Wine & Food Pairings

Holiday dinner

Holiday Pairing Cheat Sheet

We slurped and gobbled our way through many meals and multiple bottles to create these tried-and-true pairings for traditional holiday flavors. You’re welcome.


  • Pinot Noir
  • All kinds of Beaujolais
  • Full-bodied Sauvignon Blanc

Roast Beef

  • Robust Cabernet Sauvignon Bordeaux


  • Syrah
  • Viognier

Briny & Salty

  • Pinot Grigio
  • Vernaccia
  • Muscadet
  • Pinot Bianco
  • White Bordeaux

Spicy (hot chilies, ginger, pepper)

  • Fruity, full-bodied Gerwurztraminer
  • Dolcetto d'Alba
  • Moscato d'Asti
  • Extra dry Champagne
  • German Riesling

Smoked or Grilled (fish, meats, or vegetables)

  • Sauvignon Blanc
  • Spicy Zinfandel
  • Full blown Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Merlot
  • Syrah
  • Pinot Noir or Pinot Gris

Tangy (citrus, cranberry)

  • German Riesling
  • Tangy Italian Arneis
  • Viognier
  • Ugni Blanc
  • Light Cotes du Rhone
  • Sparkling wines

Earthy (root vegetables, mushrooms)

  • Cabernet and Bordeaux blends
  • Rhone varietals
  • Chateauneuf du Pape
  • Barolo
  • Pinot Noir
  • Dry Sherry
  • Rioja

Sweet Endings (desserts)

  • Ports
  • Late harvest Sauvignon Blanc
  • Cream Sherry
  • Malmsey Madeira
  • Ice wines
  • Sauterne

Pairs Well With Others

Like red and green. Doorways and mistletoe. Snowmen and dogs. Our favorite wines this season are never far from our favorite holiday foods.

Skouras Anássa

A brisk, fresh food-friendly Greek White

Pair with: Red Leaf aged Cheddar, roasted chicken or salmon, roasted acorn squash and a Greek salad.

Our pick: Roasted Salmon Stuffed with Spinach, Feta and Ricotta.

Simonnet-Febvre Saint-Bris Sauvignon

An elegant, complex French White

Pair with: Vermont Butter & Cheese Creamery Bijou, crispy roasted turkey, fennel and orange salad and butternut squash soup

Our pick: Classic Butternut Squash Soup

Novellum Chardonnay

A well-balanced and smooth White

Pair with: Hervé Mons Camembert, turkey dinner, crab cakes, lobster bisque and creamy soups

Our pick: Roast Turkey with Apples and Onions

Roger d’Anoia Cava

Spanish sparkler with lively effervescence

Pair with: Everything! Especially Uniekaas Parrano cheese, cocktail shrimp, eggs Benedict and sweet savory Chinese food

Our pick: Shrimp Cocktail with Creamy-Spicy Green Onion Dipping Sauce

Grace Lane Riesling

Medium dry White. Approachable with a delicate sweetness

Pair with: Rogue Creamery Caveman Blue cheese, honey-glazed ham, shrimp dishes, sweet potatoes and Thai food

Our pick: Honey-Glazed Ham with Fresh Pineapple Chutney

Allan Scott Marlborough Pinot Noir

Fascinating, inviting New Zealand Red

Pair with: P’tit Basque sheep’s milk cheese, bronzed salmon, duck breast, spiral cut ham and seared scallops

Our pick: Five-Spice Roast Duck

Tablao Navarra

Out-of-the-ordinary Red with a unique complexity

Pair with: Seaside Cheddar, glazed ham, smoked brisket, veggie lasagna and enchiladas

Our pick: Roasted Beef Brisket with Carrots and Tomatoes

Santa Julia Innovación Bonarda-Cabernet

Imaginative full-bodied blend. Fantastic party wine

Pair with: Borough Market Cheddar, BBQ ribs, lamb chops, sausage-stuffed mushrooms and classic Swiss fondue

Our pick: Apple, Sausage and Sage Sourdough Stuffing

Les Hauts de Bel Air Merlot Cabernet

Graceful, rich and supple Red

Pair with: Fourme d’Ambert blue cheese, pepper steak with mushroom sauce, hearty stews, mushroom ragout and risotto

Our pick: Portobellos Stuffed with Greens and Blue

H&G Priorat

Robust small batch Red

Pair with: Fromager d’Affinois cheese, savory pork roast, pasta carbonara, paella and roasted beets

Our pick: Crown Roast of Pork with Wild Rice Stuffing

Mat Kearney Verse & Chorus Napa Valley Red Wine

Striking, surprising musician and winemaker co-creation with intense notes of black currant, plum and cocoa

Pair with: Emmi Le Gruyère cheese, beef tenderloin medallions, prime rib, lamb stew, marinated and grilled portobellos

Our pick: Slow Cooker Lentil Stew with Polenta

Cercius Côtes du Rhône

Multi-layered. Smoky. Deep

Pair with: Sottocenere Italian Truffle cheese, pulled pork, savory lamb roast, sautéed mushrooms

Our pick: Slow-Roasted Lamb Shoulder with Mashed Vegetables

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