Holiday Wines

When picking out wines that pair with holiday foods, the best rule of thumb in these cases is to have the beverage act more or less as the “sauce” of the meal—something that compliments the protein, potatoes, or vegetables but can bring out or enhance more subtle flavors that are within the dishes—so that your palate is in harmony with what you are drinking and eating all at once.

Kung Fu Girl Riesling

This Washington State Riesling is a heavy hitter for such an awesome value that tastes unlike what most consider Riesling to be—cloyingly sweet and lacking texture or balance. Kung Fu Girl is from Charles Smith, and has taken awards for the past five years such as “best value” or “Top 100 Wine” by Wine Spectator, and sourced from the Ancient Lakes area in Columbia Valley where the mineral-rich soil and unique microclimate yield fantastic white wines. The elegant, crisp mineral structure combined with the stone fruit flavors of apricot and peach, intermingle with fuji apple and white flower blossoms… working well with savory flavors, roasted root vegetables, and dark meat.

Domaine Lafage Tessellae GSM

From the south of France, the Cotes du Roussillion which is just west of Provance, hugging the Mediterranean Sea this red blend of three grapes comes from old vines that average 65 years old and the Lafage family also practices organic farming. The balance between Grenache (60%), Syrah (40%), and Mourvedre (10%) give great structure while also maintaining a balance with red, blue, and dark berry fruit, black tea and a hint of clove. Texturally it’s supple and velvety, yet juicy, nicely fitting in-between medium to heavy bodied—will be fantastic to drink on it’s own but will work well with almost any food item… it will also open up quite nicely overtime so it is a good conversation piece.

Graham’s Six Grapes Porto

One of the most balanced and approachable ports out there that is great alone as a “liquid dessert,” but it is fantastic with cookies, baked goods, or desserts with chocolate and or nuts. This young and fruity fortified wine comes from the Porto region of Spain and Graham’s sources it from five high-elevation vineyards. Flavors of dates, dark cherries, figs, and mocha richly coat your palette while still having a graceful finesse.


– Jessica, Otto’s Wine and Spirits – Oakland Ave.