We have enjoyed the wine and beer pairing suggestions and tips from the Twitter team at Jordan Wine and Spirits on Lincoln and Jordan Road in Parker. We asked if they would share some more of those along with some great wines to serve in the under $20 a bottle category.
Christmas Wine Pairing Tips
Over the years, certain wine varietals such as Chardonnay, Riesling and Pinot Noir have been the staple for what consumers drank during their holiday feasts. As trends evolve and more varietals make their way into the U.S., customers have begun to reach out to alternative varietals and pair them with traditional holiday meals.
Without being a “Top Chef” or having “Emeril Lagasse” as a neighbor to tell us all the nuances of what we should taste in our wine or turkey… it’s easy to narrow down and follow these three rules:
- Pair with Opposites – Dry white wines have great acid structure to cut through fatty foods! Cheeses, cream sauces, salami and other fatty meats, etc… This adds to texture and unlocks the complexity of what you’re eating. The dryness you taste in white wine is perceived in the acidity.
- Like with Like – We generally apply this rule to sweet foods. If you’re having a rich cheesecake topped with blackberries, pair with dark fruited Black Moscat. Apple pie ala mode with the peachy, apricot flavor of Moscato D’Asti, or even Port Wines with chocolate covered nuts or berries. An example of this is sugar with sugar. Sugar will coat your palate and restrict your ability to taste. Sweet sugary wines during tastings should be consumed last.
- Avoid High Alcohol with Spices- High alcohol enhances spice, especially peppers (Think vodka and spicy Bloody Mary’s). A high alc wine following a spicy food will mask not only the flavors of the wine, but also the characteristics of the dish and may alter your taste for the remainder of the meal. In general, there are certain “Old World” wine styles that are low alcohol appropriate for food pairing.
Based on the fact that most foreign countries drink more wine per capita than we do in the United States and with Rule #3 in mind from above, pairing their wines with food comes natural.
Christmas Wine Suggestions for under $20 a bottle
Below is a list of wines we recommend at the shop for those who want to venture out and enhance their dinner. These wine varietals are foreign origin and structure driven, suitable for your Christmas turkey or ham.
This wine is fantastic! One of my personal favorites! Wente is California’s oldest family owned winery. Their wines are spot on price to value wise and all favorable with food. Having slightly less sugar and slightly higher acidity makes this great with either turkey or ham. The aromas are light and a little floral in the sense of white blossoms. Its light to medium mouthfeel has flavors of red apples on the mid palate with finishing notes of peaches.
Erste + Neue Pinot Grigio 2011 (Italy) -16.99
Seriously good, full bodied and full flavored Pinot Grigio from Northern Italy. It has a fresh and fine bouquet of pears and apples. Full bodied and well structured on the palate, it achieves perfect harmony between tartness and body. It will grip the side of your tongue and fall into a slight melon sweet finish. Swiss cheese, green apples while you’re prepping in the kitchen!
Victor Hugo Estate Voignier 2011 (Paso Robles, CA) – 19.99
Victor Hugo Roberts (Owner/Winemaker) came into our shop and I was immediately blown away by his attention to detail with each specific wine he made. Only producing about 250 barrels for all his labels, Victor Hugo wines stay true to the varietal while balancing flavor and elegance. It has aromas of honeysuckle and ripe apricot with hints of almond blossom. Viognier has a great tropical characteristic; that acidity and supplely sweet finish make it a great pairing with honey glazed ham.
J Lohr “Wildflower” Valdiguie 2010 (Monterey, CA) – 9.99
Valdiguie is the grape varietal and a cousin to the Gamay grape most commonly known in French Beaujolais. This is probably one of the coolest, most underrated, versatile wines in our store. It is suggested that this wine be served slightly chilled, which is great for the summer… but also at room temp which leaves its soft and approachable character to win over the hearts of everyone at dinner. It’s aromas are boysenberry, cherry, and cranberry with a plump, supple and low tannin mouthfeel. You’ll taste raspberries and tart cherries on the palate. This wine is a crowd pleaser!
Cline Ancient Vines Carignane 2010 (Sonoma, CA) – 14.99
I first tasted this wine in 2006 on my way out of wine country. I loved it so much; I took a bottle down for my Thanksgiving turkey that year. Revisiting this bottle year after year, it is very consistent and I’ve tasted little change from year to year. This bottle, along with the all the Cline family wines, are a safe choice for any meal. Carignane is a prolific grape variety and is usually blended into other wines for its color and structure. Cline was nice enough to present a very authentic style. Rich Aromas of plum, chocolate and spice in the way of clove, dark berry fruits make up the flavor and another one of my choices for ham!
Bastide de Beauvert, Cote du Rhone Red 2009 (Rhone, France) – 9.99
This is another versatile wine favored by all of our culinary folks that pass through the store. It’s 70% Grenache and 30% Syrah. This wine is smooth and medium bodied, with loads of blackberry and black cherry flavors finishing with subtle undertones of black table pepper. This has enough fruit to drink on its own, but it’s quality makes it food savvy.
These are just a few alternatives to the typical Pinot Noir, Chardonnay or Rieslings you’ll find at the family table this Christmas. We always try our best to connect our guests with the ideal bottle they’re looking for. Ray and I can help you with any wine questions you might have. Drop in or call us.
Justin Gilman - Store Manager/Buyer
Jordan Wine & Spirits
17021 Lincoln Ave, Parker, CO 80134
Jordan Wine & Spirits has a few ways to help you save a bit of money on wine
- 3 months – $75
- 6 months – $150
- 1 year – $300
- 3 months – $120
- 6 months – $240
- 1 year – $480