What are You Drinking? Holiday Wine Guide

What do people usually drink for the holidays? Check out the most traditional and classic holiday wines for Christmas, Thanksgiving, and New Year’s. By learning the classics you can either adopt them or pave your own holiday wine drinking tradition. We also included several value-priced alternatives

Not everyone eats turkey on Thanksgiving or roast beef on Christmas, but the theme of winter seasonal vegetables and roasted foods are common. So what are the best wines for the holidays? Instead of listing brands, this article focuses on the food pairing methodology that leads to the best pairings. You’ll be able to choose your holiday wine like a pro!

Thanksgiving Wine (or Friendsgiving)

There are basically 4 fundamental components that go into a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.

  1. Protein usually Turkey
  2. Dry spices including cinnamon and clove
  3. Roasted dishes anything that’s prepared in the oven
  4. Winter Fruits & Vegetables including potato, onion, cranberry, squash and Brussel sprout

When you add all four elements together, you start to realize each food eliminates several wines. For instance, a white wine won’t pair with roasted foods as well as say, a Rosé wine or a Red wine. Additionally, turkey pretty much eliminates a Full-bodied red wine, because of it’s more subtle flavor. If you want a wine that pairs well with exotic spices or baking spices, it’s great to seek out wines with similar tasting nuances. For example, many Barbera wines have nuances of nutmeg, vanilla and anise.

 Selected Thanksgiving Wines

Keep your eyes peeled the following wines, perfect with a classic Thanksgiving dinner

  • $ Barbera Will do very well with meals that include meats other than Turkey such as roast beef, venison and roasted pork. Learn about Barbera wine
  • $ Gamay Will pair perfectly with turkey, chicken or other lighter proteins. An ideal wine with cream and cheese-based dishes. Look for Cru Beaujolais
  • $ Zinfandel or Primitivo Will pair perfectly with Turkey and spiced cranberry sauce or other dishes with dry spices. Find out what regions make the best Zinfandel
  • $ Lambrusco Will pair awesome with turkey. Slightly sweet Lambrusco will hold up to sweet side dishes such as yams or the saccharine American classic: sweet potato marshmellow casserole
  • $$ Pinot Noir Will pair perfectly with turkey, chicken or other lighter proteins. An ideal wine with cream and cheese-based dishes. Read up on Pinot Noir
  • $$S Châteauneuf du Pape Will pair nicely with turkey and ham. Will work wonderfully with roasted root vegetables. Learn about wines from Côtes du Rhône
  • $$$S Amarone Will pair nicely with turkey and ham. Amarone works great with dry spice like cinnamon and clove and dishes with inherent sweetness. Learn more about Amarone wines

The origin of Thanksgiving: Thanksgiving is a holiday to celebrate the year’s harvest. In it’s first iteration at the Plymouth plantation in 1921, Thanksgiving included corn, wild turkey and venison. It was enjoyed by about 90 people; both Native Americans and Pilgrims.

Today, Thanksgiving is the 2nd most popular holiday behind Christmas. Over 50 million turkeys will be for sale around the US and nearly a half million vegetarian ‘tofurkeys’.
My personal pallet varies from mood to mood, but here are some labels of my delicious picks for Thanksgiving!

My personal pallet varies from mood to mood; however, here are some labels for my delicious picks for Thanksgiving!

Article appeared at winefolly.com

Wine + Networking = Always the Perfect Mix | Networking GOLD Wine Tips

blogs.cornell.edu tasting

“Wine is the most civilizing thing in the world.” – Ernest Hemingway


I’d like to preface this post to my beautiful black people… Here we go… (DEATH TO MOSCATO!!) …LOL!! It is so much more to enjoyingNo Moscato wine than Moscato. Why do most African-Americans love Moscato? Because the African-American taste index skews toward sweeter drinks PERIOD. It’s true, I’m not making this up – I learned a great deal about consumers and their preferences working at a former PR agency with a high-profile client.

