Holiday meals are special occasions which usually call for festive bottle of wine. Traditional holiday meals include either ham or turkey, which causes some debate and confusion over what wine should be served.
Pairing wines with these two main dishes can be a little tricky. Let's take a look at these holiday meals and see of we can break them down and determine which wines would pair well.
Before you know it, you'll be pairing food with wine like an expert!
Many holiday hams are cooked using a heavy sauce of some sort, glazed to form a crispy crust, which makes them sweet to the taste. There are also hams with more of a smoky flavor, the type that are cured and aged.
In general, the heavier the flavors of a glazed ham should be paired with a wine that has higher acidity levels, such as a Riesling, or a simple White Zinfandel.
Light hams, those that have a smoky flavor usually go well with Pinot Noir.
The white meat of a turkey has a drier texture than dark meat. In order to balance out the texture of white meat, it would not be wise to serve a dry wine as this would not help to quench that need for moisture.
Sweeter wines are generally the go to for white meat as the force the palate salivate. Any light sweet wine will do. You may wish to try a sweet German wine. Choose anything with the term Spatlese in the title and you should have a sweeter wine.
Dark meat of a turkey retains more moisture when cooking. Because it is a more tender, juicy meat, it pairs well with a drier wine which helps cleanse the palate. Wines like Riesling and White Burgundy have a dry, oaken flavor that pairs well. You may want to try a Gewurztraminer which also pairs well with dark meat.
The most important thing to remember when selecting wines for a party is to know your guests. What do they prefer? Having a variety of wines available for your guests to choose from may be the simplest answer.
But if they ask which wine pairs well with what's on their plate, you'll be armed with all the food pairing knowledge for a holiday meal by following the above tips!
Sample a few different types of wine a few weeks before the big event. While wines can enhance the experience of a meal, it all comes down to individual tastes. Stop worrying about the wine and enjoy the company!
You'll be food pairing with wine like a pro in no time.