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Category Archives: Wine

best sparkling wines

The Best Sparkling Wines to Ring in the New Year

This blog was originally published on December 20, 2016, and has been updated to reflect current inventory.

Selecting the best sparkling wine for your New Year’s Eve party can be a big task. There are hundreds of choices on the market so it’s important to know what you’re looking for. Do you want to use it as a mixer for cocktails? Are you saving it for a toast at midnight? Start off the new year right by sipping on one of our favorite sparkling wines.

Mumm Napa Cuvee M

Slightly sweet and quite elegant, Mumm Napa Cuvee M puts ripe fruit flavors on display: orange blossom, lemon, and pear all make themselves known. You can use it for champagne cocktails, as well as a pair for both sweet and spicy food, making it a versatile choice. And at such an affordable price, this wine is tough to beat. Make the countdown to the new year extra special by sipping on this fruity wine.

mumm napa cuvee m

Martini & Rossi Asti

Smooth, fresh, and sweet, this sparkling wine is full of flavor. It is a blend of Moscato grapes and fruits such as apples, melons, peaches, and grapefruits. While it’s great on its own, feel free to use it as a bubbly mixer in cocktails if you’re feeling adventurous. Sometimes it’s good to shake things up at a party.

Baron de Rothschild Cuvee

Pale golden highlights combine with fine bubbles to create this unforgettable champagne. With aromas of pear, almonds, hazelnuts, and white flowers, the Baron de Rothschild cuvee is made up of Chardonnay, pinot noir, and pinot meunier. This rich wine pairs well with shellfish, crab, and lobster, so seafood appetizers are sure to be a hit with it.

baron de rothschild champagne

Argyle 2014 Vintage Brut

This sparkling wine is Pinot Noir-dominant, making it rich and delicious. You’ll also taste a bit of chardonnay and pinot meunier, giving it a balanced taste. Looking to end the year on a relaxing note while having a drink in your hand? Bring a bottle of this to your get-together and everyone will be sipping it into the new year.

2014 argyle vintage brut

Korbel

A popular champagne for making a toast, the dry and acidic flavors of Korbel are perfect for your celebration. Pair it with cheese, chicken, or even sushi for a meal you’ll remember well past January. If you’re wondering what to bring to a New Year’s Eve party, you can’t go wrong with Korbel.

Mionetto Prosecco Brut

For the dry wine lover, this fresh and light sparkling wine has intense fruit flavors; you’ll notice a bit of golden apple, too. This wine certainly won’t break the bank and would be a great addition to any dinner party. Pop the cork to sip this as a palate cleanser before appetizers, but make sure to save some for when the clock strikes midnight!

mionetto prosecco

The best sparkling wine for your holiday party will be at your fingertips (or taste buds) when you visit Wachusett Wine & Spirits. Our inventory is always expanding and we would be happy to help you find the right wine for your next party. Stop by and let us help you choose the best bottle! Or, if you’re looking for something special, feel free to put in a special request before the clock strikes midnight on 2017!

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holiday wines

Our Favorite Holiday Wines

This blog was originally published on November 30, 2016, and has been updated to reflect inventory changes.

With so many end-of-year events to attend, most people are looking for a great bottle of wine to pick up and bring with them to their next party. There is an abundance of choices so you’ll want to make sure you pick up the right one. Impress your friends, family, and co-workers with a tasty wine that will be a great addition to any party this holiday season.

Merlot

Play it safe by pairing your Merlot with almost any classic holiday meal. Because most merlots are medium bodied, they also tend to pair well with dishes that are richly sauced, including fish dishes, steak, and casseroles.

For a classic, try  Provenance Merlot. With black cherry, wild plum, and blackberry, this is a soft and rich wine. It has a hint of dark chocolate and is food-friendly, making it a great, affordable wine when you’ve spent too much money on presents.

Pinot Noir

The grapes used for Pinot Noir are difficult to grow, making this wine range in flavor from fruity to floral. Despite their varied flavor, pinot noirs are versatile and can pair with a wide variety of ethnic dishes and classic cuisines. Pinot noir pairs particularly well with duck, fowl, and mushrooms. Make sure to pour yourself a glass if there’s chocolate for dessert.

