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Tips to Finding the Perfect holiday wine

November 17, 2011 - Carla Tracy

This week, many of us are busy buying foods as well as beverages for Thanksgiving. But what wines should we serve with this festive holiday meal?

According to the American Sommelier Association, “A great wine can make the perfect addition to a festive party or a quiet dinner at home. However, with so many varietals and vintages available, walking into a store to purchase wine can be overwhelming. American Sommelier has a few simple tips to guide you to the perfect bottle of wine every time.”

• “Know What You Like: Be conscious of the qualities that you enjoy in a red or white wine and relay those specifics when speaking with the wine shop staff by adding words such as: dry, fruity, crisp, bold, full bodied, soft, tannic and oaky. Noting that you prefer a juicy wine made with dark red fruits that are jammy can lead the expert to the “new world” portion of the store’s list.”

• “From a Discussion to the Perfect Wine: Provide advisors with as many indicators as you are able to allow them to guide you through the wine list. This could range from the type of event you are buying for to the different wines you have enjoyed or disliked in the past. The more concrete information you can provide, the better the staff will be able to pinpoint your perfect wine.”

• “Price Doesn’t Equal Quality: Exceptional wines come at all prices. Know and stick to the price point you are comfortable with and be firm. The staff member at the wine store will be able to guide you to the ideal wine no matter your budget.”

“Be the sommelier of your own home by serving a bottle of wine that is ideal for your tastes and the event you’re hosting. By asking the right questions and knowing what you like, a fitting bottle of wine is easily attainable!”

These are the thoughts of the American Sommelier Association. My first preference is pinot noir, a food-friendly wine if there ever was one. Zinfandel and syrah also pair well with turkey and so does a nice, light and fruity Beaujolais Nouveau made out of gamay grapes.

Sparkling wines add a bubbly and celebratory touch to Thanksgiving, and go well with sushi and spicy foods — both of which will be set on many a holiday table on Maui.


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