I love Autumn (Fall colors & Football!), but I hate at least three things whose approaches are heralded by the falling leaves:
- Raking those falling leaves
- Thanksgiving / Holiday food & wine pairings
- The Dallas Cowboys
Since I find numbers one and three above so unpalatable, let’s talk about number two.
Holiday wine pairings are one of those things that prove immensely divisive among wine geeks. On the one hand, when you enjoy a subject passionately you want to help people when they ask you about it. On the other hand, the topic is not only a culinary landmine (see “bottom lines” below), but it’s treatment is boringly repetitive year-after-year (though some year-on-year takes are done well); the attempts to make it interesting can backfire so badly that the authors attempts at making the subject creative end up looking more like obligatory acts of desperation.
The bottom lines with holiday wine pairings are a) your preference trumps any recommendations and so-called rules, and b) no one wine, variety, or style will match up perfectly with all of the tasty but crazy epicurean sh*t that will appear on your tables during the holiday season, because there’s simple too much variety.
Still, many folks just want picks to minimize their food-pairing risk during these adventures culinary months, an approach which I can respect. So I’m gonna let you all in on a little secret for maximizing your chances of holiday wine-and-food pairing success…
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Just about every year around St. Valentine’s Day, I remind people that wine knowledge makes you appear sexier.
In the past, I’ve cited three (mostly) scientific sources to bolster that viewpoint:
According to a survey jointly sponsored by the Australian Wine Council and on-line dating service Match.com, having a healthy knowledge of the world’s most romantic beverage makes you more attractive, with those people preferring Italian wines being viewed as particularly “sexy” and “stylish.”
Wine X Magazine (as reported by autumnilia) backs up the “wine = sexier” conclusion in an interview with sexpert Dr. Ruth, who tells us that wine is an essential element of foreplay (she prefers Beaujolais Nouveau, gewurztraminer, and CA white, so those may be some of the sexiest wine choices, seeing as how she’s a sexpert and whatnot- just sayin’).
If you’re totally desperate on this most Hallmark of holidays, Yahoo! Answers has a thread about what wine choices make a drinking partner appear the most attractive. Chianti and Sake got the nods there.
Considering, however, that 1WineDude.com readers are smarter than the average bears and don’t even flinch in the face of heady scientific inquiry and statistical analysis, I offer empirical evidence in support of the above claim, from my own experience.
How else can you explain how a short, goofy-looking nerd like me scored this babe? Inset is a picture of Mrs. Dudette taken within the last few months (which is after having born a child – sure, that baby was on the small side, but still…). She’s the gears in the Roberts family machine, the sunshine on my grapes, the `82 for my Lafite. And she’s no dummy so something had to convince her that I was worth putting up with.
The only logical explanation is that my wine smarties made me appear sexier to her (being in a rock band probably didn’t hurt either – hey, just look at any pictures of me, I needed all the help I could get!).
Cheers – and may you be lucky in wine and love!
(image: courtesy of Celeste Guliano Photography)
I mean, who doesn’t feel like this at least once during the rush of the holiday season, right?
Wishing you and yours a safe, jolly, and wine-filled holiday!
So much turkey talk when it comes to wine this time of year, and yet so little talk of the turkey.
What I mean is, for all of the holiday wine pairing help that we can find this time of year, very little of it actually centers around The Bird. The culinary hub & spoke in the wheel of our holiday meals, so-to-speak.
Which is understandable, because the turkey, while usually sitting at the center of our holiday table and taking up the majority of our cooking prep. time, is actually the side show when it comes to most Thanksgiving meals.
The real stars of the act, in wine pairing terms, are the varied side dishes that run the gamut of tastes from savory to sweet, along with the varying taste preferences of the dinner guests. In other words, when it comes to holiday meals you should drink whatever wine you like, because the situation (when it comes to finding an all-purpose wine pairing, that is) is pretty much hopeless (it may also be hopeless because of the company, but that’s your problem).
But… what is a culinary adventurer to do when the slow-roasted bird is actually the focus of a meal? I’m talking about a chicken or turkey spending almost all day slow-roasting to perfection, to be accompanied not by show-stealing sweet yams but by less robust side-item fare meant to place the dining spotlight on the bird itself.
What do we pair with that?
The answer (at least, my answer) might surprise you…
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