Layer Cake Pinot Noir is delicious with notes of raspberry, pomegranate, and cranberry. After being aged in French oak, as well as their Cherry Pie barrels, the result is a delicious wine that is sure to be a crowdpleaser.

layer cake pinot noir

Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon is a hugely popular wine, so it’s an excellent go-to if you’re unsure what type of wine to pick up for a party. Because of its acidity, cabernet sauvignon can be overwhelming by itself. Pair it with a hearty meal, like beef, braised dishes, risotto, or short ribs, and you can’t go wrong.

Raymond 40th Anniversary Cabernet Sauvignon is a beautiful blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Malbec, and Petite Sirah. You can expect blackberry and dark chocolate on the palate.

Zinfandel

Is ham or lamb on the menu this holiday season? How about a hearty meal in general? Pair it with Zinfandel. With a bold taste, the primary flavors are usually jam, blueberry, black pepper, and licorice. Expect spice to follow with a tobacco-like smoky finish.

For an interesting blend of Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, and Charbono, try The Prisoner. With aromas of Bing cherry, dark chocolate, clove, and fig, this wine is an excellent choice for winter months.

Riesling

Riesling is a white wine that has become hugely popular in recent years. It’s sweet, low in alcohol, and easy to drink. It’s perfect for sipping by itself but can also pair it with sweet and savory meals, or even cheese. Because it’s become such a fan-favorite, don’t be surprised to see it at your next holiday party if you’re not the one who brings it.

Not only will your friends be happy you brought Riesling, but you’ll be happy you didn’t spend a fortune on a stellar wine. Forge 2014 Riesling Les Allies will be a holiday party hit, even before dessert is ready.

Champagne

New Year’s is right around the corner and that calls for celebration. Pop the cork and watch people enjoy their bubbly while you’re sweat-free because it didn’t break the bank. Don’t forget to pair your cheese and appetizers with it — your friends will thank you for that recommendation.

One of our top choices is Duval Leroy Brut NV, an elegant wine with flavors of apple, clementine, and licorice. Because it’s an intense wine, you’ll want to pair it with light foods.

duval leroy

Ready to pick up a bottle (or two) of wine for your next holiday party? Stop by Wachusett Wine & Spirits – our inventory is always expanding. And be sure to check our wine specials before you stop by!

summer rose wine

5 Top Summer Rose Wines To Drink This Season

It’s that time of year again.  We’re in the full swing of summer, and what does that mean for wine lovers? It’s the season of rosé!  Upgrade your time by the pool or basking in the sun with a glass of this summer nectar in your hand.  We’ve already covered  affordable dry white wine, so it’s only fair for rose to have it’s own spotlight.  There are so many choices on the market, so how can you narrow it down?  We’ve compiled a list of summer rosé wine you’ll want to try for your next outdoor party.  Keep reading to find excellent wines that will complement any hot and sunny day.

rose wine

Hogwash

Let’s kick it off with a name that doesn’t quite scream rosé but still boasts great taste: Hogwash.  This California wine was originally created for a pig roast and it took off from there.  If the name doesn’t get your attention, the aromas will: rose petal, cherry, and pink grapefruit.  The raspberry and strawberry flavors make this a refreshing and easy-to-sip drink for your next dinner on the grill.

Castano Monastrell

Add an international touch to your cookout with the Castano Monastrell Rosé from Spain.  Fresh red fruit like cherry and strawberry will hit your nose before the smooth and bright finish.  The Castano family has an extensive history of wine-making and still harvests the grapes entirely by hand.  For their old school winery processes, Castano deserves respect as they continue to make such an excellent rosé.  Because it’s a young rosé wine, it’s easy to sip and is sure to be a crowd-pleaser, as well as a conversation starter, for any lovers of fruity wine.

Layer Cake Rosé of Pinot Noir

Looking for a rosé that grows off the beaten path?  While Layer Cake delivers a rosé at heart, they’ve added a unique twist: after the typical aroma of passion fruit and pink grapefruit, you’ll notice a bit of dark chocolate and cranberry.  If you thought it couldn’t get any more unique, you’ll find there are notes of guava and loquat.  This fresh wine is well-balanced and perfect for a summer day spent outside.