I want to show you how to make a lasting impression when you’re networking at a wine event, not just at an event where wine will be served, but specifically at a wine event. Wine Tastings, Wine Tours, Grand Opening events — where wine will be served, art galleries (this is my favorite) and Wine Bars.


A Men’s Magazine article says by drinking wine it says that “You’re mature and discerning, and you’re likely an organized professional.”

Great! This is what you want while networking – people who are mature and discerning – these people are also decision makers with any said company, and are ripe in networking contacts – get it ripe? HA! I crack myself up. So keep a keen eye.


SWIRL: Release the aromas of the wine

SNIFF: Short and long sniff’s; savor, what do you smell?

SIP: Coat your palate completely, do the flavors match the aroma (Your palate is composed of a series of taste buds, tongue, and the most important sensor of all: your nose.)

SPIT: There are lots of wine to taste, and your tasting faculties will be reduced if you don’t spit (NOTE: Only if you’re at a tasting; however, it’s not my preference)

WHAT TO TALK ABOUT? This Is Your Networking Segue

  • When you’re interacting, First ask your networking target what their palate is? (NOTE: If you remember nothing else: people respond by you being genuinely interested in them.
  • Respond by disclosing your palate and what you smell.
  • Tell a wine joke.

Joke 1. What did the grape say after the elephant sat on it? Nothing, it just let out a little whine! **my fav joke

Joke 2. A woman was sipping on a glass of wine, while sitting on the patio with her husband, and she says, “I love you so much; I don’t know how I could ever live without you.”

Her husband asks, “Is that you or the wine talking?”

She replies, “It’s me…talking to the wine.”

You’re not starring on Russell Simmons Def Comedy Jam, but it’s appropriate and most people indulging in wine will laugh – it’s all in the delivery!


I’m not a wine expert, and you may not be either, so here are a few cheat tips to help you at your event.

“Chardonnay is the World’s Most Popular White Wine.”

“Pinot Grigio is the most Popular White Wine produced in Italy.”

“The Popular Wine maker Kendall-Jackson’s CEO was featured on CBS’s UnderCover Boss. It’s a great back-story, have you seen it?” (NOTE: make sure you’ve watched the episode)

“Majority of consumers drink their reds too warm and their white wines too cold.” Proper temps allow the wines to show their freshness

Red’s should be served between 65° – 68°
Whites should be served between 48° – 53°

Review or “ASK” the server in the company of your networking parties “…the rating points of the wine.” If it is rated in the 89 – 91 point range – 10 times out of 10 the wine is magnificent!

Now that you’re ready! Check out your local MeetUp.com Wine Groups, Google: Wine Tasting (in said city), Find your next Art Gallery Event (w/ a bar), Find your local wine bar – Make Networking fun, because it can be. Also. Please remember to drink in moderation and slow your pace down, networking inebriated has the opposite effect of what you’re there for.

Now that you have your wine networking arsenal – have your business cards ready! Remember to smile and have fun!

Let me know how it turns out!

‘Wine’ Down Friday


It’s Friday… and all that is pervading my mind is wine. My favorite wines are Reds (Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir) … I am absolutely enamored swirling it around into my nodes. Full-bodied red wines are my delight.  Sweet… Sometimes not… it’s like Calgaon ‘take me away’ in a glass. 🙂

This fun and social drink of choice can bring people together — people who typically do not convene or socialize; however, their commonality in that moment is wine, and it can even help cultivate relationships.

So here’s my Tip: Step outside of your wine pallet box (meaning your goto’s of Moscato, Riesling and Zinfandel). Try something NEW! Read the description label for the ingredient’s of smells that will soon dance around through your nose (is it cherries, is it oak-ed, strawberries, plum, pear)? Before you sip, swirl the glass around — close your eyes and sniff — then taste. Then ensures you savor every moment.

