Holiday dinners are filled with a variety of delicious foods. There are white and dark meats, rich yams, tart cranberries, buttery mashed potatoes, and savory pies. However, all that variety can make it difficult to pair the perfect bottle of wine to provide your guests. Thankfully, we have put together the perfect holiday wine list that will give your guests the opportunity to enjoy a great glass of wine with their meal!
Best Holiday Whites
White wines are usually a good starting point for holiday dinners. They are light and pair well with many flavors on a holiday menu. Below, we have put together a list of white wines that will go perfectly with your feast!
- Riesling: Dry Riesling pairs well with both sweet and salty dishes. It has innate flavors of apple, apricot, and honey, and its clarifying acidity gives it a pairing edge with festive dishes such as sweet potatoes, turkey, and stuffing. Its fruity and flavorful taste refreshes your mouth for the next bite. We recommend the 2016 Chateau Montelena Riesling, Potter Valley. The acidity and vividness of this wine are complementary to many dishes, and it has a subtle sweetness highlighted by fresh fig and honey. 2016 Stony Hill, White Riesling is also an excellent pair for your holiday meal. The initial sweetness of this wine is quickly replaced by candied orange peel and a delicate, yet lingering finish.
- Gewurztraminer: This white wine tends to have an aromatic gusto and spicy palate appeal that makes it great for turkey and gravy. It is fantastic paired with sage-rubbed turkey and sweet potatoes. We recommend the 2016 Corison Corazon Gewurztraminer, Anderson Valley. This features aromatic Germanic white varieties and French winemaking sensibilities. This wine is dry and fresh. We also recommend the 2016 Stony Hill Gewurztraminer; this is a delicate and subtle wine that has hints of Lychee and spice. Its bone-dry and palate-cleansing qualities cut right through all the richness of a holiday dinner. The 2016 Corazon Gewurztraminer is also a delicious wine with a spicy character. It is fermented to dryness and has snappy, natural acidity that makes a perfect pair with many foods.
- Sauvignon Blanc: This crisp white wine is known for its citrus-based flavors that can be paired with herb or mineral undertones—making it a prime pairing candidate for turkey and mashed potatoes. Theorem Vineyards will be releasing a Sauvignon Blanc in 2019!
- Pinot Grigio: This is not too light or too heavy. It tends to have a hint of fruitiness. This makes it capable of handling garlic, onions, herbs, and the rich flavors of high-fat dishes.
- Chardonnay: A roasted main course with herbs would pair nicely with a Chardonnay. It is important to keep in mind that Chardonnay flavor profiles can differ. California Chardonnays tend to have an emphasis on the use of oak, whereas French chardonnay is crisper. Winemaking style can play a major role in what Chardonnay pairs best. We recommend the 2016 Rivers-Marie Joy Road Chardonnay. This wine holds plenty in reserve with a bright, green-fruited mid palate and firm acidity from start to finish. James Cole Chardonnay is also a great holiday wine. It has ripe apple and pear characters, complemented with citrus notes, finishing with lingering flavors of citrus and vanilla spice. We are thrilled to announce that Theorem Vineyards will be releasing a Chardonnay in 2019.
Best Holiday Reds
We love red wines for the holidays. Below, we put three of the best reds to pair with your holiday celebration.
- Pinot Noir: This is a traditional favorite. It has subtle earthy undertones to surround the fruit features and pairs well with turkey and stuffing. We recommend the 2016 Rivers-Marie Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir. This version has a bit more of the red / orange profile than years past, resulting in more tension.
- Zinfandel: This is a fuller bodied red wine that ups the intensity while maintaining a balancing effect on side dishes. This is a classic turkey pairing because of its raspberry and tobacco flavors, making it an ideal match for darker meat. We recommend the 2016 Kinsella “Spencer Vineyard” Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley, which is plush with great depth and an expansive roundness, with a savory, spicy finish.
- Malbec: This is a medium to full-bodied wine with robust tannins. It has plenty of acidity and relatively high tannings. It has a dark, inky color profile and flavors of plums, black cherry, and blackberry. We recommend the 2015 Premium Chalice Wine, Saint Simeon Church, Calistoga as it is well-balanced. This wine is spicy, rich, and bold on the finish; it offers hints of clove, cinnamon, and white pepper.
- Cabernet Sauvignon: There is absolutely no reason you shouldn’t enjoy Cabernet on the holidays. We make it the centerpiece of our meal. Cabernet tends to have a velvety texture, intense fruit, and spicy aromas and flavors. This wine pairs well with turkey and gravy. Pairing turkey with Cabernet Sauvignon may not be traditional, but it certainly is amazing! For this, look no further than our very own Voir Dire.
If you are looking for wine to carry you from appetizer to dessert, sparkling wine is a great option. Sparkling wines bring elegant food-pairings to almost any meal—making them perfect for your holiday menu. Most sparkling wines carry a decent dose of acidity. They can handle many appetizers, particularly fried or salty fare, and make a delicious match for turkey and dressing. The crisp bubbles also cut seamlessly through the rich layers found in many decadent desserts. 2001 Reserve Late Disgorged, Schramsberg is a great sparkling wine to pair with your dinner. This sparkling wine features complex flavors of apple tart, grapefruit, peach, candied ginger, and roasted almond that are supported with a vibrant acidity leading to a fresh and textured finish.
The wine that is commonly paired with pie is fortified wines. Pairing port with pies is a popular choice because it brings a rich and concentrated flavor of honey to a variety of deserts. This type of wine offers the sweetness to support the rich flavors and robust spice of the pumpkin pie and caramelized pecan pie.
Come Visit Theorem Vineyards to Enjoy Your Favorite Wines
The holidays are not the only time to enjoy a great glass of wine. In fact, there is nothing better than going wine tasting at the Napa Valley vineyards to celebrate special occasions or a romantic getaway. Theorem Vineyards is located on the northern slope of Diamond Mountain—showcasing the unique qualities of the Napa Valley. The rare qualities of our land allow us to produce our flagship Voir Dire, a timeless Cabernet Sauvignon.
While Theorem wines can be enjoyed anywhere in the world, we hope you will join us for a tour soon!