holiday appetizer and wine pairing guide
November 18, 2021

Easy Wine and Appetizer Pairings for Your Holiday Party

‘Tis the season to eat, drink, and be merry. As restrictions ease and more of us are getting vaccinated, you might be thinking about hosting a holiday party. But hosting an event, whether in-person or online, can be overwhelming. Add in the question of “how do I pair the wine and food?” and you might be left feeling stumped. After all, there’s nothing worse than preparing amazing dishes and buying a few bottles of your favorite wine, only to find that the two completely clash. As this year has brought us enough frustration, we wanted to make this holiday as stress-free as possible for our Kavinos (our fellow wine lovers). 

We’ve put together an easy guide to pairing wine and appetizers to make your next holiday party exactly what it should be: a time to bond and make memories with those closest to you over good food and good wine. 

Sparkling Wine

Is there anything more festive than a flute of sparkling wine? It’s the perfect welcoming drink for your guests that you can use to cheers to the new year. It’s also a great option to pair with a variety of foods, especially salty foods as the carbonation helps balance everything perfectly. Sweeter options can also help emphasize the sweetness in a dessert. While Champagne is the classic choice, we also love a good Prosecco or for something different, a Sparkling Rosé. Plus, these will be more budget-friendly, especially if you need to buy a few bottles. 

Somm Recommendations:

Pair Sparkling Wine With:

Light-Bodied White Wine

Light-bodied white wines are the go-to option for appetizers. They’re crisp and have a beautiful acidity that pairs well with lighter dishes as well as dishes that have a slightly rich element such as goat cheese. A Pinot Grigio is a no-fail option for a light-bodied white, but if you’re looking for something slightly off-beat and interesting we recommend trying an Albariño. 

red wine and pate wine pairing

Somm Recommendations:

Pair Light-Bodied White Wine With:

Full-Bodied White Wine

Whether you prefer less acidity, or you have dishes that are creamier, full-bodied white wine is a great choice. They have more body that can stand up to stronger flavors and will often be more fruity than heavily acidic. The classic example of a full-bodied white is a Chardonnay but you can also look to Germany who shine when it comes to white wines. 

Somm Recommendations:

Pair Full-Bodied White Wine With

Light-Bodied Red Wine

If you prefer red wines, always start with the lighter-bodied styles before moving on to those with more body to avoid overwhelming your palate. Whilst red wine is traditionally saved for the main course, we think it also pairs beautifully with some appetizers or snacks. The trick is to know what the variety is and pair accordingly. For instance, Pinot Noir typically has more fruity and earthy flavors and pairs well with lean meats. Syrah, on the other hand, can have spicier notes so will pair better with grilled meats that have the same level of spice. 

Somm Recommendations:

Pair Light-Bodied Red Wine With:

*enjoy both of these with your crackers or bread of choice

Full-Bodied Red Wine

Bold red wines, high in tannins with an enticing dark fruit flavor, these are the perfect wine if you need something to help cut through fatty foods. The tannin levels help refresh your palate after every sip. Whilst people like to pair dark chocolate and full-bodied red wines, this often actually increases the bitter taste. Instead, pair your bold reds with meats or rich cheeses. 

Somm Recommendations:
Pair Full-Bodied Red Wine With:

Remember the golden rule: drink what you like, and eat what you like. But if you’re looking to explore the world of wine, or want to try something new, try our wine pairing suggestions above for a unique holiday event. 

Read more of our wine pairing tips here

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