When it comes to choosing wine, it’s hard to please everyone! And during the holidays, it can become a real headache. Between your immediate family, whose tastes you are very familiar with, and that distant relative you see less often, the best idea is to offer all-purpose wines that have a greater chance of being liked by most everyone.

Pairing traditional meals with wine

The premier holiday classic is roast turkey, along with the stuffing and cranberries that bring a bit of complexity to the dish. In general, white meat goes with white wine. But note that when you take into account the other side dishes offered, not to mention a desire to accommodate the tastes of more people, you could override the traditional advice. This type of meal could easily go well with a light red wine, or with a white that has a strong personality.

If you like wine from the South of France, look for options with the taste tag “fruity and medium-bodied”, which have round tannins, plentiful fruit and an enveloping texture. Château Montauriol, for example, is a delicious, balanced and versatile wine produced in a not very well known AOC in the South of France called Fronton. It’s perfect for large dinner parties where the preferences of many people need to be catered to.

With pig’s feet ragout and meatballs or the traditional tourtière—or other meat pies, depending on the local tradition—you can opt for a more robust red with woody notes. The notes of mild spices that are usually pronounced in these dishes marry well with the vanilla and toasted accents lent by the barrel. Wines with the taste tag “aromatic and supple” (or even “aromatic and robust” if paired with the “real” tourtière of Lac-Saint-Jean made with game) would be entirely suitable.

Blackstone, a charming Californian Pinot Noir, will be sure to please everyone—from those who love fairly light wines with supple tannins to supporters of more robust wines—thanks to its fairly exuberant aromatic profile. You could also try a Merlot and Cabernet blend from British Columbia, which is more full-bodied but also very well made.

Bon appétit!