Guide to Wine Pairing

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Pairing the perfect wine, champagne, sherry, or port with a holiday feast can be daunting. Here is a quick reference guide for matching wines with traditional tastes and flavors at the holiday table.

Flavors Recommended Spirits

Classic Holiday Turkey

Pinot Noir

All kinds of Beaujolais

Full-bodied Sauvignon Blanc

Classic Holiday Roast Beef

Robust Cabernet Sauvignon Bordeaux

Classic Holiday Ham

Syrah

Viognier

Briny/Salty (seafood and shellfish)

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