Vinous Advice for Holiday Leftovers… and Santa

The one thing most holiday meals have in common, regardless of the main course, is the depth and breadth of the side dishes.

It’s as close as we get to having the smorgasbord experience in our homes.With so much food, there is one thing that’s inevitable about holiday meals—actually, several “one things”: leftovers.

Often, when ultimately consumed, those leftovers have taken very different forms. They may have become hashes, pot pies, soups, stews or sandwiches—among other culinary forms. And if you’re “disposing” of multiple leftovers in a single setting, you have the same wine pairing challenge that you faced when the food was in its original form.

If you’re looking for a wine to serve with those leftovers, it’s best to stick to the basics. That means avoiding “big” wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon, and opting for varieties and blends that won’t compete with the food for attention.

“Lighter” is better, and that holds true whether the wine is white or red. In such situations, Sauvignon Blanc becomes the “go-to” white over Chardonnay, while Pinot Noir is a much more sublime choice than either Cabernet or Merlot.

Multi-flavor, multi-texture leftovers also make sparkling wine—whether it’s Champagne from France, Prosecco from Italy, Cava from Spain or any number of bubbly styles from the United States—an outstanding, if somewhat unexpected, option.

The “drink what you like” philosophy could certainly apply, but if you take a little care in narrowing down the options, those leftovers can be just as enjoyable as the various dishes were the first time around.

And finally, just in case you were wondering what kind of beverage to leave out for Santa tonight…he still prefers warm milk. Remember, he’ll be driving.

Posted in Food and Wine Pairings/Recipes
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