White Wines for the Holidays

Aside from celebratory sparkling wine, the holidays are often associated with bold red wines that pair well with traditional holiday dishes. However, the seasons’ fare includes many incredibly white wine-friendly flavors. This year, consider shaking up your holiday drink list with some of these white wines.

Sparkling

Yes, sparkling does go with everything…but which sparkling are you drinking? While it is easy to reach for the “go-to” holiday wine, Champagne, regions around the world produce spectacular (and more affordable) options. Consider crisp Cava to make your toasts: it will spark conversation about Spain and its wine-producing region of Penedes, just outside of Barcelona.

Need to learn a little more about sparkling wine? Check out our Guide to Sparkling Wine.

Light and Bright

Light, acidic white wines are fantastic at cutting the richness of some holiday dishes while also bringing out the notes of herbs and spices. You can always serve a Pinot Grigio or Pinot Gris; these easy-to-drink wines are excellent with richer, butter-based dishes.

Don’t know the difference between Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris? Check out our article on Pinot Gris and learn the differences!

Spanish white wines are classically light in order to pair with the country’s seafood-based and fried dishes. Try an Albariño, which is known for pairing beautifully with shellfish, to serve with shrimp or seafood appetizers. Or try a Verdejo crafted in a lighter style (Verdejo wines can be lean and light-bodied with mineral notes, or medium-bodied with a touch of oak). Lighter style Verdejo is bright and aromatic, with citrus fruit and melon flavors and aromas. It pairs well with fresh herbs, lighter appetizers, and cheese plates.

Check out our article on Albariño vs. Verdejo for a breakdown of Spain’s more popular white wines.

Full-bodied

Chardonnay is often the go-to for a full-bodied white wine. However, if you are looking to impress your guests with a new wine, consider Fiano from Italy. Originally from Sicily, Fiano is a white wine with honey and melon notes alongside floral and spice elements. It is excellent when paired with sweet potatoes and even pecan pie.

A Touch of Sweetness

Consider offering several wines with a touch of sweetness. This will please those who do not typically classify themselves as wine drinkers, but who occasionally enjoy a glass of a slightly sweet wine. The holidays are the perfect time to serve up these wines: the sweet caramelization of roasted vegetables, sweet potatoes, and glazed ham all pair incredibly well with the higher sugar content of wines like Riesling and Muscat.