Christmas Party Libation

Christmas Party Libation

Pairing With the Protein

On the 25th of this month, my family and I will join close friends at their home for a Christmas lunch and I'm in charge of bringing the wine. I like to pair the wine with protein which is usually the main course. But as of this writing, the lunch's main course has yet to be determined, so I'll have to be prepared for anything.One thing I learned early on in my wine education was the redder the protein, the redder the wine.

My significant other, a big meat eater, is banking on some juicy filet mignons. Those will go well with a Cabernet, a Bordeaux or even a Shiraz. These full-bodied reds have the needed tannins to help cleanse the palate to get your mouth ready for the next bite. These reds will also go well with gamier meats such as lamb or venison.

But what if we're having ham or pork tenderloin? As we go lighter in the red of the meat, we go lighter in the red of the wine. Milder red meats like pork pair well with a Pinot Noir or a Burgundy because the wine won't overpower the meat.

I am secretly hoping for some sort of poultry like turkey. I just didn't get enough on Thanksgiving!

While there is no rule against having red wine with poultry, gamey poultry like turkey or duck go well with a more complex white like a Chardonnay because, again, the wine won't overpower the meat.

Milder poultry like chicken and seafood pair well with lighter whites like a Gewurztraminer Sauvignon Blancs.

And whatever we're having for dessert, I'll be sure to bring a nice port, a perfect meal-ender that will keep every one warm from the winter chill.