Planning the menu for an elegant and festive holiday meal can be quite a juggling act!

There are tons of classic holiday dishes everyone is looking forward to, each with its own distinct and bold flavors. With so many traditional, and maybe some nontraditional, dishes coming together, choosing what wine to serve with it can be a real challenge.

To start, establish which flavors of the meal as a whole or of each individual course you want to highlight. Some good rules of thumb to follow: sweet wines go well with sweet dishes, salty dishes go well with crisp wines, and fatty foods go well with wines that are high in tannins. Another note that is good to keep in mind, especially with holiday-themed meals, is that dishes featuring clove and nutmeg flavors will greatly emphasize wines with high alcohol content, meaning more burn.

Sparkling Wines

When it comes to the holidays, sparkling wines are definitely the most popular choice, and for good reason! Beyond the celebratory mood of the season, holiday meals are packed with bold, flavorful dishes that are typically pretty heavy. So when it comes to choosing a wine to complement the meal as a whole, it’s a great idea to go light and crisp.

A key point of the meal where a sparkling wine will really shine is right at the beginning. Everyone loves to cheers with some bubbly at the beginning of dinner and the lightness of Champagne or sparkling wine works well with charcuterie-style hors d’oeuvres and starters. Salty and robust cheeses and sausages especially! Any other dishes with high salt content will do well with a sparkling partner to help lift them up. Sparkling wines are also excellent to serve alongside dishes with duck since the bright acidity accentuates the sweet fatty flavors and rich meaty notes.


Iron Horse 2018 Winter’s Cuvée

Creamy and rich in texture, this sparkling wine is a great go-to for chilly winter evenings. Ripe red apple, baking spice, toasted almonds, and brioche flood the nose, and flavors of apple pie and honeysuckle are wrapped up with a lingering Meyer lemon finish.

Available in Kansas.


Champagne Jacquart Mosaïque Brut

Generous, lush bubbles with vibrant exuberance. Delicate notes of pear, peach, and apricot work beautifully with this Champagne’s white fruit and zesty lemon notes, keeping it fresh and light.

Available in Missouri & Kansas.



Piper Sonoma Brut Reserve

Primarily Chardonnay with a touch of Pinot Noir. Uplifting fruit notes of tangerine, pineapple, and pear invite you in, and comforting secondary aromas of hazelnut and butterscotch make this sparkling beauty perfect for cheering in the holidays.

Available in Missouri.

Red Wines

For those looking to enjoy red wine with their holiday dinner offerings, go for milder varieties that won’t be overwhelming. Nothing screams the holiday season more than spicy, fruit-forward wines, but if they are too bold they may end up detracting from the meal. Milder varieties of red wine are excellent for cleansing the palate throughout the meal and help to smooth out the heaviness of classic holiday dishes.

Pinot Noir is the number one go-to wine for this season since it works particularly well with everyone’s favorite holiday protein – turkey! Of course, it’s also a great partner for dishes featuring cranberries and cherries. Fans of green bean casserole should pick up some Cabernet Franc since its strong herbal notes can accompany without overpowering. Cabernet Franc in general for holiday meals is a fantastic choice since most have an inviting and fruity personality with a little bit of earthiness mixed in. If lamb appears on your holiday menu, consider serving it with a full-bodied Syrah to enhance the lamb’s fat and herby flavors.

Dashe Cellars 2020 Cabernet Franc, Heringer Vineyard 

Aromas of black cherry, pomegranate, cocoa powder, and earth welcome you in while bright fruity flavors are balanced with slight peppery notes. Light-bodied with solid tannins and a velvety mouthfeel.

Available in Missouri & Kansas.




This unique red blend carries aromas of blueberry, cherry, plum, and strawberry layered beautifully with warm leather, pipe tobacco, black pepper, and allspice notes. Its generous fruit flavors meld with earthy mushroom and olive ones and are followed by an elegant finish of cranberry and dark chocolate.

Available in Missouri & Kansas.



Domaine de Panisse Côtes du Rhône Rouge ‘Le Mazet’

An herbaceous blend of Syrah and Grenache. Notes of ripe black fruit, pepper, thyme, and lavender make this plush and fresh wine round, well-balanced, and great for pairing with grilled meats, like lamb or steak.

Available in Missouri.

White Wines

White wines are typically less likely to show up to the holiday dinner, but with a careful touch, they can make an impressive showing. For example, if seafood is being served, a complimenting aromatic white wine will go perfectly with it. Same with roasted vegetables, namely green ones, white meat, and cream sauces, which can benefit greatly from a tart, crisp kick from dry white wine.

For those ultra-buttery or nutty dishes that everyone is expecting to see at holiday dinner, you can’t go wrong with Chardonnay, of course! If you go for one with a strong oaky presence, pair it with foods that have low acidity. It’s the perfect creamy, almost oily companion for these dishes.


Buck Shack 2020 Whitetail Chardonnay 

This Chardonnay is bursting with warming flavors of baked pears, spiced apples, citrus, and beeswax. The lush fruity character of this wine is balanced beautifully with strong brioche notes, thanks to a long fermentation on oak.

Available in Missouri & Kansas.



Sean Minor 2019 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 

Charming flavors of baked green apples, lemon curd, and warm pineapple make this Chardonnay crisp and inviting. Keeping the fruity notes from turning this wine too sweet is a pleasant, yet slight minerality, bringing a nice balance. The lengthy finish carries a hint of cardamom and vanilla.

Available in Missouri.

Stocking up on your new go-to holiday wine selections? Ask about these wines at your favorite local retailer or liquor store!