One of the best of wine pairings for holiday dinnersContributed by Tim Brugger, Top 10 Guru

You’ve dusted off the china, the table settings are picture perfect and now it’s time to pour the wine; so, what’ll it be?

White for poultry, red for beef is a decent start, but there’s more to consider for matching the right wine with the right holiday dinner. Here are some suggestions for the perfect pair, from the main course to the last bite of that incredible pie.

To help you on your way to the ideal combinations, here are the best of wine pairings for holiday dinners.

Turkey and Sauvignon Blanc

Classic with crisp

1800BASKETS Wine basket

May as well begin with the obvious; turkey. Of course, turkey is often the entrée of choice come Thanksgiving, but a lot of holiday dinners include this wonderful bird; the leftovers alone are worth the price of admission. Other than overly sweet dessert wines, there are numerous choices for these white wine pairings. A light, crisp Sauvignon Blanc is a perfect selection.

And best of all, you get extra treats with that perfect wine…appetizers taken care of!

Goose and Pinot Noir

Game with bold

One of the best of wine pairings for holiday dinners

Foregoing the turkey this year in lieu of a game bird, like maybe goose or duck? If so, you’re able to test the boundaries a bit with just the right bottle of red. Stick with a lighter, slightly fruitier red as opposed to the big boys like Cabernet Sauvignon. You should look for just the right Pinot Noir as part of the Northwest trifecta, one of a few ideal wine pairings this Holiday season.

While you’re ordering, consider adding some fruit to your selection. It’s wonderful to have a basket of truly exceptional fruit on the table for those who want to offset some of the richness of the meal with a healthier option.

Pecan pie and Reisling

Dessert with chilled sweet wine


Now that the top button of the pants is undone, slyly of course, and you’re just about ready for dessert; what’s a self-respecting wine connoisseur to do? Wine pairings that worked with your Turkey or game bird aren’t appropriate to accompany a rich and oh-so-heavenly pecan pie from River Street Sweets (trust me, they’re better than homemade.)

Forget the dry wines — the contrast won’t do the wine or the pie justice. Instead, opt for a well chilled Riesling. The icy sweetness will work perfectly with dessert.

Smoked Turkey with Merlot

The best wine they’ve never tried before — and will love!

2007 Abacela Oregon Merlot

For the red wine lover you too can enjoy perfect wine pairings, even with smoked turkey. As with game birds, heavy reds simply won’t do. But, the right Merlot with a slightly fruity undercurrent is absolutely delicious. And since Merlot is one of the more popular vintages around, you’ll have several options from which to choose.

And to really make it special, bring what will surely become everyone’s new favorite wine. A Merlot is certain to be a crowd-pleaser, and will separate you from the “grabbed at the grocery store” crowd, too.

Spicy Fajitas with Zinfindel

Who says a holiday dinner can’t have kick

Fajitas from New Braunfels Smokehouse

Celebrate your holiday the South of the Border way with piles of sizzling beef fajitas from New Braunfels Smokehouse (they are from Texas, so they know fajitas!), mounds of grated cheddar cheese and a stack of freshly made, warm tortillas. Add a side of rice, some kicked up beans and…a California Zinfindel.

That’s what the food and wine experts at CNN recommend. Sure, you can serve margaritas. But why not save them for a summer picnic, and follow the pros’ advice instead? After all, it’s a holiday…and that deserves wine!