Vin Gris de Cigare Rosé

Get ready to taste some darker fruit in the subtle but delicious Vin Gris de Cigare: blackcurrants, plums, and rosehips are all present in this elegant wine.  Smooth and drinkable, this rosé is bursting with all sorts of floral aromas such as peonies and roses.  Wondering if vin gris is still a rosé?  “Vin gris” is a term used for very light rosé wine made from red grapes with the biggest differences rooted in production methods.  Feel free to enjoy it just as much as your typical rosé!

Puech Haut Prestige

Notes of white peach, strawberries, and flowers make the Puech Haut Prestige a perfect rosé for summertime relaxation.  While your typical red wine may have their grape skins macerated, this French rosé earns its light color through a different method: the gentle pressing of the grapes right after harvest.  If you’re looking for a beautiful, crisp, and refreshing rosé, you’ve just found the one.

What we love about these rosés even more is that we have them in our inventory.  While supplies are limited, we’re happy to say that we have over 25 rosés available.  Stop by the store to see our wide selection!  Or, if you want to check on their availability, don’t hesitate to contact us today!

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best-types-of-dry-white-wine

The Best Types of Dry White Wine Under $30

Two key ingredients to enjoying the summer sun can best be described as “fruity” and “drinkable”. That’s why we put together a short list of the best types of dry white wines. Better yet, they’re all under $30! If you’ve had your fill of riesling or moscato or are looking to try something new, then you’ve come to the right place.

Carmel Road Unoaked Chardonnay

Rich and bright, the pineapple and stone fruit flavors of this wine allow it to stand up on its own or pair well with food. It hails from Monterey, a popular wine region in California. You can expect peach, pear, and tropical aromas when you crack open the bottle. Not sure what’s on the menu tonight? Unoaked chardonnay is one of the most versatile wines out there, so it will go well with most foods. Unlike its traditional counterparts, unoaked chardonnays aren’t aged in oak barrels, so the flavor is much more subtle and acidic than rich and buttery. Its mild sweetness complements chicken, fish, spicy dishes, and many more meals.

carmel road chardonnay

Duckhorn Chardonnay

Fans of white peach and Mandarin orange, rejoice. Duckhorn Chardonnay contains a fair amount of acidity that balances with aromas of pear, lemon cream, vanilla, and chai. To give you some background on the process, it is partially aged in barrels soaked in water, followed by stainless steel. The result is a delicious, crisp, and rich chardonnay that has earned favorable reviews since its release. Duckhorn Chardonnay calls Napa Valley its home, a place where water has been replaced with wine. Okay, that’s not true, but this region is a staple in the wine community. Pair this wine with shellfish, chicken, pork, or even mild Caribbean dishes and you can’t go wrong.

duckhorn chardonnay

Frog’s Leap Sauvignon Blanc

With balanced acidity and low alcohol content, Frog’s Leap Sauvignon Blanc is easy to sip on. It is completely fermented in stainless steel, giving it a crisp and clean finish. Flavors of pineapple and orange burst from the nose and palate, making this wine an exceptional summer choice. This sauvignon blanc also hails from Napa Valley, a favorable region for some of the best wine America has to offer. If you’re cooking white meat, green herbs, or using softer cheeses, this wine is a star choice. Don’t feel like waiting until tomorrow to have it with dinner? You won’t be disappointed drinking this wine on its own.

frog's leap sauvignon blanc

Santi – Sortesele Pinot Grigio

Get ready for a nose full of pears, exotic fruits, and wildflowers. This wine provides fresh acidity and a fruity, satisfying palate. Shortly aged in stainless steel, you can expect this pale drink to leave you with a long finish. This pinot grigio comes from Italy, a classic part of the world for wine. Pair it with chicken, pasta with a light sauce, or the freshest seafood you can get your hands on. Or, if dessert is your main focus, make sure the treat isn’t too sweet.

sortesele pinot grigio

Not only are these wines delicious, they’re affordable, too. Not seeing one that catches your eye? Contact us for the specifics in our inventory. Our line-up is always changing and we have a great mix of drinks from companies both large and small. We would be happy to help you find the right wine!

