We've been teaching wine classes lately and did one on Holiday wine. We tasted fourteen wines altogether and had a lot of fun. The NV Mumm Napa Brut goes well with everything - turkey, ham, roast beef. Great way to start off a holiday meal. Chandon Brut is a little drier. Both are great buys on sale at about $13. Although Riesling, goes great with turkey, we were somewhat disappointed by the 2006 Ch. Ste Michelle "Eroica", Dr. Loosen at $18 from Costco. Instead we preferred an inexpensive Riesling from Safeway for five bucks - 2005 Peisporter Michelsberg Spatlese - light easy slightly sweet, floral character. Our 2005 MacMurray Pinot Gris was off - volatile acidity and what else? For those who prefer drier whites, King Estate, Erath, and Luna Pinot Gris would all work with Turkey and Ham. Finally,2005 Merryvale "Starmont" Napa Chardonnay is available once agin at a reasonable price ( about $15 at Costco) The Starmont tastes almost French in its relative fullness with great balance and a hint of that stony quality I like so much. Edna Valley Chardonnay is also a good bet at less than $15. Glenn Ellen Chardonnay can be had for $6 on sale for a 1.5 liter bottle and Columbia Crest "Two Vines" Chard also a great buy at $7 or less and is widely available. Rose and pink wines work with Turkey and ham. We tasted 2006 Chinook Cabernet Franc from the Yakima Valley. As usual, it was excellent and went well with ham or turkey. BTW, for all you vegetarians and vegans out there, these all work with Tofurkey, too.
Okay, so you hate whites or you can't drink them. Beaujolais Nouveau, Beaujolais and light Pinot Noirs work with turkey and ham. But if you don't like Turkey ( how UnAmerican!), why not just serve roast beef? Then you can enjoy any red you want. We sampled 2004 Beringer "Alluvium", Knights Valley ( about $30 at Costco) - good , but not that exciting. We preferred the 2004 Hedges Three Vineyards, from Red Mountain, Washington (about $18 at Costco), a blend of Cab Sauv, Merlot, Cab Franc and Petit Verdot which is structured like a French Bordeaux with considerable tannin at the end. A "masculine" wine, great with beef. The 2005 Reserve des Remparts, St. Emilion, Calvet ( about $15 at Trader Joe) is softer , but would go equally well with roast beef.
We finished with a great dessert wine from Paso Robles - 2006 Eos "Tears of Dew" Late Harvest Moscato (about $20 at Costco [no, I'm not on commission]). With over 20% residual sugar, this sweetie is great with blue cheese and pears. Finally settle down in front of the fireplace with some walnuts and Taylor Fladgate 10 Year Old Tawny Port ( about $25 at Costco). It's really very simple. Drink what you like. IMO, the best match with Turkey is Riesling or Chenin Blanc ( try Walla Voila from L'Ecole winery in Washington, if you can find it) or the French Vouvray, but, alas, they are not to my gout, so I drink Chardonnay.