The holidays season evokes a certain culinary nostalgia. Where childhood gifts are long forgotten, gregarious family dinners centered around wonderful holiday comfort food are etched in memory. While you may still love the classic holiday dishes of your childhood – mashed potatoes, green bean casserole and freshly roasted turkey – there's a surefire way to improve these delicious dishes. It's called wine, and as the holidays approach, here are five that pair well with the yuletide season.
Port is a perfect treat for holiday get-togethers. — Photo courtesy of Taylor's Port
2011 Monte Xanic Chenin Colombard - This is a lovely mineral driven white, and for those unfamiliar with Mexican wines, a great introduction to one of the Guadalupe Valley's premium producers. M.X.'s Chenin blend is an excellent pairing for seafood and salads, and at $12, a real bargain.
2009 Dept. C Pinot Noir - Dept. C crafts some of California's most elegant Pinots, and the 2009, made with grapes sourced from Paraiso in the Santa Lucia Highlands, is silky smooth. This is a versatile dinner wine and also excels as a cocktail hour stand-alone.
2007 Stag's Leap Wine Cellars S.L.V. Estate Cabernet Sauvignon - Stag's Leap Wine Cellars is a benchmark producer of Napa Cabs, and their S.L.V. is a consistent performer. The 2007 delivers plenty of dark fruit and well-knit tannins and is a great wine to pour at a holiday dinner. It pairs particularly well with beef or lamb.
2005 Chateau Guiraud Sauternes- The 2005 is one of Guiraud's more memorable offerings, with a honeyed texture and enticing aromas of peach and apricot. As premier cru dessert wines go, it's a bit more budget-friendly than Chateau d'Yquem and will do wonders for Aunt Esther's fruitcake.
2007 Taylor's Late Bottled Vintage Port - This is a wine to sip by the fireplace. Taylor's is one of the top Port houses, and their LBV is an after-dinner drink to be savored while watching snowflakes fall outside the living room window. It's a great wine for special occasions and family get-togethers. And just in case Santa reads this, let me add that it also makes a pretty good gift.