapes were grown by Farmhouse Vineyards in the Texas High Plains. Thank a farmer this harvest season! www.frenchconnectionhye.com $39
2018 Triple N Ranch Winery Sangiovese Texas High Plains – Texas Sangiovese has a lighter color than you might expect, but it still delivers the warm spice and cherry compote characteristics you expect from Sangiovese. Sourced from Narra Vineyards in the High Plains, this example delivers an herbal note that will pair perfectly with sage dressing. The heartiest of the lineup, this wine can also pair well with beef. www.triplenranchwinery.com $32
Dessert poses yet another pairing challenge during holiday meals. Generally, a wine should be sweeter than the food. That makes pairing pecan pie particularly tough. Your best bet is a dessert wine. Thankfully, Texas delivers.
Haak Winery offers five Madeira and Port wines made from the white Blanc Du Bois grape and the red Black Spanish grape. Haak Winery is the pioneer in dessert wine production using the estufagem (or oven) process to bake the wine. Perhaps the best is the 2015 Thomas Jefferson Jacquez Madeira made from Black Spanish grapes. Expect flavors of caramel, roasted nuts, and dried fruit. www.haakwine.com $40.
William Chris Vineyards makes a Madeira-style wine as well. Cibola, a blend of 80% Orange Muscat and 20% Malvasia Bianca, delivers a nutty, rich conclusion to your holiday celebration. www.williamchriswines.com $35
Wine educator, wine writer, and creator of This Is Texas Wine podcast.