With endless choices, arbitrary “rules,” mercurial trends and the fear of judgment from snobby connoisseurs, the world of wine can confound and intimidate otherwise confident men.
If you’ve found yourself paralyzed in front of wine store shelves on the way to a party or at the table when asked to choose a bottle to accompany a dinner, Paul Grand recommends keeping the most important wine rule of all in mind: “The best wine to serve is the wine you like the best.”
Paul, director of education and sales development for Tennessee distributor Lipman Brothers, frequently leads wine seminars for businesses and other organizations throughout Middle Tennessee. While those courses delve deep into the history and intricacies of wine, Paul also stresses the above rule, lest we forget that enjoyment is, after all, the whole point of uncorking a bottle in the first place. So, keep it in mind as you take a look at Paul’s recommendations for wines to serve during the upcoming holidays:
“If you enjoy white wines, a light- to medium-bodied wine will work best with the Thanksgiving turkey and the many side dishes accompanying it. Try a Gewurztraminer from either California or the Alsace region of France. A well-balanced Chardonnay will also work well with Thanksgiving fare. If you prefer red wines with your holiday meal, look into the many Pinot Noir selections that are currently available. Wines from the Beaujolais region in France are also a good choice for Thanksgiving. If you prefer something a little more full-bodied, consider a Zinfandel or Shiraz.”
“Many people serve ham as the main dish with Christmas dinner. Rieslings and White Zinfandel work very nicely with ham. Moscato is a very popular wine right now, and will also complement ham. A lighter-bodied red wine such as Pinot Noir will also pair up nicely with your Christmas dinner.”
New Year’s Eve
“Nothing says New Year’s Eve like a sparkling wine. There are a wide variety of sparkling wines available from all over the world. The French are proud of their Champagne of course, and Italy produces Prosecco. Spain is known for its value-priced Cava. Australia produces some intriguing sparkling Shiraz, and of course, the United States has several outstanding sparkling wines in all price ranges.”