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sweet wine

Riesling vs Moscato: The Best Sweet Wine for Newbies

If you’ve ever perused the wine section at a store, there’s no doubt that you’ve seen bottles of Riesling and Moscato. But what makes them unique? Besides their interesting labels, there’s more you should know before you pop open the bottle (or twist off that cap). For an easy introduction into the world of wine, picking a sweet wine is the most common route. Riesling and Moscato are two of the sweetest, but how can you distinguish them?

Riesling

The German nobility loved Riesling, so if you’re looking for another way to honor German drinking besides Oktoberfest, look no further. Part of the reason why this wine was so popular among them was due to its aging factors. This is a great wine to store for years because of its high levels of acidity. Riesling is usually made with peach, honey, citrus, apple, and pear flavors. It is a little less sweet than Moscato. And while it can be a sweet wine, it can also be dry, depending on which part of the world the grapes were grown. So when it comes to taking the step from sweet to dry wines, Riesling might be a top choice for you.

Moscato

Moscato is the sweetest type of popular wine on the shelves, making it a good option for people who aren’t yet accustomed to dry wines. Like Riesling, it is usually made with peach, honey, and citrus flavors. But you’ll also find a lot of other tropical fruit, too. Originally a dessert wine, Moscato is easy to drink because of its low alcohol and high sugar content. It’s a great starter wine to ease you into becoming a wine lover. And its popularity is only increasing, so next time you need a bottle of wine (or two) for a party, Moscato would be a safe bet.

The Verdict

If you’re looking for something easy to sip with floral aromas, Riesling and Moscato are two excellent choices. You’ll likely find that both of these types have a crisp and refreshing taste. So it shouldn’t surprise you that they can be downright delicious. You don’t need to break out your “Wine Connoisseur Guide” to enjoy them. But they can get more complex if you do want to dive deeper into their makeup. No matter what time of year or occasion, these two wines are bound to be a hit. Here are some top choices to get you started:

Riesling

  • Kung Fu Girl
  • Seven Hills
  • Firestone

Moscato:

  • Innocent Bystander
  • Cupcake Moscato d’Asti
  • La Bioca

 

How about a sweet wine for your next get-together? At Wachusett Wine & Spirits, our wine selection is always expanding. Not only that, but we have a knowledgeable staff to help you find exactly what you want. Stop by, say hi, and get that wine you’ve been wanting!

different types of white wine

Uncorked: 6 Different Types of White Wine to Try Tonight

Wondering what wine to pair with tonight’s dinner? In the mood for something dry? Something sweet? A wine that pairs well with your food will hit the spot. With so many options to choose from, it may be overwhelming. Instead of getting lost in the wine aisle or wasting money on a wine that won’t suit the needs of your palate, here’s your guide to the most popular white wines for your next meal.

Chardonnay

With roots in France, Chardonnay is one of the most popular wines in the world. The grapes used have a medium-high acidity with a full body. It has a mild flavor overall, which is what makes it so popular. You’ll taste green apple, pear, melon, lemon, and even pineapple in some. Rounded out with butterscotch or vanilla, this is the go-to for those looking for a classic wine.

Recommended Food Pairing: Try this wine with your chicken, oysters, or any white-fleshed fish.

Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon Blanc is a unique wine due to its green and herbaceous flavors, such as bell pepper, jalapeño, and gooseberry. Another wine from the countryside of France, these grapes have a medium-high acidity with a light-medium body. It often has a citrus backbone with lime, green apple, and passion fruit added in. These give it an intense aroma.

Recommended Food Pairing:This is a great wine for vegetarians since it pairs well with green vegetables.

Moscato

Moscato is a favorite in the sweet wine category. Calling Italy its home, the grapes are from a family of over 200 grape varieties that have a medium acidity. In one sip, you’ll taste flavors of peach, orange, nectarine, and apricot.

