Ask the Patch Pro: All About Holiday Wine Selections

Need the advice on a perfect pairing? Need a good gift idea? Ask our pros all your vino questions in the comments section below.

The holiday season is a time of celebration, good food and, of course, an adult beverage here or there.

Whether you're entertaining, attending a holiday party or need to pick up an easy gift, a good bottle of wine goes a long way. But, with so many options, which brand, flavor or color do you choose? What is a tasty dessert wine? What sets off the main course perfect? Is there an inexpensive bottle that's perfect to bring to a gathering?

Here to help answer all your holiday wine questions are three "Patch Pros"—local industry workers, managers and wine buffs:

Add your question in the comments section below and our experts will get back to you with their suggestions.

Kris Janisch November 20, 2012 at 07:21 PM
OK, let's start with the obvious. What kind of wine do you pair with turduken?
Bill Fillmore November 20, 2012 at 08:07 PM
Turducken has been associated with cajun food, Louisiana style. Most of the cajun recipes call for rather bitter ales, however we're talking about wine today. I would pair up with a Rhone style wine, something with a bit of Syrah flavor. Or, maybe even a Cabernet/Syrah blend. Good?
Kris Janisch November 20, 2012 at 08:21 PM
Nice! Thanks Bill!
Bill Fillmore November 20, 2012 at 08:24 PM
If you would prefer white wine to red, a Gewurtztraminer would also do nicely with poultry that's spiced. The apple flavor is also very nice.
brenda visnovec November 20, 2012 at 08:27 PM
I personally enjoy reds, but a white wine with my turkey such as a Riesling or Pinot Grigio is just refreshing to me with a heavier turkey dinner. However, with that said, adding the duck into the mix, I would to recommend a nice Pinot Noir!
James Warden (Editor) November 20, 2012 at 09:24 PM
I'm typically a beer drinker, but I love hearty reds. My favorite right now is Malbec. Would you be able to recommend any varietals with a bit of pucker to them that haven't got the recognition they deserve?
Drunken Scottsman November 20, 2012 at 09:46 PM
Why limit this just to Wine.... What about beer pairings for Thursday?
Steve Grausam November 20, 2012 at 09:54 PM
I really like the Catena Malbec. It has rich fruit flavors and tannins that are mid-range. If your looking for a red to pucker you up try the InkBerry from Australia. This wine is a blend Cabernet & Shiraz and is big and bold. Not too spendy either.
Steve Grausam November 20, 2012 at 10:00 PM
If I were serving beer with turkey I would serve Fulton Blonde or beers similar to that. I tend to like beers that are less hoppy. A Blonde or Wheat beer will not overpower your turkey like some heavy hoped beer will.
brenda visnovec November 20, 2012 at 10:03 PM
I love the intensity and richness of a good Petite Sirah. Another red wine I believe that is often overlooked are the richer Zinfandels, specifically those from the Dry Creek Appelation where they pick up black pepper flavors.
brenda visnovec November 20, 2012 at 10:06 PM
I would agree whole heartedly with Mr. Grausam on this one! A nice Saison would also work!
Steve Grausam November 20, 2012 at 10:18 PM
I agree with Ms. Visnovec if your looking for fuller flavor wines. If your looking to serve a group and you want a red wine I have had great luck and response from customers recommending Cline Cashmere. This wine is a blend of Mouurvedre, Syrah and Grenache. so it is more of a Rhone style wine made in Sonoma. A good all around red perfect for turkey day.
Steve Grausam November 20, 2012 at 10:21 PM
I think your better off with beer or wine. The alcohol kills your taste buds faster than beer or wine and the whole purpose is to enjoy the meal and the beverages being served.
Drunken Scottsman November 20, 2012 at 10:37 PM
Steve, you obviously have never been with my family before...
brenda visnovec November 20, 2012 at 10:41 PM
Well if you are going with mixed coctails, I would keep it light, low alcohol and something that would compliment the meal. Such as a vodka or coconut rum with cranberry juice!
Bill Fillmore November 21, 2012 at 01:53 AM
Mixed drinks, highly flavored and high in alcohol offend food, especially poultry. Stick to the suggestions from Brenda, Steve and myself. We are in the beverage business and also peruse suggestions from industry professionals who specialize in food and wine. Mixed drinks and flavored craft beers are great before and after the meal. If you want to please your guests with a memorable meal, serve fruity and light wines that will cover all their palates. You'll be safe with Pinot Grigio, Rieslings, Pinot Noir, Syrah and Malbecs.
Cheryl Theisen November 21, 2012 at 01:16 PM
What do you think of Apothic White paired with Turkey with the normal sides of mashed potatos, etc.? I think it would be a perfect compliment and I'm looking forward to trying it...unless you have reservations?
Steve Grausam November 21, 2012 at 01:27 PM
If your looking for that wine that is not to sweet and not to dry then Apothic will work just fine. If you like sweeter, then a Riesling would be a better choice. If you like a dryer white I would recommend a California Sauvignon Blanc. Sterling Napa Sauv. or Kenwood Sauv. would be a couple of good choices.--Enjoy!
Bill Fillmore November 21, 2012 at 01:55 PM
Apothic White has quickly become popular with folks that prefer less dry white wines. Some other interesting and tasty white blends that you may want to try in the future are Sokol Blosser's "Evolution" and Caymus "Conundrum". Both are good quality examples of precision blending.
Paul Whackernutz November 21, 2012 at 03:03 PM
Try an Alsatian Riesling. It's somewhere in between a traditional Riesling and a Sauv Blanc (the California ones, anyway).
brenda visnovec November 21, 2012 at 03:29 PM
Paul made a great point as Australian Riesling's tend to be a bit drier than American. There are also a couple of new Rieslings in the market namely the Bridgeview Blue Moon Sparkling and the Frisk Prickly Riesling that have a light effervescence to them.


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