Wines to Serve with Ham
Baked, smoked, or honeyed hams beg for wines with a dash of sweet. A German Riesling with a touch of residual sugar, made lighter in style and a bit lower in alcohol will hop on the ham pairing wagon with plenty of food-friendly acidity and crowd-pleasing palate appeal. Alsatian Rieslings tend to bring more body, significantly less sugar, and a richer palate profile than their German wine cousins, and are capable of handling a wide range of pork-themed options with a wine focus on weight and pairing presence. Red wines that can accommodate ham happenings tend to be lighter in body and overall style. Beaujolais, Pinot Noir (especially from Burgundy or California's Russian River Valley), and Spain's Tempranillo grape often exhibit subtle tannins with an easier going pairing profile.
Red Wines for Ham:
White Wines for Ham: Riesling and Gewurtztraminer
Wines to Serve with Turkey
Turkey on its own presents a fairly straight-forward pairing partner, but who really eats turkey solo? Herb-filled stuffing, roasted veggies, rich sauces, and an assortment of savory sides manage to make their way alongside the bird. It's these sides and sauces that must be taken into account when working out the best wine pairings. Sauvignon Blanc is hands-down one of the top white wine picks for turkey and savory sides, as it tends to bring its own herbal tones to the table.
Red Wines for Turkey:Pinot Noir
- Syrah (Shiraz),
Seasonal Spice and Ethnic Dishes
Christmas culinary creations from around the world add an extra layer of festive foodie fun. Whether it's exotic Asian spices, calling for the likes of Riesling, Gewurztraminer, and even an aromatic Viognier or heavy European desserts with warm spice nuances, preferring a pairing with the weight and flavor of a fortified wine like port or Madeira - there are dozens of unique pairing potentials. Keep in mind that flavor is not the only consideration to be made, but textures, spice intensity, serving sauces, weightiness and rich ingredient elements will all serve to sway a food and wine pairing potential.