Entertaining This Holiday Season? Here’s the Perfect Wine Cheat Sheet

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The holidays can be daunting. Months of decorating, planning, buying gifts and—of course there is the entertaining. Right before the holidays, I get a rush of panicked customers asking which wine pairs well with turkey or how many bottles should I buy etc. Have no fear, your wine guru is here!

Keep it simple.  

You don’t need five different types of wine for one occasion. I’d do one red and one white offering. If you know you have guests with specific preferences, obviously, it is nice to accommodate them.  

Select crowd-pleasers.  

These are wines that appeal to a variety of palates. I like to suggest a red blend and Pinot Gris. Pinot Gris is a nice and neutral white while a red blend doesn’t offend people who dislike certain grape varieties. 

On a budget?  Buy a nice boxed wine.

Yes, I said it!  There are some really good boxed wine out there.  Before your guests arrive, dispense the wine into a decanter or carafe. The stigma of drinking wine from a box will be nonexistent! Shhhh they’ll never know!

Food Pairings

How do you pair to the eclectic mix of the turkey table?  From green bean casserole to cranberries sauce, you can’t pair everything perfectly so focus on the protein.  

Bubbles!  You cannot go wrong with sparkling wine.  You could take the fancy route with a French Champagne or a much less expensive Cava which is the name for sparking wine from Spain.   

For Turkey: Oregon Pinot Noir (Red), Beaujolais Cru (Gamay) Red, Dry Riesling (White), Viognier (White) 

For Lamb: French Syrah (Red)

For Ham: Spanish Garnacha (Red)

Charm them!  

The glasses, that is! To avoid spreading cooties, wine charms are essential!  Or you can also buy special markers to write on your name on your glass.  

Plan ahead!  

If you know your menu, buy the wines ahead of time. They won’t go bad.  he hardest part is just not drinking them before the holiday.  

Wine Serving Cheat Sheet

*Standard bottle of wine is approximately 24 oz which means there are six 4-ounce pours per bottle of wine!

Serving Temperatures

🍷Sparkling Wine: 35-45 degrees Fahrenheit 

🍷White Wine: 45-55 degrees Fahrenheit

🍷Red Wine: 60-65 degrees Fahrenheit

Serving Order

🍷Dry before Sweet

🍷Low Tannin before High Tannin

🍷Low Alcohol before High Alcohol 


Born in Manhattan, Kansas, Whitney was raised in Wichita, returned to the Little Apple for a degree in Hospitality and minor in French.  She has been a wine buyer for Jacob Liquor since 2009.

Proud step-mom to twins Tripp and Trinity (b.2007) and mom to Ike (b.2015) and Margaux (b.2018).  

You can find her sweating it out in hot yoga, enjoying a home-cooked dinner with a big glass of wine, or watching a family movie.  She and her husband reside in the historic Sleepy Hollow neighborhood of Wichita and enjoy renovating their 1930s home.  

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