No two people eat the same during the holidays, but most individuals can find common ground in the types of foods they are consuming. The theme of winter feasts includes plenty of protein, winter vegetables, roasted foods and, in many cases, wine. But how do you know which type of wine pairs best with your particular brand of holiday deliciousness?

Use the following guide to determine the best pairing for your holiday meal regardless of what’s on the menu!


There are four main components of a standard Thanksgiving dinner. Generally, it centers on a protein like ham, turkey, or duck and is surrounded by a plethora of oven-roasted dishes consisting of roots and greens. Heartier fruits and vegetables also frequently decorate the Thanksgiving table. Most of these dishes are flavored in warm, dry herbs and spices like cinnamon, clove, rosemary, sage, or parsley.

While the combination of these components is extremely fulfilling it can be a busy palette, making it difficult to determine which wine will complement the entire meal. White wine doesn’t go well with most roasted dishes but their flavor profiles tend to pair well with light proteins like Turkey. Barbera wines are best for dry herbs and spices thanks to its hints of nutmeg, vanilla, and anise.

Christmas and December Holidays

Similarly to Thanksgiving, Christmas meals consist of many different components and vary from location to location. They, too, center on a protein like ham, turkey, roast beef, or prime rib. The side dishes that accompany the protein tend to differ across families and holidays, so it’s best to choose your wine pairing based on the protein itself.

Roast beef matches well with Carmenere, Tempranillo, and Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon blends. Sweeter meats like ham do better with Rosé or Grenache. Richer meats like prime rib do well with Barbera, or many of the same Merlot and Cabernet blends as roast beef.

New Year’s Eve

On New Year’s Eve, individuals tend to sample hors-d’oeuvres and light snacks throughout the course of the entire evening. Cheese, crackers, fish, and other appetizers are popular.  A sparkling wine or champagne is the best choice in this scenario. There are dry, fruity blends like Cava, or buttery, nutty blends like Metodo Classico so it’s safe to say you should be able to find something to match your menu. As an added bonus, sparkling wines and champagnes appear very festive!