Wine pairings that work beyond the holiday season

Editor’s note: You may recall that the parent company for the Culpeper Times purchased  the Lifestyle magazines toward the end of last year. We also recognize that many of Culpeper’s residents are commuters traveling through the Gainesville/Haymarket area.

In the spirit of colleague exchange, we offer these foodie pairings drawing from wineries further north in the Piedmont area and thank contributor Steve Oviatt for sharing.

Over the past year, we’ve had the pleasure of enjoying numerous wines, beers and spirits from local wineries, breweries and distilleries. Now, coming into the holiday season, we’re putting what we discovered this year to good use and assembling the ultimate holiday pairing list. Highlight your holiday spread with any of these local beverage options to lift your meal or party to the next level of delicious!

HORS D’OEUVRES

These are perfect when celebrating with light snacks:

λ Martinis made with Battle Standard 142 Navy Strength Gin from KO Distilling, Divine Clarity Vodka or Imagination Gin from Murlarkey Distilled Spirits

λ Absinthe from Mt. Defiance Distillery

λ Cocktails incorporating rums and liqueurs from Mt. Defiance Distillery, infused spirits from Murlarkey Distilled Spirits, or Virginia Moon White Whiskey from KO Distilling

λ Pinot Gris from Blue Valley Vineyard & Winery

λ Sauvignon Blanc from Blue Valley Vineyard & Winery, Stone Tower Winery, or 50 West Vineyards

λ Vidal Blanc, Viognier, or Petit Mensang from Delaplane Cellars

λ Wild Boar Chardonnay from Stone Tower Winery

λ Virginia Blonde American Ale from Tin Cannon Brewing

CHEESE

Brie – Think light and slightly fruity:

λ Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Gris from Blue Valley Vineyards

λ Rose of Sangiovese from 50 West Vineyards

λ Vidal Blanc or Viognier from Delaplane Cellars

λ Twin Cannons Double IPA from Tin Cannon Brewing

λ Divine Clarity Vodka or Clemoncy from Murlarkey Distilled Spirits

Port Salut – Bigger and bolder works here:

λ Merlot or Cabernet Franc from Blue Valley Vineyards

λ Melange Rouge from Delaplane Cellars

λ Cabernet Franc or Aldie Heights Cuvee from 50 West Vineyards

λ Estate Windswept Hill or Estate Hogback Mountain from Stone Tower Winery

Chevre – Balance this big cheese flavor with:

λ Wild Boar Sauvignon Blanc from Stone Tower Winery

λ Vidal Blanc or Viognier from Delaplane Cellars

λ Busted Pipe Black IPA from Tin Cannon Brewing

Cheddar – For this mainstay, try:

λ Wild Boar Chardonnay from Stone Tower Winery

λ Vidal Blanc or Viognier from Delaplane Cellars

λ Sauvignon Blanc from 50 West Vineyards, Blue Valley Vineyards or Stone Tower Winery

λ American Blonde American Ale, Heart of Lion Amber Ale, or Busted Pipe Black IPA from Tin Cannon Brewing

Blue, Stilton or Gorgonzola – These bold cheeses demand the bold tastes of:

λ Martinis made with Battle Standard 142 Navy Strength Gin from KO Distilling, Divine Clarity Vodka or Imagination Gin from Murlarkey Distilled Spirits

λ Cocktails incorporating rums and liqueurs from Mt. Defiance Distillery, infused spirits from Murlarkey Distilled Spirits, or Virginia Moon White Whiskey from KO Distilling

λ Melange Rouge from Delaplane Cellars

λ Cabernet Franc or Aldie Heights Cuvee from 50 West Vineyards

λ Wild Boar Pinot Noir, Estate Windswept Hill or Estate Hogback Mountain from Stone Tower Winery

SALADS

Try these to showcase the garden’s bounty without overpowering:

λ Sauvignon Blanc from Blue Valley Vineyards, 50 West Vineyards or Stone Tower Winery

λ Vidal Blanc from Delaplane Cellars

λ Mixed drinks made with Battle Standard 142 Navy Strength Gin from KO Distilling, Divine Clarity Vodka or Imagination Gin from Murlarkey Distilled Spirits, or White Rum from Mt. Defiance Distillery

ENTREES

Shellfish

λ Vidal Blanc or Viognier from Delaplane Cellars

λ Sauvignon Blanc from 50 West Vineyards, Blue Valley Vineyards, or Stone Tower Winery

Lobster & Fish, Chicken, and Turkey

λ Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Gris from Blue Valley Vineyards

λ Wild Boar Chardonnay from Stone Tower Winery

λ Vidal Blanc or Viognier from Delaplane Cellars

λ Sauvignon Blanc from 50 West Vineyards, Blue Valley Vineyards, or Stone Tower Winery

λ Virginia Blonde American Ale from Tin Cannon Brewing

Beef

λ Merlot or Cabernet Franc from Blue Valley Vineyards

λ Melange Rouge from Delaplane Cellars

λ Cabernet Franc or Aldie Heights Cuvee from 50 West Vineyards

λ Wild Boar Pinot Noir, Estate Windswept Hill or Estate Hogback Mountain from Stone Tower Winery

Ham

λ Viognier from 50 West Vineyards

λ American Blonde American Ale, Heart of Lion Amber Ale or Busted Pipe Black IPA from Tin Cannon Brewing

Dessert

λ Amaretto from Mt. Defiance Distillery

λ Cavalier Joe Bourbon Porter from Tin Cannon Brewing

We hope you enjoy these pairings to get your seasonal feast in the spirit of the season. Experiment with your own pairings and be creative! And please consider supporting our local farmers, vintners, brewers and distillers when you set your holiday table or purchase gifts. 

Steve Oviatt is Past President of the Haymarket Gainesville Business Association who runs his own consulting business in addition to working with a number of local and international wineries. Steve acknowledges his daughter taught him everything he knows about wine. He lives in Catharpin with his wife, Nancy.