Home for the Holidays: Festive Pairing Possibilities

Entire books — really thick ones — have been written about food and wine pairing. One would think that it’s a scientific endeavor, rather than the simple pursuit of pleasure.

While there’s no question that drinking precisely the right wine with precisely the right dish can make for a memorable meal, it’s also true that one can over-think pairings to the point that no match could ever measure up.

A few years ago, the public relations firm Calhoun & Company put together a “Holiday Wine & Food Pairing Guide,” spotlighting bottlings from its winery client list. It made for an excellent shopping guide, and removed a great deal of pressure from the shoulders of holiday dinner hosts.

Earlier this year, Douglass Miller of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., shared a list of cookie-and-drink pairings, including two that included wine.

We’ve merged those two very helpful lists, and present the following suggested pairings as exactly that — suggestions. Science aside, these are simply ideas to help get your creative juices flowing as you begin to plan your special holiday meals…

• New England Lobster Bisque with a creamy Chardonnay.

• Black Mission Fig and Camembert Crostini with Rosé.

• Roasted Goose and Apple Currant Stuffing with Pinot Noir.

• Sweet Italian Sausage and Mushroom Risotto with Merlot.

• Rustic Potato Gnocchi and Marinara Sauce with Sangiovese or Zinfandel.

• Beef Rib Roast and Traditional Yorkshire Pudding with Cabernet Sauvignon.

• Lace Cookies with Late Harvest Riesling.

• Sugar Cookies with Demi-Sec Champagne.

Need more pairing ideas? Take a keystroke stroll through our “Food and Wine Pairings” archives. There, you’ll find topics ranging from ethnic cuisine to season-specific suggestions, and from sweet dessert ideas to holiday fare.

Meanwhile, don’t be afraid to try food-and-wine pairings that you’ve never heard of before. Many “trends” of today are little more than broken rules of yesteryear. The best-selling book, “Red Wine With Fish,” emerged from a willingness to try new things.

Who knows? This holiday season, perhaps you’ll discover the next hot culinary trend.

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Tomorrow: How to be the most interesting person at the holiday party.

Posted in Food and Wine Pairings/Recipes
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