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Winter Wines?

Aug 17, 2007
With the holiday season fast approaching, most people are tackling the difficult task of purchasing wines that can be paired with the special foods of the season. Apart from the universal saying of Drink What You Like, there are a few useful tips to help you select the proper holiday wine.

. Forget about all the traditional reprimands, like pairing red wines with red meat and white wines with seafood.

. Try pairing full-bodied wines, either red or white, with full-flavored foods, and lighter wines with lighter food items.

. Foods with sauces generally require a medium to full-bodied wine.

. Boiled, steamed or lightly sauteed food should be matched with dry and light white wines.

. Chicken, Pork, or Veal are best suited with any full-bodied white wine.

. Spicy food items and off-dry white wines make an excellent match.

. Fat rich food items like foie gras and cheese should be paired with sweet wines.

. Sweet dishes and desserts go very well with wines that have high apparent sweet flavors, or you might prefer it with other beverages.

Like most marriages, pairing wines with a particular food item perfectly is rare and difficult. However, there are a few such classic marriages, like chocolate and Cabernet Sauvignon, duck with Pinot Noir, stilton or any blue-veined cheese and Port, foie gras and Sauternes.

In most cases, marriages are by chance incidents or happy accidents. Like wines, food preparations also tend to vary greatly, and a marriage largely depends on certain compatibilities. On one hand, one wine may match a certain food preparation. On the other hand, similar wines may not match another type of preparation.

For all the meat eaters out there, here is a list of wines that should be paired with certain holiday meats:

. Turkey: The wines that match this meat very well are Gamay, Pinot Blanc, Dry Rose, Grenache, Valdiguie, and Dry Gewurztraminer.

. Duck or Goose: The perfect wine matches are Sangiovese, Chianti Classico, Rioja, Pinot Noir, and Tempranillo.

. Ham: You can pair any type of Gewurztraminer, off-dry Rose, or Riesling.

. Well done Prime Ribs: Your best options would be dry Gewurztraminer, Dry Chardonnay, and dry Riesling.

. Rare to medium Prime Ribs: The best wines for this meat are Rioja, Sangiovese, California Barbera, Chianti Classico and Tempranillo.

. Roast beef or steaks: Merlots go well with roasted meats, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon.

. Grilled or Roast Lamb: Only one wine will go with this: Syrah.

Before going ahead and buying yourself holiday wine, remember to first differentiate between the full-bodied and light-bodied wines. For instance, some of the most famous light-bodied white wines are the Muscadet, Dry Riesling, Tank-fermented Sauvignon Blanc, Malvasia Bianca, and the Dry Gewurztraminer, while some of the full-bodied white wines are the Chardonnay or white Burgundy wines, Barrel-fermented Sauvignon Blanc and aged Sauvignon and Pinot Blanc. On the other hand, some of the light-bodied red wines include Rioja, Tempranillo, Barbera, Grenache, Chianti, Sangiovese, Red Burgundy, Pinot Noir, Gamay and Beaujolais. And, some of the most famous full-bodied red wines include the Petite Sirah, Syrah, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel and Merlot.

However, the most famous wine that is absolutely perfect for all holiday meals is the bubbly or champagne, which always sets a festive spirit to the holiday season. So, follow these guidelines and tips and you should have no problem buying your holiday wines!
About the Author
Sacramento Wine Tours are a once in a lifetime treat. Luxury Limousines has the newest fleet of Sacramento Limos to take you on a wine tour. Visit http://www.luxxlimo.com for more information.
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