Selecting the Perfect Holiday Wine

Do not get overwhelmed with the idea of choosing the perfect wine for the holidays. There is not just one! There are so many options to explore – wine varietals, styles, regions, producers, etc. – that can elevate your meal and festivities.

Where do I start?

Food OR Wine? That is a very personal decision!


By purposely pairing wine with food, you are taking advantage of the positive effects of the combination. The goal is that the food and wine taste better together than they do alone. Sounds great, but there are some principles to understand when trying to accomplish this perfect pairing.

Food & wine pairings

Image Courtesy: Stephanie Robers

Recognizing food tastes

The key to mastering food and wine pairing is recognizing the food tastes (fat, salt, acid, spice, umami, bitter, sweet) in a particular dish or meal, and how that will pair with the primary taste in a particular wine (sweet, acid, bitter). It is like a science project. It takes a basic understanding of these concepts and then practice, patience, and more practice.


The alternative is to drink what you like with what the food you like. Simple as that.

There has been no meal ruined by pairing the wrong wine with it.

What does Stephanie do?

In my family, holiday meals are relatively the same year over year, and typically a contribution of multiple cooks. They are quite exhaustive with appetizers, sides, mains, and desserts, so there is no primary food taste across all of these dishes to work with. Therefore, I take a hybrid approach. I select a wine I love (or want to explore), but also a wine that will pair well with a few items on the menu.

Last year I brought a Linne Calodo Rosé of Grenache called Pale Flowers to Thanksgiving. It has a beautiful balance of ripe red fruit and acidity that satisfies both white and red wine drinkers. It is a gorgeous shade of salmon that just makes me happy. It pairs well with stuffing, roasted brussel sprouts, and turkey.

Suggestions that will not break the bank ( Approx Pricing)

Image Courtesy: Stephanie Roberts
Stephanie Roberts
Stephanie Roberts

Stephanie Roberts, WSET® Certified, is passionate about educating people about wine and all its complexities. She believes that through education comes enlightenment and approachability – elevating the wine and food experience. Stephanie shares her unique and tailored wine experiences.