Wine for the Holidays

There is something about the holiday season that just leads us to eat and drink a lot more than usual. I like to experience a variety of wines and the holidays are a perfect time to experience the wines of the world all in one day.

So when I get up on Christmas morning, coffee or tea comes first of course, but once brunch time rolls around we are ready for our first drink of the day. Generally we will go with a light sparkling Brut from Spain that is fresh and crisp. This really wakes up the taste buds and gets us going for the day.

Once we’ve somewhat digested brunch we get to the mid-afternoon portion of the day, usually spent enjoying the company of family while snacking on a few small bites. Now we get into the whites and reds. The white is almost always a lighter aromatic white such as a Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand, and the red tends to a nice fruit forward Beaujolais from Burgundy. These wines are light enough to have on their own, and tasty enough to have a second glass!

Next is dinner, always the time for the big and rich wines. The menu may be different from year-to-year, whether it be prime rib or roast turkey, but the same style wines are consumed each time. A tradition I suppose. An oak-aged Californian Chardonnay is usually on the table as the white offering and sits, next to a robust Italian Barolo. And since red wine seems to be preferred at our table, a bottle of Australian Shiraz often makes an appearance.

Dinner is done, and everyone is watching ‘Christmas Vacation’ for the eighth time this season and it’s time for one last glass. For those with a real sweet tooth, it’s a Niagara region Late Harvest Riesling, and for the others a nice glass of Port. A wonderful way to end a great day. It’s not something we can do often, but the holidays present the perfect opportunity to travel the wine world in a day. If it ends up being just a bit too much wine for some, don’t worry we have the next day off anyways.

So that’s how I will be spending December 25th this year. What holiday wine traditions do you have? Have any great holiday wine and food pairings? Any personal favourites for a Christmas or New Years Eve toast?