The holidays are a wonderful time that is often associated with festive gatherings, including dinner parties. Planning a Christmas feast can be a fun and exciting task, but the nuances of the preparation can also be overwhelming. One of the most overlooked aspects of planning a Christmas dinner is the drink menu. Specifically, it is crucial to make sure that your drink options offer your guests sufficient variety and complement the meal you prepare.
For many, the first thought that comes to mind regarding holiday drinks is sweet concoctions bursting with sugar. Whether it be eggnog, spiced cider or mulled wine, these beverages can be a charming and welcome addition to a holiday meal. However, despite their inherent festive nature, care should be used when selecting sweet beverages for a dinner party. Heavily spiced or sweetened beverages can overwhelm the taste buds of your guests and cause the food itself to seem bland in comparison. Thus, many of these classic sweet drinks are best served before or following a meal, rather than during.
Of course, many of us associate festive and delicious alcoholic beverages with holiday gatherings. This is certainly an area where proper planning and thought can go a long way. It is important to make sure that the beverages you provide pair properly with your planned menu. For example, a slightly sweet white wine is an excellent pairing for the sage and thyme herb profile that is common with turkey. The subtle sweetness, in this case, serves to complement the relatively neutral flavor of the meat and elevate its nuances. Care should be taken when consuming such beverages, however. Murfreesboro Family Dentistry warns that alcoholic beverages can dry out your mouth and make it easier for cavities to form. Additionally, red wine can and will stain teeth if left alone. So, while having mulled wine, cider and other alcoholic drinks is fine, make sure you also serve enough water to help rinse the mouth and clear off any acids clinging to teeth.
Beer Deserves Attention Too
While many menu planners classically focus on wine, neglecting the modern availability of craft beer is a mistake. There has never been a time where there are more varied and delicious beer options on the market. Thus, take some care in pairing your beer options as well. For the main course, a punchy option like an IPA is a great way to offset bold holiday flavors and heavily spiced dishes. In contrast, according to MGM Wine & Spirits, a sweeter dark option like a stout or porter is a great choice for a dessert pairing where ginger, clove, cinnamon or other similar spices are likely to be present.
Once you begin exploring the world of food and beverage pairings, it can be easy to become overwhelmed. Luckily, with just a few small tricks and a couple of thoughtful selections, the task can be both easy and fun. Just a few moments planning out your drink menu can elevate your holiday gatherings to something truly special.
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