Martha Stewart's Wine Advice For Your Holiday Party

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Most foodies can probably agree that no proper dinner is complete without a complementary wine. Even the father of the Protestant Reformation Martin Luther once famously commented, "Beer is made by men, wine by God" (via GoodReads). It's an accouterment tailor-made to please the senses. The book "Booze & Vinyl: A Spirited Guide to Great Music and Mixed Drinks" by Andre Darlington pairs cocktails with specific records for an ultimate listening experience. 

The power of a good wine pairing can take on an especially prominent role during the holiday season. It starts in November with Thanksgiving dinner, then moves on to the annual holiday party at the office. After, it's Christmas with your family, and then maybe Hanukkah with your spouse's family, too. According to a OnePoll survey of 2,000 U.S. consumers via the New York Post, folks attend three times more social gatherings during the holiday season than during any other time of year and tend to drink roughly twice as much. Considering wine is at the center of many holiday dinners, the figure isn't all too surprising.

Myka Meier of Beaumont Etiquette says (via Martha Stewart) that when you set the table for any type of gathering, wine glasses belong as part of the standard table setting — specifically, they are supposed to be set above the dinner plate and to the right of the water glass. Foodie Martha Stewart has some wine advice for your next holiday party. 

Stewart says to keep it simple

Martha Stewart tells Food & Wine that the key to a perfect wine lineup at any holiday party isn't variety. To please all palettes, Stewart recommends serving a solid white wine and a light red option — that's it.

Pair turkey, says Stewart, with Zinfandel. The wine makes a good fit due to its moderate tannins, mild acidity, and slight sweetness, MasterClass explains. The outlet recommends pairing the wine with fruity or chili-forward foods like sweet and sour pork, roasted duck, Bouillabaisse, Tonkatsu ramen, curry, or any kind of barbecue. If Zinfandel isn't your thing, Eric Asimov of The New York Times says a light red Lambrusco "pairs perfectly with the rich, flavorful foods" of Italy's Emilia Romagna region. Fittingly for a party, many charcuterie board ingredients feature regional Emilia offerings, like salumi, Parmigiano Reggiano, truffles, and chestnuts, per Great Italian Chefs.

For white wine fans, Wine Folly recommends pairing sweet whites with light meats, sour foods, and spicy dishes. Riesling, for instance, has the range to complement both chicken breast and Pad Thai. Plus, Riesling can be stored for longer than most other finicky whites. Wine purveyor J.J. Buckley suggests pairing roast pork with an appley Chenin Blanc, or buttery lobster with an aged oak Chardonnay.

Whatever wines you select, keep them simple, and enjoy them in good company this holiday. As legendary editor Clifton Fadiman put it, "A bottle of wine begs to be shared; I have never met a miserly wine lover."