Here at Dievole, wine plays an important role every day. Like a silent yet loving relative, at Christmas wine warms up our table and makes our guests feel at ease. Holidays without its soothing presence are simply unthinkable for us but selection is key, so we want to give you a few useful tips on how to choose and enjoy the right wine companions for your merry banquet table. Christmas menus vary across regions and countries, even within our Tuscan territory there are manifold traditions.
Each family has its own secret recipe hidden in the cupboard, just waiting for that special time of year to be served and enjoyed by all. Even the turkey, absolute king of Anglo-Saxon tables, has made its way into the Italian realm of festive gastronomical wonders. From north to south in Italy, one thing’s for certain: in the sacred ritual of holiday feasting, time has no importance whatsoever. Plate upon plate, glass after glass – forget the clock and let the goodness flow.
The Preludial Toast
While champagne or spumante are classic for toasting and appetizers, in Tuscany it’s not a given. In terms of your Christmas wine choices to start the night, we suggest warming up your guests’ palate with warm crostini topped with chicken liver paté or a simple drizzle of fresh extra virgin olive oil, alongside a tasty selection of Tuscan cold cuts and cheeses. The ideal pairing with these Tuscan starters is the Chianti Classico annata like our Chianti Classico 2014.
Every region has its own culinary tradition, but in Italy the primo usually involves the queen of the Mediterranean diet: pasta. Generations reunite around steaming pots and prepare fresh tagliatelle, tortelli, tortellini and lasagna served with meat sauce or in broth. Another important role is played by risotto, especially in the northern areas of the boot. A vivacious red wine goes hand in hand with the endless flavor possibilities of homemade pasta.
Let’s talk turkey
Ever since Victorian times, poultry has been the very essence of the Anglophone Christmas menu. The low fat content and mild flavor of the meat is enhanced by a variety of accompaniments, such as mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and stuffing. In terms of important choices made at Christmas wine that properly matches this meat is a biggie: choose a full-bodied white or a medium-full red, lush in flavor, to yield and balance the oiliness of the meat and the richer taste of its side dishes.
In case you prefer fish – served often in Southern Italian families over the holidays – a mineral white wine should do the trick.
The icing on the cake
When the last dish has been served and the adrenaline starts to dwindle, settle in for a long afternoon or evening by pouring yourself a glass of our most refined sweet meditation wine: Vin Santo Occhio di Pernice is the perfect end to the sweetest of evenings. Ideal with dessert or simply served in a small chalice, sip slowly to savor the nuanced hints of almond and vanilla.
The banquet battlefied
When the evening is over and the last guest has left, the banquet battlefield is in your hands. Here’s a traditional tip to remove those pesky wine splatters from the tablecloth: apply toothpaste or lemon juice with a drop of soap and rub it in with sparkling water and let it do its magic for a few minutes before you toss the whole bundle into the washing machine.