Through the years I’ve helped chefs around the world create magical food and wine pairing menus, and am constantly asked by friends and associates, “Pat—what wine would go best with…?” Well, I’m a firm believer that ANY wine with food is better than NO wine with food. But, if the pairing is to be GREAT instead of just good, then December’s important guideline to follow is: Whenever possible, match the weight/body of the wine with the weight/body of the food.
As fall gives way to winter and December’s colder temperatures, our holiday event menus become richer in body and deeper in flavor. If sticking to fowl, turkey often gives way to its more savory cousins duck or goose. Or we switch meats entirely and serve ham (lighter-bodied), or lamb (medium-bodied), or roast prime rib of beef (full-bodied)! And, non-meat diners turn to fuller-bodied roasted root vegetable and baked squash dishes, and richer casseroles with deeply flavored sauces. Yum! And, even in these COVID-influenced days, New Year’s Eve is coming, and we are still finding things in our lives to celebrate by serving bubbly wines. So how do we apply this month’s guideline? When serving lighter-bodied appetizers, then offer lighter-bodied wines. A medium or full-bodied main course? Then match that weight with a medium or full-bodied wine. I’ll be adding some suggestions for pairings here in the next few days so come back and check out what’s on our suggested wines list!
Cheers to you and yours!
Pat Dodd, The Wine Dodd