Entertaining With Delicious Holiday Wines
Planning a fun get-together, spectacular holiday party
or a close family dinner this Winter? Why not try something
new for the wine drinkers in your crowd? Skip the
usual Cabernets, Merlots and Chardonnays; surprise your
guests with one of these Winter wines or wine drinks. Or
try them all; you have the whole season to enjoy yourself!
Glüwein – The name “glüwein” roughly translated from
German means “glow-wine”. You will usually only find
this wine around the Winter season. It is one of many
“mulled” wines we’ll showcase here. Mulled means to
heat and add spices typically. Glüwein is a German red
wine that is heated and then either cinnamon sticks, star
anise, cloves, citrus or sugar are added while heating. You
can add one of those ingredients or a combination of
those to satisfy your own taste. The wine is
so low in alcohol that in Germany the
children drink it with gingerbread.
Glögg – Glögg is a Nordic
mulled wine just like Glüwein
but has the spices (cinnamon,
sugar, cardamom, ginger,
cloves and bitter orange) already
infused in the wine.
The wine is heated and then
generally served with raisins,
nuts and Ginger Snaps.
Glögg is a perfect holiday
wine to serve in a large heated
punch bowl for a party
with many guests. It goes
well with almost any holiday
dessert or treat you may
Beaujolais Nouveau – Beaujolais Nouveau only comes
out one time a year. It gets released globally every year
on the third Thursday of November. Typically this is
one week prior to Thanksgiving over here in the United
States. Consider this wine the starter red wine for non-red
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wine drinkers. It’s a light bodied, very smooth fruity red
wine with light tannins (dryness). With this wine you can
even put a slight chill on it before serving. Now there is
one thing to remember about this wine. It’s not an aged
red wine so the chance of trying to keep it for a long period
of time to age it is not a great idea. The rule of thumb
is to drink this wine while still very young and fresh. So
in reality this makes this wine a perfect holiday gathering
wine – inexpensive, ready to drink and effortless to sip.
Ice Wine or Eiswein – Now this wine is for those parties
that require a dessert wine. Why you ask? Well, an ice
wine is basically full of sugar. The process is extremely
simple enough. The grape is left on the vine to wither
and freeze in the cold climate. Then the grapes are
harvested and pressed. What this produces
is a concentrated thick-ish wine with
a huge amount of residual sugar.
Depending on the grape variety it
can be light and sweet to thick
and syrupy. This wine is great
for those holiday parties with
tasty sweets, thick fudge or
warm tarts or pies.
Gewürztraminer – The
name Gewürtztraminer is
a little long so if you need
to shorten it you may simply
call it Gewurtz (guh-VURTS).
The grape is grown in regions of
France, Germany, the United States
and Italy, where it is thought to have originated.
Why is this considered a holiday wine?
Well, this a great wine to serve with your holiday turkey
dishes. The flavors compliment the actual bird and the
sides (stuffing, potatoes, etc…) as well. The wine has an
aroma of sweet flowers with apple cinnamon and pear
qualities but with the added richness of spice and lychee
notes. Choose this wine over Chardonnay for your next