Recommended Food Pairing: While Moscato is tasty on its own, pair it with Thai or Korean cuisine, summer salads, or apple desserts.

Semillon

Dry and sweet, the grapes used have a low acidity and a full body. The origin of Semillon grapes is unknown, but it is now produced in France, Australia, and the Pacific Northwest. Flavors of mango, yellow peach, and papaya are complemented with buttery notes.

Recommended Food Pairing: Semillon pairs well with seafood and strong cheeses.

Pinot Grigio

The Pinot Grigio grape has a medium-high acidity and a light-medium body. While Pinot Grigio is grown worldwide, France is its home. Typical flavors you’ll find in this wine include pear, lemon, and melon. The sweet spice flavors separate Pinot Grigio from other wines.

Recommended Food Pairing: Try pairing this crisp, dry wine with food, with salmon, chicken, or pasta.

Riesling

The highly aromatic Riesling originated in Germany. Its grape has a high acidity with a light body, which can make for a dry, semi-sweet, or sweet wine. Flavors consist of peach, green apple, lime, apricot, nectarine, and mandarin orange. If you’re having a barbecue, break out the Riesling.

Recommended Food Pairing: Try pairing it with shellfish, pork, or salads, too.

In addition to these popular white wines, there are so many more options to choose from, like red wines. Wachusett Wine & Spirits is always expanding its variety of wine. Looking for a specific flavor or brand? Call us or stop by! You might even discover a new favorite wine for your next special occasion.

The Best Red Wine for Any Party

Taste the Difference: The Best Red Wine for Any Party

Running from an errand to a dinner party? Just because you were too busy to bring a homemade gift to the party doesn’t mean you can’t put some thought into what you give your host. A thoughtfully chosen bottle of wine can liven up any gathering and will make you look like a connoisseur among your friends. Instead of standing cluelessly in the wine section, here’s your cheat sheet to selecting the best red wine for any celebration.

Red wine is a crowd pleaser

Did you know that most people prefer red wine? In fact, according to one study by an online wine retailer, 58% of Americans prefer red wine over white. Business Insider found that people living on the coast (aka Massachusetts) have palate for red over white. Not to mention you can pair almost any type of dish with red wine. Here is a brief overview of some of the most popular kinds of red wine.

Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet sauvignon is one of the most popular types of red wine in the United States and would be the perfect addition to any dinner party. It has a hearty flavor that guests may find too drying to drink on its own. You can solve this problem by letting it decant for about thirty minutes or pairing it with a meal. This wine spends the first year or two of its life aging in oak barrels, giving it hints of black cherry, currants, and herbs.

Perfect for…a house warming or dinner party.

Merlot

If you’re heading to a gathering where there aren’t too many wine connoisseurs, take along a bottle of merlot. It has a much milder flavor than a cabernet, so it’s the perfect introductory to red wine. Merlot has a gentle fruit flavor. Often wine drinkers can pink up hints of berries, cherries, and plum. And if you decide that this wine is your cup of tea, it’s easy to pronounce so you can confidently order it off the wine list.

Perfect for…a gift or a night in with friends.

Pinot Noir

Date night wouldn’t be complete without a glass or two of pinot noir. This wine has a cult-like following because each bottle takes on the flavors of the region where it was grown. The grapes used to make this wine are difficult to grow, leading to unique flavors that are light but complex. Wineries around the globe dedicate themselves to producing just pinot noir, leading to a variety of flavor profiles, ranging from very fruity to floral.

Perfect for…date night.

Zinfandel

Zinfandel is what put California on the map when it comes to producing wine. While it’s lighter in color than other red wines, it has a bold fruity flavor with a licorice finish. Keep in mind that Zinfandel has a higher alcohol content than other red wines, so be sure your festivities include a bite to eat. Because it does has a broad flavor profile, this wine pairs well with many flavors from traditional American cuisine to your favorite Asian dish.

Perfect for…a potluck or gathering with several different kinds of cuisines.

