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Ted Henry, Winemaker
November 19, 2018 | Ted Henry, Winemaker

Holiday Wine Pairings Tips from Clos Du Val Winemaker

In our family we have already started the pre-Thanksgiving parties and are busy planning the next couple of months of holiday get-togethers and dinners. It seems every year I get asked what wine should be brought to serve with turkey, prime rib or ham, etc. I have never put too much weight in the perfect pairing, they do exist but often it's best to focus on what you like. If you only like Chardonnay you are perfectly correct in pairing it with duck breast, or whatever may be on your holiday table. Who is to say you are wrong? 

clos du val dinner table

Photo by David Dines 

Wine is subjective and that's a part of its beauty. Your wine experience should be fun and enjoyable. Drink what you like, not what you think you should be drinking. 

However, generally speaking, most of the time it is safe to pair lighter dishes with lighter wines. In adition, richer foods hold up well to the bolder more tannic wines. It’s definitely fun to experiment with like flavors. One example is butter poached scallops with Gran Val Chardonnay.  The flavors really complement each other. Adding a little lemon juice to the dish is the key, it adds the acid as well as a common flavor found in the wine. 

Or more traditionally, Pinot Noir is a great pairing with turkey. May I suggest our Gran Val Pinot Noir from our Carneros vineyards. Light in body, high acid and bright red fruit with slight herbacious characteristcs make this the perfect pairing to all the Thanksgiving fixins. But again, if that's not your favorite varietal, drink what you want! Most importantly, have fun!


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