Holiday Wine Pairing Guide (Infographic)

Celebrating gratitude and good cheer with our loved ones, the reason for the season comes down to giving thanks. Sharing good food enriched with even better drink, the holidays seem to make their own memories. From large family gatherings to close knit Friendsgivings, the right wines can make all the difference.

From its ancient origins in Burgundy, France, holiday favorite pinot noir is a welcome addition to any dinner table. For red wine lovers, pinot noir is an essential and even discerning white wine drinkers find the light yet dry qualities of pinot noir appealing. For those large family gatherings, a couple bottles of pinot noir on the table should keep everyone happy. Served next to fresh gravy-topped turkey slices, stuffing, and fall harvest salad, this light wine compliments the traditional autumn and winter flavors we know and love. Perfect pairings with pinot noir come from spices and seasonings like dill, allspice, thyme, and clove, enriching even the most traditional of celebrations.

A feast in their own right, holiday desserts top off any kind of celebration; be sure to leave room for a little bubbly once the cakes and cookies start rolling out. Sparking wine, ideal for toasts and celebratory cork popping, champagne lets us end our meal on a high note. From rich cheesecakes to light as air pastries, fizzing sparkly wines have a character all their own. Countries the world over have their own spin on sparkling wine, but chardonnay and pinot noir grapes are commonly included in the process.  Complimenting the sweetness of shortbread cookies and the sharp bite of strawberry tarts alike, the light acidity of sparkling wine brings out complex yet gentle flavors.

But traditional, hearty holiday meals aren’t for everyone and some folks prefer a different approach to their menu. Almost 40 percent of celebrants serve side dishes from other cultures and another 38% of people put a multicultural spin on already traditional dishes from spices to sauces. For celebrations like these, pinot noir might not fit the bill; chardonnay, however, fills the gap. Hailing from Burgundy as well and made from a crossing of pinot noir grapes and gouais blanc grapes, chardonnay pairs perfectly with chicken, seafood, and heavy creamy sauces. Ideal for non-traditional holiday dinners, chardonnay compliments even vegetarian and vegan menus especially those including spicy, citrusy, and bright flavors.

Build your holiday wine list to perfection with this infographic for more on the  art of wine pairings, how to compliment every recipe from mains to sides, and make your holiday celebration, whatever it may be, one to remember.

wine pairing