Heather Eriole
December 20, 2018 | Heather Eriole

Holiday Food & Wine Pairing Tips

Leading up to the holidays, we host various gatherings as a company to celebrate the season;  a Chinese gift exchange with wine!, shopping and wrapping presents as a team for our adopted local family, and an hors d’oeuvres and cocktail hour hosted by our administrative team. One of the best parts of these celebrations is getting the chance to share holiday traditions, especially related to food and wine.

With that in mind, we’d like to introduce Lisa Cannac, our Direct to Consumer/Assistant Tasting Room Manager. Lisa joined our team in May of 2018, bringing with her extensive experience in the food and wine industry in the Finger Lakes and Long Island, from tasting room management and wine education to food and wine quality assurance and winemaking.  Lisa is also a certified sommelier through the Sommelier Society of America with a highly developed palate for sensory evaluation and food and wine pairing. Given her background, we thought she’d be the perfect person to talk to about holiday traditions and pairings and why certain wines go best with certain foods.  We hope Lisa’s pairing guide below offers a few helpful tips to enhance your traditions. Happy Holidays!

Christmas tree & ornament graphic with overlaid text: Holiday Pairing Guide

During the holidays, I’m able to experience different food traditions as I visit various family members and I enjoy bringing the wines to enhance the dishes.

Here are some tips for pairing wine and food:

–Oaked Red wines and Smooth white wines create creaminess
–Spicy Wines enhance spiciness/heat and tone down sweetness
–Fruit-Forward wines increase fruitiness
–Sweet wines enhance fruitiness and tone down spiciness/heat/saltiness
–Bubbles and acidity cut though heavy/fatty/salty foods and cleanse the palate


The Italian Feast of the Seven Fishes at my cousin’s house
(eaten in courses) 

Oven Baked Clams topped with seasoned breadcrumbs
Wine:  2014 Blanc de Blanc

   Why: acidity and bubbles cut through the savory breadcrumbs without masking the subtle clam taste

Scallops in a butter wine sauce
Wine: FLX Dry Riesling

   Why: Bright acidity cuts through the rich briny scallops and the creamy butter while cleansing the palate

Lobster Tails dipped in butter
Wine: Barrel Fermented Chardonnay

   Why: The buttery chardonnay enhances the buttery dish while the hint of acidity at the end cleanses the palate

Hand Breaded Calamari with a spicy marinara sauce
Wine: Bubbly Muscat

   Why: The sweetness of the Muscat tones down the spiciness and enhances the fruitiness of the tomatoes, the bubbles and light acidity cut into the heaviness of the fried calamari.

Homemade Cannoli
Wine: 2017 Riesling

   Why: The smooth style at the beginning of the Riesling creates an extra creamy mouthfeel and the hint of acidity at the end cuts through the cream and cleanses the palate.


Italian Dinner at my mother’s house

Antipasto Salad with lettuce, tomatoes, red onion, celery, Genoa salami, provolone, roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts, olives
Wine: Brut Non-Vintage

   Why:  The mild sweetness of the Brut brings out fruitiness of tomatoes and roasted red peppers. Bubbles and acidity cut though the heaviness of the salami and provolone

Baked Ravioli in a fresh tomato sauce with Italian rope sausage
Wine: Black Diamond Express

   Why: The fruit-forward style brings out the fruitiness of the tomatoes and the creaminess of the ricotta.  The Silkiness smooths out the rich sausage.

Chocolate Truffles
Wine: Raspberry Spumante

   Why: Bubbles and crisp acidity cut into the creaminess of the chocolate. The fruitiness of the raspberries intensifies the sweetness and tones down the earthiness of the chocolate.

English Dinner at my sister in law’s house 

Baked Ham with honey glazed carrots, roasted potatoes, sausage stuffing and cranberry sauce
Wine: Yellow Cab or Cranberry Chablis

   Why: The smooth style of each of these wines at the beginning enhances the creaminess of the potatoes. The fruitiness intensifies the sweetness of the carrots and cranberry sauce. Mild acidity at the end cuts through the saltiness of the ham and heaviness of the sausage stuffing.

Pumpkin Pie
Wine: Gewurztraminer

   Why: A hint of sweetness increases the fruitiness and creaminess. Mild spice enhances the Pumpkin spice notes.

A photograph of Lisa Cannac, with the text "Thanks for reading! Happy Holidays -Lisa"

You can find the wines listed in this guide for purchase on our website:


Or you can visit our Tasting Room and pick them up in person!

Christmas Eve:
Tasting Room & Retail Shop: 10AM-3PM
Inn at Glenora: Open until 3PM
Veraisons Restaurant: 11AM-3PM

Closed Christmas Day


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