Holiday Wines to Help Your Party Sparkle
The holidays are a wonderful time to renew ties with family and friends. This year may be particularly important to strengthen these bonds, as the economy weighs heavily on most of us. We offer ideas on casual entertaining with items that you can keep on hand in your pantry and refrigerator. Karen provides two quick and easy appetizer recipes that will make your guests feel special. Bill suggests two wines that work well with these and most other holiday dishes.
The first suggested holiday wine is sparkling, known as champagne if the bubbly is from the Champagne region of France or “sparklers” if it is made outside the Champagne region. Italian Proseccos, Spanish Cavas and American sparklers are all quality options that are more reasonably priced. Sparklers are the quintessential beverage when people come together to celebrate or share a special moment. This time of year is when approximately 80% of all champagne/sparklers are consumed.
The second wine is Riesling. Rieslings are to Germany what Champagne is to France. German Rieslings range from bone dry to super sweet. German Riesling is divided into 6 different designations, based on sweetness levels. Germany harvests their Riesling grapes at different times in the Fall and Winter. The longer the grapes are left on the vine, the more concentrated the sugars become. Kabinett is the driest wine of these six designations and Eiswein is typically the sweetest. Other regions producing quality Rieslings include the Wachau Region of Austria, the Alsace Region of France and the Pacific Northwestern Region of the United States.
These two wines have several attributes in common. Both are white wines (easier on your carpets when entertaining), are grown in cooler climates and both offer good acidity levels. Good acidity is important as it cleanses the palate, pairs well with many dishes and has you salivating for the next bite of food. Rieslings have an added bonus for the holidays, as they tend to have low alcohol levels.
At a recent gathering with “foodie friends,” we brought both a Riesling and Prosecco to try with th