– Sab

Hashtag: #RoundTableDiscussion

Yesterday evening I attended an event at Pisces Sushi Bar & Lounge — the event dubbed #RoundTableDiscussion is a dialogue series where you have some of Charlotte’s sharp, passionate and most stylish people — who come together and dialogue about topics ranging in the realm of relationships, love and dating in Charlotte (Which is an extremely hot topic here) and dating will always be a hot topic. This was a fun time, fun because the ambiance was chic, the people where good looking and stylish, wine was flowing, sushi was rampant (not for me I don’t like seafood) and you never know what you’re going to learn when you come to one of these events. I’ve been in Charlotte for a little over a year (from Milwaukee) and I knew immediately that this was a hot topic — as it is in many metro cities of thriving young single-blacks.

“…some of Charlotte’s sharp, passionate and most stylish people.”

The event was hosted by Shanard Smith @DaBestDressed. Him and his team put a lot of detailed effort into this event — from the hashtag name-tags to addressing each attendee by name — adding that personable touch. The attendee make-up entailed 40 some people — ages ranging from late 20’s to early to mid-30’s. The topic of last night’s event was the “Independent Woman” — this is almost always synonymous with black women (le sigh).

The conversation delved into discussions on the problems that successful women endure when making a substantial salary, ranging from not finding a man on her “level” (I loathe this term), to finding a man that is comparable to her salary grade, but he’s very much promiscuous and not really into her as much OR the man that is into her, worships her entire being, but he’s making substantially less. This topic has been discussed quite often and I can tell you the conversation went everywhere, it got professionally heated — I inserted a few stink faces…lol at some perspectives, but it was a galvanizing conversation for the passionate person — not an event for the meek.

…don’t give me the flowers and candy…get me some red bottoms.”

There comes a point where we have to say, so what’s the plan of action? Because this issue…yes this is an issue — that has been beaten up and I am TIRED of being the butt of the single black woman statistics jokes …well not me me, but you know what I mean. When I woman says “…don’t give me the flowers and candy…get me some red bottoms.” *insert stink face* Yes, this was an actual comment that I could not believe my ears. You don’t wonder why we’re stereotyped anymore, that’s why.

1) ..they are not red bottoms..they are Christian Louboutin’s!!!

2) …she has a right to have standards.

3) ..she’ll be single for a long while in Charlotte with that prerequisite

4) …she’s why I make the conscious decision to exert staying away from the numerous stereotype’s placed on us. ..I love sista’s who can just BE…BE different, and not “trying” to be and you feel that from her. (digressing)

I won’t turn this into a novelette — overall this was a fun professional chic event — filled with beauty, sass, loquacious statements, funny perspectives, stink face perspectives, that’s well worth attending. I am a genuine fan of people — who I perceive to be #goodpeoples success. I also love the exclusivity of the event, because it keeps it fresh, fun and conversational. – Sab

Wine Meets Grill

Wine Meets Grill via Earthfare

It’s summer, which can mean only one thing…your customers are firing up the grill! But the task of choosing the right wine to pair with a grilled feast is enough to char your brain. When faced with this question from your favorite customers, here are a few quick, basic pairing tips that are sure to make any cookout a success!

Zinfandels are red wines that pair well with a variety of red meats. Their acidity, bold flavors and ripe tannins combine with the meat’s fats and juices to enhance the flavor of both.

Merlot is a fruit-forward wine that pairs well with spicy grilled foods. If your grilled chicken or pork chops pack a heaty-punch, try pairing them with a Merlot to soften the blow.

Pinot Noir is one of the friendlier varietals of wine when it comes to pairing – it’ll play nice with just about anything. If you’re overwhelmed in the wine aisle, it’s always a safe bet. Grilled fish fares especially well in the presence of a Pinot Noir.

Chardonnay tends to taste best when combined with creamy, buttery foods. Pair a chardonnay with grilled fish or chicken served with a creamy sauce.

Sauvignon Blanc is known for an herbaceous quality that makes it an ideal partner for Italian dressings or citrus marinades. Veggies in herbs (especially roasted peppers) combined with Sauvignon Blanc makes for an unbeatable combination.