Every wine lover who finds themselves entertaining over the holidays knows it's the perfect time to finally give those wine pairings a test run. Novel wine pairings with unexpected dishes never fail to give a refreshing twist to even the most traditional dinner menu. For those less versed in the art of pairing wine with food, the task can be a daunting one, especially when you have a hefty assortment of dishes on the evening's lineup.
To make sure you're covered, we sought expert advice for the best wine option for every possible pairing you might come across. Katie Lee, the host of The Kitchen on The Food Network, shared her favorite wine pairings for everything from lamb to salmon to prime rib. From cocktail hour to your second helping, Lee proposes her top picks of pours for every step of the way.
Keep scrolling to see Katie Lee's wine pairings for everything that might be on the menu this holiday season.
When it comes to sipping during cocktail hour, Lee says to "try Prosecco." As your friends and family arrive and begin to mingle, Lee says that "it's always nice to have some bubbles to get your guests in a festive mood." While Champagne can get pricey (starting around $45 a bottle), Prosecco is a delicious and more cost-conscious alternative. Lee suggests Altaneve, "which is very dry and has hints of stone fruit and honeysuckle," making it, "perfect for hors d'oeuvres at cocktail hour and is versatile enough to pair with dinner as well." Another tasty Prosecco she recommends is Mionetto ($13).
Lee says a sauvignon blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand is almost always "a safe bet for a delicious wine." She notes that this medium-bodied option from Whitehaven boasts a fruity character and bright acidity "that will cut right through the salty, fatty ham."
A red meat like prime rib calls for a rich red wine, like this full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon. Don't let the price mislead you—"this wine tastes much more expensive than it is" Lee says. With notes of cassis and black fruits, this red makes for a classic pairing with beef.
When it comes to lamb, Lee asserts that Bordeaux is an excellent pairing. The only problem is that it can often be on the pricier side. For those looking for the Bordeaux essence with a lower price tag, a "younger right-bank Bordeaux, like this Pomerol, is a good choice." Lee explains that "Pomerol is Merlot-style and typically ready to drink sooner" and "soft, fruity, and delicious with lamb."
If going more surf than turf, a lighter drink option with low tannins is the right choice. Lee notes that this Pinot Noir "is so easy to drink" and boasts a "good acidity that will stand up nicely to the salmon."
Chardonnay is a smart fixture of any party's drink offering. This choice by Lee is "an excellent value and a crowd-pleaser." Not quite as "oaky" as some other options, this bottle promises to be more refreshing and juicy, going along nicely "with turkey and a heavier meal," Lee says—the perfect holiday pick.
Head to the comments to share which dishes you'll be serving up this holiday season, and let us know if you try out any of Katie Lee's pairings.