Holidays are about friends, family, food and, of course, great wine. Italy is the world’s largest producer, accounting for around a third of the world’s wines. Finding approachable wines for mixed crowds is easier than you think, and this winter season, Mora Italian is here to teach you the basics of enjoying some authentic Italian wine to share with family and friends during holiday season.
For the cheese and meat lover
There’s never a wrong time of year for a charcuterie board, but the holidays shoots the cheesy dish pairing to the top of the list. A nice, crisp Rose of Sangiovese will complement salumi and saltier cheeses. This chilled, medium-bodied wine from the Montefalco Rosso region in Italy has a bright color, and is fresh fruit forward with a mouth-quenching acidity. Pair this wine with roasted meats, couscous, harder cheeses and olive oil.
Pair the perfect dip
What’s a holiday party without a few crowd-pleasing dips? From spinach and artichoke to cranberry cream cheese dip, a sparkling white wine such as Prosecco makes a great pairing. With layers of sweet berries, slightly frizzante and a clean finish, Prosecco will highlight the freshness and creaminess of just about any dip.
To sip by the fire
With the holidays comes the chilly winter weather. Primitivo is a great warm, cozy, winter wine. This dark-skinned grape is known to produce a glass full of richness and spice. This full bodied, tannin balanced red pairs excellent with anything from Swedish meatballs to root vegetables. The baked fruit notes of this wine complements garlic and spices. This pairing creates a savory on savory effect.
For the bacon fanatic
Who doesn’t love bacon on everything? From bacon-wrapped dates to bacon-wrapped sausages, an Aglianico pairs wonderfully. Being one of the greatest Italian varietals from Southern Italy, this full-bodied, high acidic, tannin bomb will hold up to the smokiness of bacon and earthiness of dates or any other robust bacon combination.
For the elegant holiday party
With classic elegant appetizers, such as shrimp cocktail, a better than average Friuli Pinot Grigio is the way to go. Spend the extra few bucks on this one, because the slopes of Friuili produce the best Pinot Grigio. The nice dry acidity goes well with seafood, especially shrimp. The richness will hold up to any sauce complementing the dish.
Pair this with your sweet tooth
On a sweeter note, Brachetto is the hidden gem of Piedmont in northwest Italy. This slightly sparkling, medium sweet, low-alcohol wine is a great way to start off with nuts, fruits and cheeses. In addition to appetizers, enjoy ending your evening with some chocolate bark or chocolate mousse with this beautiful wine.
Whether its cheese of chocolate, sweet or salty, a nice wine complements any holiday spread. The season is about getting together with friends and family, and a nice glass of wine (or two!) will keep you cozy and warm.
Christina Arellano is Mora Italian’s beverage manager
5651 N. Seventh Street, Phoenix, 602.795.9943, moraitalian.com.