Not sure what the best red wine would be for your special occasion? Stop by and ask or contact us today.

love-wine

4 Secrets to Impressing Your Wine Loving Guests

No matter the weather, a glass of wine is always welcome. Are you hosting an upcoming event? Impress your friends or significant other with these tricks of the trade.

Chilling

Consider chilling wine as important as making sure that the main course is served at the proper temperature. And just like how you expect lasagna and salad to be different temperatures, so are different types of wine. A proper temperature enhances the flavor profile and experience. Sparkling wines such as champagne should be enjoyed between 40 and 50 degrees. White wines should be served between 52 and 59 degrees, while red wines should be enjoyed slightly warmer between 59 and 63 degrees. Most refrigerators are much colder than wine should be enjoyed. We recommend taking out lighter wines 30 minutes before they are served and warming up a few degrees on the counter.

Serving

You don’t need to invest a small fortune in glassware to entertain your guests. However, you should make a point to purchase two different sized glasses. We recommend investing in smaller glasses for white wines and larger glasses for heavy red wines. Size does matter when it comes to serving certain types of wine. Red wines are often served in large glasses because it allows more oxygen to come in contact with it. This enhances the flavor while you’re drinking. Are you looking to up your hosting game? Consider purchasing a decanter if you love red wine. Not only will it be a conversation piece, but it also will impress your guests with an improved flavor. Decanting wine involves transferring wine from the bottle into a separate container. This increases the amount of oxygen the wine comes into contact with. This helps calm the tannins in wine, the element that makes wine taste dry.

Pouring

Pouring a glass of wine isn’t that difficult, you just have to get it from the bottle to the glass, right? Well, sort of. If you’re looking to impress your guests, follow these easy steps:

  1. Remove the foil from the bottle to prevent any dripping (and to look like a pro.)
  2. Take a dish towel and wipe the opening of the bottle. This will remove any dust and debris.
  3. Hold the bottle in two hands and pour 4 or 5 ounces of wine into the glass. If you pour wine from 6 to 10 inches away, this will help the wine aerate as you pour. Once you’re at the end of your pour, gently twist the bottle to prevent dripping.

Pairings

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, pairing chocolate and wine together is a no brainer. Before you toss these two crowd pleasers together, we recommend you consider flavor profiles. Despite each being delicious on its own, chocolate and wine will compete for your taste buds’ attention. If you’re looking for the perfect partner for dark chocolate, we suggest selecting a deep red, fruity wine. You may be surprised to know that sweeter chocolate, such as milk chocolate, demands a sweeter wine like Moscato. Last but not least, white chocolate. While it technically isn’t considered chocolate, we believe your guests will be delighted with a pairing of sweet white wine and white chocolate. Our top picks are Riesling or champagne. Keep in mind, when you select a champagne, steer clear of drier varieties and go for a sec or demi-sec.

holiday-baskets

Holiday Shopping at Wachusett Wine & Spirits

We know that the holiday season can be pretty stressful, between holiday parties every other day and trying to find the perfect gift for that special someone. Lucky for you, your holiday shopping has become a whole lot easier. Wachusett Wine and Spirits is your one-stop shop for almost everyone on your gift list. Check out these great gift ideas everyone would love to find under their tree.

Gift Sets: We have both beer and liquor gift sets featuring some of our finest products. For beer, we have gift sets from Ommegang, St. Bernadus, and Mad Elf. Liquor gift sets include Jack Daniels, Baileys, Kaluha, Grey Goose, Glenmornagie and Courvoisier VSOP.

Large Format Bottles: From Anchor Brewing, St. Bernadus, Allagash, Arrogant Bastard, Guinness and more. These make great gifts for the beer lover on your list.

Holiday Beers: Spencer Holiday Ale, Port Brewing, Ridgeway Elf Beers (Lump of Coal, Bad Elf, etc) and more winter beers!

Custom Made Holiday Baskets: Stop by the store or contact us to order a custom basket featuring beer, wine or liquor. We can make suggestions based on a price range or you can tell us exactly what you are looking for!

Scratch Tickets and Season Lottery Tickets: These make the perfect stocking stuffer and also are a great way to keep your guests entertained before a holiday feast. Leave a ticket at each place setting and see who is feeling lucky that day.

