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Stories from the valley

What Wine to bring for the Holidays? I can help!

Contributed by Tim Johnson

One of the worst things to hear during the holidays is, “Can you bring the wine?” It immediately brings a dew of perspiration across your brow, as you desperately try to calculate how not to mess this up!

red wine glasses against colorful unfocused lights background, festive and fun concept

When doing the holiday wine calculus, there’s a lot to consider: what’s the main course, how many people will there be, what wine will really knock their socks off and where in the world am I going to find this wine? Fortunately, there are some pretty simple guidelines. Here they are:

Matching food

My friends at Boeger Winery, a great local winery in in Placerville, offer the following for the perfect wine with any holiday meal:

  • Ham- Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Barbera
  • Turkey – Chardonnay, Barbera
  • Rack of Lamb – Cabernet, Cabernet Franc, Meritage
  • Goose- Dry Riesling, Pinot Gris, Merlot, Pinot Noir

And of course, Barbera goes with everything and should be steadily consumed during all food preparation, serving and clean up.

The only thing I would add is sneak in a Pinot Noir with the lamb. If you are bringing wine for the appetizers, stick with the Barbera. It’s fantastic!

How much wine to bring

A bottle of wine will pour five glasses. I usually knock it down to four, since my pours tend to be larger. Consider two glasses per person for the meal.

Wine Holiday -2

Where to find this great wine

It’s hard to beat California Wines. It’s even harder to beat local wines from the Sierra Foothills!

The great news is that Nugget, Safeway, Raley’s and Bel Air all have a section of local wines. Head there first. We have great Barbera, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Meritage, Dry Riesling and some very good Chardonnay in the Sierra Foothills.