Times Ten Cellar‘s Kert Platner shares tips for picking wines for this holiday season, perfect for intimate gatherings or a gift.

Pairing with Food

If you’re making traditional dishes, there are some fairly approachable wine styles that will pair well with them. Turkey, dressing and mashed potatoes with a classic chardonnay is really a great way to go. We got a little carried away with too much oak. Now we’re turning back toward more of the French style and not as much oak, a more crisp and clean style.

Rosés are universally food-friendly, from spicy food to barbecue. Reasonably priced and served chilled, you want a fresher vintage like 2019 or 2020. You just can’t go wrong with rosé, especially if it’s something spicy. 

Lighter-bodied reds, like a grenache, syrah and mourvèdre blend, pair well with a more diverse menu. Roast beef, tenderloin or beef Wellington need to be paired with a fuller-bodied wine like cabernet sauvignon and cabernet Franc. 

Save the sweet wines for dessert. Keep your sparkling dry or fruity. Drop a raspberry or strawberry or something colorful to keep it fun.

Suggestions

A SAFE BET
Cabernet sauvignon or a cabernet franc. Or sparkling rosé.

WHEN YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT’S FOR DINNER
Rosé

SOMETHING DIFFERENT
Sauvignon blanc 

MUST TRIES
2017 GSM blend, El Dorado County
2020 Dry rosé, Russian River Valley
2019 Chardonnay, California


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