Barware: We have a wide selection of glasses, wine openers and accessories. These are great items to include in a gift basket too!

Premium and Hand Crafted Spirits: The perfect drink (and gift) for the holiday season! Come pick up a bottle of Hillrock Solera Aged Bourbon Whiskey, Garrison Brothers Texas Straight Bourbon, A Midwinter Nights Dram or see one of our associates for a recommendation! We also have other whiskeys, small batch gins, vodkas and liquors.

Gift Certificates: Can’t quite put a finger on what they’d love? Our gift certificates are available in any amount.

In a rush to dash off to the next holiday party? No problem! We have gift bags available, so there’s no need to worry about stopping to wrap your present. From our family to yours, we hope you have a happy and healthy holiday season. Cheers!

thanksgiving-wine-pairings

Perfect Wine Pairings For A Delicious Thanksgiving

Did you know that more wine is sold before Thanksgiving Day than any other holiday? Selecting a wine is difficult because of the wide variety of flavors on your Thanksgiving table. How do you pair a wine that matches tart cranberry sauce, creamy mashed potatoes, and both white and dark meat? What if you want to prepare your Thanksgiving feast with wine? Here are five tips that will help incorporate the perfect vino into your meal.

Difference Between Cooking Wine and Regular Wine

Cooking wine is made using grapes that are a lower quality than used when making regular wine and also contain a surprising ingredient: salt. Salt acts as a preservative that keeps the wine’s flavor from souring once it is opened and stored. Many chefs prefer to use an inexpensive regular wine because you cannot drink cooking wine, and their belief is that you should not cook with a wine you cannot serve. We agree with the chefs and recommend that you use regular wine whenever possible to get the best tasting dish. Are you looking for a side dish to make with some leftover wine, try this Red Wine Cranberry Sauce or try adding a splash when cooking your turkey.

Perfect Pairings

Remember that you’re not limited to serving only one wine at your dinner table. You can switch it up based on people’s personal preferences or based on the dish you’d like to sit center-stage. Here are some of our favorite picks for any palate.

  • Conversation-Starter. Whether you’re hosting the event or you’re just attending the soiree, you’ll want a great way to get the party started. Pop a cork, and let the good times roll! Champagne is a fantastic conversation starter. Here’s two top choices:
    • Charles de Fere Blanc de Blancs from Charles de Fere is an affordable, yet delicious, effervescent choice.
    • Veuve Clicquot is another great ice-breaking option.  It’s slightly more expensive but well-worth the cost.
  • Turkey-Pairer. Most likely, there will be a big bird starring on the stage of your Thanksgiving dinner. Wine is fantastic because bold yet fresh and floral flavors pair well with poultry. Our pick?
  • White Wine When Dinner’s Ready. Cranberry Red won’t be for everybody, so if you have guests that are yearning for white wines, have a selection of local white wines on hand.Which would we choose?
    • Nashoba Valley Winery in Boston has a huge selection of white wines. The Gewurztraminer and Chardonnay are always great choices to put with poultry.
  • Delicious Dessert Wine. One of the best parts of any meal is the item that delivers that final sweet flavor.  Turtle Creek Late Harvest Cab Sav is an incredible dessert wine, which utilizes the perfect apples that grow in Massachusetts by slowly fermenting in incredibly cold temperatures, preserving the delicate flavors.
  • Hops for this Happy Holiday.Not everybody is a wine drinker, and that’s okay!  There are tons of beers that are perfect for ringing in the cooler weather with their spice-filled spectrums. Our favorites?
    • If you’re in need of a big name, you can still stay true to your Massachusetts roots by picking from a selection of Sam Adams’ finest.  The Sam Seasonal is a perfect pairing for food this time of year, and the original Boston Lager is something almost everybody knows.

Planning on pairing your dinner with a tasting of your wine finds?  Remember to go lightest to darkest so you don’t impede on your guests’ taste buds!

If you need help finding the right wines for your Thanksgiving dinner, don’t hesitate to stop in and see us!  Our team of experts is always happy to help you find the right grape hues to accompany your harvest dinner!