Wine Etiquette During the Holidays

December 9th, 2016

Posted in Holidays, Wine Tips

Wine Etiquette

Parties, family dinners and twinkling lights… it must be the holiday season! Nothing helps you celebrate this festive time of year more than wine. When celebrating with friends, family and colleagues, make sure your wine etiquette is top-notch. Read our tips for staying on top of your wine game during the busy holiday season.

Gadgets come and go, don’t invest in the trend.

New inventions come and go and are often more complicated than necessary. This holiday season, save yourself the troubles of understanding new trends and stick with the classic corkscrew. The traditional waiter’s corkscrew provides a fold-up design, making it portable and simple to use. The new Rabbit Style Corkscrew helps take the work out of the process, while still being simple and easy to maneuver. Find other wine opener tips on our blog.

Trust yourself and your menu.

Nothing is more frustrating than whipping up the perfect holiday party menu and choosing the wrong wine to pair with the meal. Don’t let the wine experts in the aisle confuse you, stick to what you know. If you are new to pairing, take our advice on how to pair wine with each course. Making a soup? Our 2015 Sauvignon Blanc is a perfect match with its citrusy lemon, tart apple and sweet melon flavors. If the perfect steak is on your menu, the complex and elegant aromas of plum and black cherry of our 2014 Merlot will complement the dish.

Serve red wine at the right temperature.

When pouring your guests the perfect glass of wine, temperature plays a large part in the overall experience. We recommend serving your red wine at 62–68 degrees, because a chilled bottle allows the fruit and tannins to enhance and become well rounded. Before your guests come over, stick your bottle in the fridge while you finish getting ready. After your wine is chilled for about 30 minutes, take it out and let it breathe. If you received a bottle as a gift, read about our storing suggestions here.

Invest in the Correct Stemware.

Before your social calendar fills up with countless parties and visits from loved ones, make sure you have the proper stemware. The glassware will make your wine more enjoyable and show off your wine knowledge to your friends and family. For red wine lovers we recommend glasses with bowls larger than 20 ounces. These will help bring out aromas of your reds. White wine glasses are usually skinnier and more u-shaped than red bowls. This shape keeps your white wine cool and enables the release of aromas. You can read more about our stemware preferences and ideas in this blog.

Order is Important.

Having loved ones over for wine and cheese is our favorite holiday tradition. Nothing accompanies friends better than Whitehall Lane wines, and we know just how to serve them.  We always recommend starting with the lightest wine and ending with the boldest. Our 2015 Sauvignon Blanc is a great start, with refreshing citrusy lemon, tart apple and sweet melon flavors it allows your guests’ palates to become awakened. Next, open a bottle of our Pinot Noir for a lighter red full of flavor. Our 2015 Las Brisas Pinot Noir is elegant, graceful and versatile with food. Finally, before your guests leave, let them have a nightcap with our dessert wine. The 2009 Belforte is true port-style wine made from Petite Syrah grapes grown in Napa Valley. This wine has been aged in 12 oak barrels for 22 months. Nothing will end your party better than a small glass of this, and your guests will appreciate your variety of wine.