From small gatherings to the traditional family dinner, here are five bottles to suit any guest at your celebration.
For the vegan/ vegetarian in your life
With more people leaning toward plant based diets, don’t get boxed into a corner when trying to match a wine to a vegetarian or vegan meal. The ‘heavier’ the main (beans, mushrooms), the heavier bodied the wine style, while light salads with vinaigrette are better suited to sparkling and whites.
Tomato based sauces (in pasta or pizza) are made for high-acid Italian reds like Feudo Maccari Nero d’Avola – the fresh red berry fruit in this style has a good amount of acidity, that is made for food.
To impress the in-laws
You want to choose something more special, but don’t want to seem uppity, or spend too much for a nice bottle. Château de Montfaucon Les Gardettes Rouge, a blend of Syrah, Carignan, Cinsault, Mourvedre, Grenache from the Languedoc region of France delivers high value for the price. Deep, dark fruit against good tannin structure and hint of spice creates a balanced medium bodied wine.
For the family meal
Nero d’Avola is the most popular red grape variety in Sicily and for good reason, this medium body with lots of ripe fruit, and hint of pepper is a winner for turkey dinner. With a long, smooth plum finish, with bold cherry, and raspberry, Mandarossa Nero d’Avola Costa Dune has a nice burst of acidity that holds up well with the heaviness, and richness of a holiday dinner.
Whether it’s the new neighbours that moved in next door, or colleagues from work that you want to invite over for a dinner party, you want to choose an all rounder that will appeal to a crowd- a California red can do just the trick. Broadside Cabernet Sauvignon, from Paso Robles with atypical fruit like luscious plum and strawberry, gives way to rich dark blackberry, silky tannins and a whisper of oak that is unlike any Cab you’ve tried.
Unexpected dessert pairing
Yes, champagne screams holidays, however if you are serving heavier winter desserts like dark chocolate cake, spiced gingerbread or sticky toffee pudding, you’ll want a wine that stands up to these strong flavours. Bertani Amarone flawlessly echoes the cocoa notes of this sumptuous red morello cherry and plum with toasted nuts, spicy licorice and soft vanilla are the perfect notes to end a meal.
This original wine and spirits article first appeared in the Winter 2019/2020 issue of City Style and Living Magazine.