Drink 7 Deliciously Cozy Wines for This Holiday Season
By Ella Raymont
Sommelier and Wine Director, Bishop’s Lodge
Break out the decor, it’s the holiday season! I’m not sure where the past year has flown, but I’m certainly glad to be getting into the festive spirit. This season, I’m sharing some of my favorite wines at Skyfire to get your holidays off to a great start. Many are traditional pairings you would expect with any turkey or ham dinner (or cauliflower steak, if you’re like me!) and a few are incredible lesser-known wines that bring the adventure straight to your table.
- Lanson Green Label Champagne Brut, Verneuil, FR– I have to start with Champagne, since the holidays are about celebration after all! Perfect for all stages of the meal (before, during, after), Lanson is a lighter style Champagne that has the nuance and elegance of classic Champagne without the fuss. Established in the late 1700s, Lanson is one of Champagne’s oldest houses with an incredible reputation for excellence. Champagne pairs with everything, and Lanson’s Green Label Champagne Brut is no exception. It is a synergistic union of fruitiness, minerality and refreshment! -Organic/Biodynamic/Vegan
- Domaine Schlumberger – Alsace, FR – I love Riesling. It’s one of the great chameleons of the wine world. Alsace produces Riesling that just has a kiss of sweetness and thirst-quenching acidity that keeps the richer dishes (green chile mac and cheese, green bean casserole) from getting too overwhelming. Also, the ripe citrus, delightful florals, and hint of ginger spice is just a symphony on its own. Slightly sweet wine isn’t just for dessert anymore. -Organic/Sustainable/Partially Biodynamic
- Vignobles Bulliat – Moulin-à-Vent, Beaujolais, FR – It’s full Beaujolais season, and this is the CLASSIC pairing for the holidays. Made from delicious Gamay grapes in the Moulin-à-Vent region of Beaujolais, this wine has incredible hints of blackberry, cinnamon, and candied cherry, all with a silky finish that will keep your meal easy like Sunday morning. This is not your father’s Beaujolais Nouveau. Moulin-à-Vent is the King of Beaujolais. -Organic/Vegan
- J.K. Carriere Antoinette Pinot Noir – Willamette Valley, OR – It’s no secret that some of the best Pinot Noir made in America comes from Oregon. The J.K. Carriere is an earthy, full-bodied Pinot that would make the perfect centerpiece for your meal. If you are cooking with fire (grilling, sautéing) this is the wine for you. This wine is bursting with hints of black cherry, forest floor, smoke, and cloves. It’s incredibly delicious with grilled vegetables and has the weight to stand up to your honey-smoked ham. This wine tops the charts for my 2021 picks! -Organic/Vegan
- Bichi Tinto – El Pancho – Valle de Guadalupe, MX – Here comes an incredibly fun alternative to your traditional lighter reds. El Pancho is made from Listán Prieto, which just so happens to be the first grapevine planted in New Mexico. It’s teeming with astonishing acidity and dried cherries, not unlike Sangiovese. This is an alternative pairing for turkey that I just adore. Drink more wine from Mexico; you won’t be disappointed. –Organic/Biodynamic/Vegan
- Tenuta della Terre Nere – Calderara Sottana – Etna Rosso, Sicily, IT – How about some volcanic wine to heat things up at your holiday party?! There is nothing more epic and adventurous than wine that is grown on the side of an active volcano in Sicily. This delicious blend of Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Capuccio has everything a bold drinker could want, from its powerful structure to its ripe, full-bodied red fruit flavor, hints of leather and earth, and just a sprinkling of sweet, seductive baking spices. This is an alternative for your Cab and Syrah drinkers out there, and is guaranteed to be an explosive hit. -Organic/Sustainable/Vegan
- Chateau Haut-Mayne – Sauternes, FR – Sauternes, for me is the perfect way to start or finish a meal. This unctuously decadent dessert wine is equal parts floral, sweet, acidic, and citrusy. Ports, Madeiras, and heavier Sherries can make the end of a meal feel like work to get through. But Sauternes has such a refreshingly delicious flavor profile that it keeps you coming back for more and more… and more. Pair Sauternes with cheesecake, fruit tarts, charcuterie, apple or pecan pies and you have an epicurean match made in heaven…. Oops, sorry, my mouth started watering there…. -Sustainable
No matter what you celebrate this winter season, there’s something beautiful to pair with it. Whether it’s traditional or maybe something a little more esoteric, I’m raising my glass to your continued health and happiness! Be safe, be kind, and be well!
Salud! Lechyd da! Prost! Slainte! Skål! Kampai! Santé! Geonbae! Gesondheid! Yamas! And Cheers!