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Tips for Your Holiday Wines 2016

  10/30/2016 at 02:11 am

Tips on Setting your Table for the Upcoming Holiday Festivities


If you are not carving the turkey this holiday season, chances are you are bringing the wine. From Thanksgiving dinner to yuletide gatherings and all the festive parties in between, there’s plenty of occasions that tempt revelers to throw up their hands in search of the “perfect” bottle of vine-ripened goodness. Popping the cork on your most intimate wine questions, San Diego Wine Company owner, Matt Francke, is sharing his fool-proof guide to get through the holidays, one glass at a time.

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From the time he could walk, Matt Francke has been knee-deep in the viticultural lifestyle, with familial roots tied heavily to the founding of Napa’s storied wine region. A San Diego native, Matt launched his career at Orfila Vineyards in the San Pasqual Valley, eventually working his way up from a  tasting room manager  to outside Sales Manager. With the dream of educating and sharing his passion for wine, Matt took a job at San Diego Wine Co., eventually buying the company from the original owner. Charged with leading San Diego’s wine education, Matt has curated a selection of nearly 1,000 different wineries from all over the globe, alongside a local and imported craft beer inventory consisting of nearly 600 selections.
When planning for what’s arguably the most food-centric time of the year, Matt is excited to share a few nuggets of his barrel-aged wisdom, including:

   THANKSGIVING: The perfect time to show off stellar West Coast grapes to those visiting from out of town, Thanksgiving hosts should plan to uncork around eight bottles of wine for every twelve people – four white and four red. Play around with full bodied red blends and Pinot Noirs from Oregon, and big, juicy Chardonnays from California – these wines will help forgive a slightly dry turkey and add extra pizzazz to the traditional T-Giving spread.

Goldeneye By Duckhorn 2013 Pinot Noir $39.95
Meiomi 2015 Pinot Noir $15.95
San Simeon 2014 Chardonnay $13.95

     PASSOVER: Shedding their stigma as an over-boiled, super sweet wine genre, Kosher wines have seen a renaissance over the past decade, with innovative winemakers rising to the challenge of making Kosher wine palatable and flavorful while adhering to Jewish dietary law. As the wine regions of Israel, New York and even California have embraced this style of wine, Passover wine options have blossomed. From brightly balanced Chenin Blancs to a fresh and clean Syrah, those seeking Kosher options have a number of choices that can’t be beat.

           Baron Herzog Chenin Blanc/Viognier $12
           Barkan Israel Syrah Classic $12
           Carmel Israel Cabernet Sauvignon $20

  CHRISTMAS: Use Christmas dinner as an opportunity to unleash your inner sommelier and get creative with your wine pairings. Using the rich flavors of seasoned lamb, fresh seafood or a more traditional roast as your jumping off point, don’t be afraid to uncork something unique and new to pair alongside. Spanish Tempranillos give guests that full-bodied experience, while Italian Nebbiolo appear delicate to the nose, but taste more robust than their Pinot Noir counterpart. Lastly, a Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (I know not as unique), because who doesn’t enjoy a big, rich, flavorful Cabernet Sauvignon with a juicy roast! All three wines provide texture to your Christmas meal, and will have guests lingering over their glasses long after dinner ends.

            Cune 2012 Rioja Tempranillo Reserva $19.95
            Mirafiore 2011 Barolo (nebbiolo) $24.95
            Faust Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon $35.95


By Michaela Keilty for Matt Francke