The perfect pair: holiday drinks for any feast

Walking into a wine gallery may not be your errand of choice, but it doesn't have to be a hassle! Complete any holiday feast by following these simple suggestions from an expert at the Wine Gallery at Villa Macri in Toscana Park. Jason Forbes, the wine director shared these solutions to make life a little easier.

First, ask for help. If you're feeling overwhelmed in a grocery store or winery, the best suggestion is to ask someone who knows what they're talking about. Have a price range in mind, so they can help you pick the best value. They will ask what you have liked or tried in the past and how to find flavors and styles that compliment your palette.

You may have heard tips in the past about pairing red meat with red wine or chicken with white, which can be true. But, if you know you don't like a particular style of wine, don't force yourself. Just because someone tells you a Cabernet is the best option, doesn't mean you have to pick it. For instance, if you don't like red wine, then choose a heavier white to compliment a heavy dish. Even though the "tip" calls for a particular flavor, doesn't mean your taste buds will change.

And if you can't remember details of a dish like spices and flavors, stick to a simple, generic reminder: balance the weight of the wine with your food. So if you are serving a heavy dish, pair it with a fuller bodied wine. For instance, a prime rib or steak would match well with a heavy red. But remember, if you don't like red, choose a heavier white instead.

If you know what you're going to prepare, take into account the spices and flavors that will accompany your dish. A blackened salmon will call for a different flavor and even type of wine than a fish prepared with olive oil. And, can't forget dessert! The best thing to keep in mind, your dessert wine should be sweeter than the dish! Try a sparkling white like a moscato d'asti or prosecco.

Pairing wine with a meal has been around for centuries, so don't skip out on a holiday tradition because you can't decide what will match exactly. Go with what you like, because the best match is what pleases your palette. The right wine will enhance and strengthen any meal, and as Forbes tells us, solidifies the "magical" experience of a delicious dinner.

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