Maybe you’re not into bubbly. Maybe you want to keep the sparkles for midnight because you spent the rent on it. Either way, glasses of perlage (French for bubbles) are not the only options when it comes to wine on New Year’s Eve.
Before holiday parties, we often find ourselves chasing the clock with to-dos — gotta get some stuff done before the party, need to get dressed (and that takes a minute), must make the playlist you said you were going to start working on over Thanksgiving (do you put WAP on there?) — only to rush out the door or into your living room to hit that Zoom link and say “hey” like it was all smooth sailing. And no, you didn’t forget the wine, it was bubbly and something else. Well, you don’t know what you bought. You were in a rush.
And whether you are continuing the podded holiday, flying solo, or clinking glasses with your significant other on Zoom, the first thing we all go for before wine is food because you’ve had a long day, and you haven’t eaten since brekkie. And usually, save for a big dinner with friends, which can’t happen ’til NYE 2021, the offerings include some sort of hors d’oeuvre and crudités with a mystery green-tinged dip. Basically, light fare.
The best wines to pair with light fare are light wines. I know it sounds a bit obvi, but if you don’t know what to look for or don’t have time to ask questions, you may grab a big ol’ red or oaky white. Either would be fine because it’s a party, but they’ll overwhelm the food. If you grab a few lighter vinos, you can expect a compliment or two about how well the food and wine pairs. Also, lighter wines have less alcohol, so you can make it until midnight, kiss a loved one (or blow a kiss to friends), and even dance a bit.
The wines listed here are all of these things. They are light and bright, young with juicy fruit, and low-ish in alcohol. So order up some nibbles, grab these wines online or at your local shop, and have a happy and safe New Year’s Eve.
This wine has a lean depth with great acidity. It is salty and fruity, like a sliced pear sprinkled with flaky sea salt. Your palate will thank you when paired with raw veggies and the big sushi platter you ordered too much of.
This wine is on the level of refreshment of the wine above, but it has a little more depth. The acidity is vibrant and lifts the fruit just right on the palate. This is a great wine for snacks like a caprese salad (real talk, everything is pierced on a kabob on this occasion) or a BLT canapé.
Is the wasabi a bit much? Korean beef is a little too spicy atop that moist cucumber? Let Riesling calm that heat and give you a dollop of sugar for good measure. This wine is lush and smooth, with bracing acidity and a broad, juicy palate. It has a calm, sweet vibe that will tamp down any spice.
Throw this bottle in the fridge for about 30 minutes and sip chilled. Even if it’s snowing outside, this is a bright berry fruit refreshment of a wine. It’s tart, juicy, and smells like cherries and fresh soil. This wine will pair with any snack you have made or ordered. It has wonderful acidity with a chewy fruit core. You could even just sip this on its own — just remember to chill it.
If your food situation is a bit more hefty than usual, this is a great companion. It has a lean, river-rock minerality that brightens up dark, brooding fruit, making it great for food. It smells like blackberries and an autumn forest with a whiff of pepper, and it would be so good with a roasted chicken or a steak (you deserve it).
This is a solid case-buy if you’re all podded up. Either way, it’s big, juicy, and coats the palate. It has good acidity, so it’s balanced and not goopy. This is perfect for the pizza that’s on it’s way (tip your driver), or those weird but delicious burger wraps.