Holiday wine pairing guide

Holiday Wine. Bridget ShirvellHoliday gatherings never feel complete without wine but deciding what type of wine to serve can be overwhelming. When pairing wine the first thing to remember is that there are no wrong choices. It’s your gathering after all so if you want to serve your favorite bottle of Chianti or only wines from your local vineyard go for it. If, however, you’re still undecided here are some tips to help guide your holiday wine pairing.

If you are serving…


  • Reds:  Pinot Noir, Syrah, Zinfandel
  • Whites: a full bodied Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling

Roast Beef:

  • Reds: A full bodied Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel or Shiraz
  • Whites: Chardonnay

Roast Ham:

  • Reds: Syrah, Zinfandel, Pinot Noir
  • Whites: Riesling


  • Reds:  Zinfandel
  • Gewürztraminer


  • Reds: Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir especially with oily fish
  • Whites: Pinot Grigio, Champagne especially with shellfish, Chardonnay


  • Reds: Malbec

Potato Kugel:

  • Reds: Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel


  • Whites: Chardonnay, Riesling


  • Reds: Port
  • Whites:  Moscato

Keep in mind salty foods go well with pinot grigio and desserts, especially rich ones can be overpowered by bold red wines. You can’t go wrong with a pinot noir as its the earthy tones will bring out the flavor of most traditional holiday food. Have fun picking out your wine or ask your guests to bring a bottle of their favorite wine for a holiday wine tasting.

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