Thursday, December 10, 2009

Holiday Wine Q & A

Terry post:

Some questions which I have fielded recently:

Q: Is it appropriate to combine wine and egg nog?

A: Good question. I tried this at home and the answer is a qualified “no”. I say it is qualified in that I limited my egg nog blending with a dry white wine. The wine blended easily into the nog, with the resultant beverage being slightly curdled. If I were to try this again, I would blend with a Madera or a Port Wine: I think they would blend more comfortably with the egg nog. I did a little internet research and could not find a posting which had a favorable result with this combination.

Q: What wine pairs best with roasted turkey?

A: My personal preference is a either a non-oaked Chardonnay or a Sauvignon Blanc. It really depends on how the bird is prepared. The Chardonnay would be my choice if the turkey is served with rich sauces or gravy (think fat or butter or cream based). The Sauvignon Blanc would be my choice if I were eating healthier and passing up on the fatty gravies and sauces. As a wild card, I continue to advocate Champagne and sparkling wine with virtually any entree.

Q: What wine works best with baked ham?

A: I have never been satisfied with any wine with which I paired baked ham but here the wines which I have tried in decending order of personal preference: Pinot Gris (Italian), Pinot Grigio (U.S.), Sparkling Syrah (Australian), dry Reisling, and Sparkling Wine. Ham is really challenging because the meat is typically salty and it is served with overly sweet preparations and side dishes. If it were my table and my wine-selecting "cred" were on the line, I'd punt and serve sparkling water!!

Q: How cold should I serve my white wine?

A: As a general rule it is my opinion that we drink our white wines too cold and our red wines too warm. Here is my suggestion for enjoying your wines just a little bit more. Refrigerate your white wine for an hour or more and then set it out 20 minutes at room temperature before you serve. Refrigerate your red wine for 20 minutes before serving. Simple.

Q: What is a good inexpensive sparkling wine for the holiday season?

A: I like Spanish cava's with my favorite value selection being Freixenet. The cava's feature sufficient fruitiness with a dry finish. At $8 to $12 per bottle they are a great value. I saw Freixenet at my local grocery for $8.99 last week.

~ Terry

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