With the holiday season in full swing, it is time to start thinking about three of my favorite things: food, family, & wine (not necessarily in the correct priority order). Over the years I have read so many opinions on serving wine with holiday meals and they generally make me laugh. Some people think you should serve less valued wines, some recommend top shelf, others swear by specific regions or varietals. I tend to approach the holidays like any special time and serve wines that, quite frankly, I love to drink. I do not believe this is a time to go out of your comfort zone. Choose wines that you love and share them with family and friends. “Wine people” tend to over-complicate and overthink special occasions.
As a winemaker, I love to showcase our CROZE Viognier and Smith Wooton Cabernet Franc with the traditional holiday meals. I believe that these wines pair well with the traditional fare, but more importantly, I love to drink and share them with family and friends. I typically host Thanksgiving and prepare most of the classic dishes associated with the holiday. However, we do add Oysters and Dungeness Crab to the line-up as every good Californian should.
As a varietal, Viognier is a great holiday wine. It bridges the gap between high acidity white wines and rich, heavy wines like Chardonnay. It has a richness in flavor and aroma, yet still finishes with great acidity.
Likewise, Cabernet Franc is a very versatile red wine. A well made, balanced Cabernet Franc can be a great match to roast poultry as well as rib roast. It has a beautiful elegance and finesse that compliments a wide range of foods. There is just enough tannin to take on beef yet enough elegance and acidity to compliment poultry.
The only real rule of the holiday table is that there has to be wine on it and people you love around it! Cheers and Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Croze and Smith Wooton Wines.