Holiday Texas Wine Pairing Guide
Tis the season to eat, drink and be merry! With so many opportunities to create a holiday Texas wine pairing, from family meals to New Year’s celebrations, we’ve put together this holiday food and Texas wine pairing guide for you.
How to Pair Your Favorite Texas Wines
Before we jump in with our suggestions on how to pair your favorite wines with your favorite foods, we want to share a few general wine pairing guidelines we use.
The first is to consider the predominant flavors and textures of the wine you want to serve or vice versa the food you plan to cook. The four dominating characteristics in wine that will impact how it tastes when paired with food are key to picking the perfect bottle for your meal.
- Acid is the zip, zing, zest in a wine. More prominent in white wines, which are typically picked earlier than red wines, therefore with lower sugar contents, acid is the perfect antidote for a rich food or the ideal complement to a food with a prominent acid component. Pair zesty wines with cheeses, salads, and oysters.
- Sugar is present in all wines and isn’t always detected as sweet, but wines with a sweet flavor profile are terrific with a wide variety of dishes, especially those with fruit as an ingredient. Pour a sweet wine with a pork roast served with apple sauce or a butternut squash soup.
- Body in a wine can be a great equalizer for a robust or meaty dish. Think of beef or a rich pasta dish when you pull out a big Cabernet or Sangiovese.
- Tannins are less something to match than to manage. Wines with a lot of tannin should be served with foods that are well balanced and never sweet. A fruity Merlot may seem like the perfect match for a chocolate dessert, but the sugar in the dessert can emphasize the tannins in the wine, making it taste bitter and astringent.
While it’s helpful to think about these wine characteristics as a starting point, don’t dwell on them because a great menu will be a mélange of many flavors and textures. And it really will all come down to trial and error to develop your own personal favorite combinations.
Holiday Food & Texas Wine Pairing
With so many holiday dishes and wines to choose from, we use a cheat sheet on how to pair wine with food to get the most delicious results. Here are our favorite holiday matches:
- Smoked Salmon. Rosé is a sure bet with smoked salmon whether it’s served as a topping on a slice of crostini or served on its own.
- Cheese Plate. For creamy cheeses, a luscious white wine like Reddy Vineyards Marsanne is a sure bet to match a double or triple cream brie. For aged cheeses, such as Gouda or Parmesan, red wines Sangiovese or Merlot will be a sturdy compliment.
- Latkes. Fried potatoes with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of salt are the friendliest of dishes to pair with wine, but we especially love them with Sauvignon Blanc.
- Oysters Rockefeller. Chenin Blanc is a traditional wine served with oysters. The minerality and acidity complement the briny flavor of the oyster and cuts through the savory topping.
- Charcuterie. Cured meats tend to have a salty taste that makes them easy to match with all kinds of wines, from Viognier to Dolcetto.
- Roast Duck. Riesling or Cinsault both offer a higher acidity that will complement the richness of the duck and are compatible with lots of side dishes.
- Prime Rib with Horseradish Cream. We’re a traditionalist and believe that beef should be served with red wine. With the bite of horseradish and the richness of Yorkshire pudding or mashed potatoes, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or perhaps our Reddy Vineyards The Dyer Blend will be the best pairings.
- Pork Crown Roast. Pork, when roasted, can develop a subtle sweetness that calls for a fruity wine. If there’s actual fruit involved in the dish, we recommend a Muscat Canelli, otherwise Pinot Noir is always a safe partner for pork.
- Smoked Country Ham. Meat with a smoky flavor is an ideal match for Reddy Vineyards TNT Blend, made primarily with Tempranillo, a Spanish grape made to naturally pair with ham and dishes made with smoked meats.
- Lasagne. Sangiovese or our Reddy Vineyards Field Blend is a perfect choice for lasagna made with a meat or mushroom sauce.
- Cioppino. A seafood stew with tomato is easy to pair with a range of wines, from a rich Roussane to a fruity red, like Dolcetto.
- Tamales. The savory cornmeal and deeply flavored fillings of tamales need a wine that can play in the background without getting lost, a wine like a Rosé that can be both fruity and zesty.
- Brisket. Braised for a long time, brisket will develop layers of flavors that taste best with a robust red wine, such as Reddy Vineyards The Dyer Red Blend.
Perfect Pairings for Your Holiday Table
With all these suggestions, you won’t be at a loss for finding the perfect pairings for your holiday table. And of course, the most important rule for pairing wine with food is to drink and eat what you love and to do so with the company you love. But if you still need a little something to make your food and wine pair perfectly, try this trick that wine country chefs use: Season your dish with a little lemon juice and salt before serving. It’s magic, just like the holidays.