It is Christmas, and that means friends and family, lights and decorations, lavish dinners and tempting snacks. At our house, at least, it also means popping a lot of wine corks. Here are some of our favorite Christmas wine choices.
We typically greet our guests with a glass of champagne (OK, purists, yes, we serve sparkling wine). At Christmas time, we kick it up a notch with a splash of color. Our favorite splash is Trader Joe’s Sparkling Pomegranate juice. This is a nice blend of juices (apple, pomegranate, grape and currant) with just enough carbonation to keep up with the champagne. Many times we use the sparkling from Ruby Hill to provide a nice level of sweetness to balance the tart of the pomegranate. The result is a tasty and beautiful glass of “glad you’re here!”
From the fizzy and sweet, we typically transition to something more crisp but still light on the tannins and spice. Recently we fell in love with the Montepulciano offerings from Ayrael Vieux or Eckert Estate. Great fruit up front, with a ghost of a finish. Perfect for sipping while checking out what Judi put out for hors d’oeuvres.
As everyone gathers around the kitchen table and devours everything Judi created, we usually move to a Petite Sirah. The Eagle Ridge version has enough character to stand up to deviled eggs and beef dip, without overpowering the soft cheeses.
Dinner is typically accompanied by a Zinfandel. Christmas dinner usually means something over the top in the beef category, so a Zin provides a good spicy counterbalance to whatever BBQ rub currently has my attention. We have some Darcie Kent Zins put aside this year.
Dinner at Judi’s table almost always involves dessert. Most recently this meant personal-sized chocolate-and-Bailey’s cakes in the shape of little houses. That calls for Port! When it comes to Port, we have an embarrassment of riches (yes, we misplaced a case of Port and that is embarrassing). What will get the nod this year? A Decade from Eckert? A MadLynn from Eagle Ridge? A Touriga from Darcie Kent? Or something more unusual, like something from Westover or Rios-Lovell? That’s a decision that’s just too weighty to predict.
So as we all settle in for another wonderful Christmas day, from all of us at Wine Tasting Bliss: Merry Christmas to all and to all a good wine!
About the Author: John grills a mean steak and is always in the market for another wine fridge. Believes that if a winery has more than 10 employees, it's probably too big. Buys wine faster than he drinks it, but who cares?