What To Have On Hand During The Holidays

Christmas and Hanukkah are approaching quickly which means parties, visiting, and guests showing up at your house. We’ve got suggestions for holiday beer & wine that are perfect for serving, bringing as hostess gifts, or as a last minute gift for that person you forgot.

Holiday Wine

When it comes to holiday wine there are two things that come to mind: sparkling and juice. While you can drink any wine, any time, there are some distinct advantages to these two types.

Make Your Celebrations Sparkle

Sparkling wine has some distinct benefits during the holidays and right now it’s hot in the wine world meaning you have all sorts of choices.  Here’s why we love sparkling wine as a go to holiday wine and how to use it.

It goes with everything. The bubbles scrub your tongue meaning that food constantly tastes fresh and flavors don’t intermingle -- perfect for when food is served in bites like passed hors d'oeuvres and crudites. It’s also perfect with cheese, dessert, and on its own as your holiday wine.

It’s pretty. Sounds a little silly, but nothing looks more gorgeous by festive lights and decorations than a classic flute with bubbles.

There are great options at every price point. Sparkling wines, especially those from California, are perfect as holiday wine because they are available at a variety of price points so they work as gifts or just spare bottles around the house. While Chardonnay makes a champagne-style sparkling wine there are lots of other varietals including sparkling chenin blanc which is hugely popular, delicious, and affordable right now.

Tips For Holiday Wine With Bubbles

If you are bringing a bottle of sparkling wine that will be drunk right away, make sure you keep it cold on the drive. Sparkling wine should be served nice and cold and then placed in an ice bucket to keep it cold.

Open it like a pro. While popping the cork looks festive it is dangerous and you’re likely to lose some wine as well as have it go flat sooner. Luckily, it’s really easy to look like a pro when opening a bottle of sparkling wine.

  1. Peel the foil.

  2. Loosen the cage using the twisted metal tab. It usually takes about 6 turns to undo.

  3. Carefully remove the cage -- keep the cork in, especially if the bottle has been jostled.

  4. Grasp the cork with your right hand and apply slight pressure so it doesn’t accidentally pop. Hold the bottle at the bottom with your left. If you have smaller hands use your left to hold the neck of the bottle.

  5. Tilt the bottle 45°.

  6. Hold the cork still with your right hand and gently twist the bottle using your left so that are essentially twisting the bottle off of the cork instead of twisting the cork off the bottle. Apply enough counter pressure that the cork pops but doesn’t not fly. You’ll lose no wine this way and keep it more carbonated.

There’s Nothing Like Red For The Holidays

Red wines pair well with many holiday feasts. Additionally, the cold temperatures outdoors call for fuller bodied reds like cabernet sauvignon. The fuller bodied the wine the higher the temperature at which is should be served which means it will warm up your guests in two ways.

A Note On Kosher Wine

The world of kosher wine has come a long way so don’t think you have to keep to Manischewitz. Israel is also a booming wine region with some superb kosher wines coming out regularly. Find your favorite styles in their kosher variety and impress everyone with a delicious kosher wine.

Holiday Beer

During the holidays there is no better time to check out new beers, whether they are new to everyone or just new to you. During this season stick to dark beer and spiced beers for the best feel and flavors of the season. Stouts and spiced beers will quickly become your go to holiday beer.

The Holidays Are All About Stouts

A nice, thick stout with a creamy head and rich, roasty flavors is perfect during the cooler months, especially since these are usually served at a slightly warmer temperature. Roasted malts are gentler on the palate than hops and therefore better with meals. Hops are delicious but they kill the palate and no one wants that while enjoying all of the deliciousness of the holidays.

Look For Spice In Your Holiday Beer

A great option for serving, bringing, and gifting is a beer that contains spice. Look for cinnamon, clove, vanilla, and other baking spices to enjoy a festive treat while you sip.

When you’re ready to pick up some holiday wine, holiday beer or both, stop by Jersey Wine & Spirits and let us help you find the perfect beverage for any occassion.