The holiday season is officially upon us and with the joy and merriment comes planning, meal prep, and entertaining. At Valley Road Vineyards, we’ve got you covered with 12 days of wine pairings to get you through the month whether you’re in celebration or relaxation mode.
1. Holiday Ham
Pair with: Pinot Gris, Rosé, Merlot
Depending on the glaze used and your wine preferences, a variety of VRV wines will pair nicely with your holiday Ham. The Pinot Gris with just a touch of sweetness works well with a slightly salty ham. For a ham with a sweet glaze, uncork a bottle of the Rosé. The dry styled Rosé will work in harmony with the sweetness of the glaze. If you prefer a red wine then our soft and fruit-forward Merlot will be a wonderful choice that works perfectly with the subtle flavors of the ham.
Recipe: Ham Three Ways from Epicurious
2. Cheese Grits Soufflé
Pair with: Pinot Gris
Our Pinot Gris pairs well with this Holiday breakfast treat. Full bodied with just a hint of sweetness, it compliments the rich, creamy dish.
Pair with: Rosé
A soft ripened goat cheese made by Vermont Creamery and named for its resemblance to a mound of snow. Strong ripened flavors of the rind balance against the creamy and slightly sweet center. Bright flavors marry extremely well with fresh fruitiness and dry finish of our Rosé.
4. Chinese Take Out
Pair with: White Hall Viognier, Merlot
For vegetarian dishes or light protein dishes (chicken or fish) try pairing with our White Hall Viognier. The subtle floral and citrus notes and crisp finish will be a perfect accompaniment to these dishes without overwhelming them. For heartier dishes (meat with a sauce or duck) pair with the Merlot which is nicely balanced, not too dry but offers plenty of complexity and backbone.
5. Beef Roast
Pair with: Petit Verdot
If a nice prime rib is your choice for the special occasion, then we’ve got the wine to go with. Our Petit Verdot will bring out the best in your meal. This fully oaked single varietal, Petit Verdot has enough body and tannin to stand up to the full flavors found in the dish, with enough soft fruit to add the perfect complement.
6. Barbander Goat Gouda
Pair with: Chardonnay
This pasteurized goat Gouda from the Dutch province of Braband is matured for nine months using a special aging process that helps the cheese retain a creamy texture that spreads across the palate. Our Chardonnay with its delicious balance of fruit, subtle oak, and bright acidity is the perfect wine that will enhance and complement this special cheese.
7. Roast Pork
Pair with: Chardonnay
Our perfectly balanced Chardonnay with just the right combination of fruit on the palate and acidity in the finish will be a great choice for this crowd pleasing dish whether it be topped with a fruit chutney or smothered in a creamy mushroom sauce.
8. Pod and Vine Chocolate
Pair with: Petit Verdot
Gearharts Pod and Vine Chocolate is a decadently delicious indulgence that is made for the bold dark fruit aromas and soft mouth feel of our Petit Verdot. A perfect pairing of two of Virginia’s finest.
Pair with: Meritage
Duck calls for a deft touch from a full-bodied red. Our 2015 Meritage is 33% Merlot, 31% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Cabernet Franc and 8% Petit Verdot, combining to make a complex, well-balanced wine that is very food friendly. Try this instead of a Pinot Noir or Rhone-style wine.
10. Two Year Aged Gouda
Pair with: Merlot
A firm cow’s milk cheese from northern Holland. This Gouda’s rich, nutty and slightly salty flavors stand up nicely to our Merlot. Our Merlot is complex, yet balanced, and is not too dry.
Pair with: Merlot, Chardonnay, Rosé
So many options for roasted turkey. Your choices of sides and gravy may dictate your wine decisions. With lighter sides and green vegetables, try our Chardonnay or Rosé – both will complement without overpowering. Going heartier with sausage dressing and dark rich gravy? Merlot is the perfect choice to stand up to the darker flavors while still allowing the delicate nuances to come through.
12. Leftover Turkey Sandwiches
Pair with: Merlot, Destana
Our Destana, a white blend of Viognier, Petit Manseng, and Chardonnay checks all the boxes with a leftover sandwich of white turkey and cranberry sauce. If your sandwich is in the “more is better” style with dark meat, stuffing and gravy, team it up with our 2014 Merlot and give your creation the respect it deserves.
13. Swedish Meatballs
Pair with: Torn Curtain
This holiday favorite is often the star of the appetizer buffet. The ripe fruit and supple tannins of our Torn Curtain red blend will easily stand up to, but not overwhelm, the creamy flavors and underlying spices of these tasty morsels.
14. Roast Duck
Pair with: Joie Sparkling Rosé
Roast Duck can be an exciting option for your holiday feast; yet it can be somewhat fatty. Our Sparkling Rosé, Joie, is the perfect (and exciting!) wine to accompany this dish. The refreshing bubbles and crisp acidity of Joie delightfully cleanse the palate and leave you ready for your next bite.