As the holidays approach, a sure winner for any holiday function is sparkling wine. It enlists a festive mood, awakens the palate, and it just simply makes folks happy. We like Schramsberg Vineyards from California, who in our opinion make some of the finest sparkling wines in this country. (This is the only Sparkling wine served at the White House since the Nixon administration) If seeking a bargain bubbly, go for Prosecco from Italy or Cava from Spain. And if only French Champagne will suit, opt for Champagne Deutz, a lesser known house that delivers major quality for a very minor price.
Other wines to consider for holiday gatherings:
Alsatian or Dry Riesling for white - a winner for many, as it is approachable to a full array of foods and is a friend to most folks' tastes. We like a dry Riesling from Napa Valley, Fortunada.
Pinot Noir for red - Once again, we choose this wine for its' versatility with many types of foods, and many folks adore Pinot Noir. We are fans of a reasonably priced Oregon wine, Pacific Pinot.
Lest we forget our more hoppy and malty friends...with shorter days and longer nights come the limited release seasonal beers of winter. These fuller-bodied and malt forward brews often feature fruitier profiles or notes of spice- perfect for sipping on a chilly evening. Here are some great traditional offerings, as well as a few newcomers to the world holiday beer:
- Samuel Smith Winter Welcome (U.K. - English Strong Ale)
- Sierra Nevada Celebration (CA - American IPA)
- Two Roads Holiday Ale (CT - Biere de Garde)
- Heavy Seas Winter Storm (MD - Imperial Extra Special/Strong Bitter)
- Jailbreak White Russian (MD - Cream Ale)
- Flying Dog "K-9" (MD - Winter Warmer)