Christmas Meal

If you are looking for a great wine to pair with your holiday meal (or meals!) this year, then I have some great options for you.

Starting off with a rosé, rosé is probably the oldest type of wine dating back as far as 600 BC.  Rosé wines are typically made from red grapes and the color of Rosé ranges from very light pink to dark pink based on the time the juice spends in contact with the red grape skins.  This is called maceration.  When winemakers juice red grapes to make Rosé they leave the juice in contact with the skins, usually 2-3 days.  When the juice gets to the desired pink hue, the skins are removed and the juice is fermented into tasty Rosé.  There is a misconception that Rosé is made by mixing red wine with white wine.  True Rosé is not made in this manner.

The very popular Apothic brand has a new Rosé.  This is a great wine to serve with your big sit-down Christmas meal.  Or, you can drink it while standing with small plates.  This wine is very versatile and affordable.  This wine is in our ad this week.  It has a darker look and feel than typical Rosé items.  It is made in California and has flavor layers of watermelon, strawberry, and raspberry.  Pairs well with hearty cheeses or dark chocolate. Available in all Family Fresh Market stores.   

A gorgeous spot for Michigan wine is Chateau Chantal.  The views from Chateau Chantal’s parking lot is epic.  360 degrees of beauty all around.  The tasting room and inn is situated on the top of a hill where you can view both the west arm and the east arm of Grand Traverse Bay.  There have been millions of pictures taken from this winery.  Chateau Chantal has offered us a new item that is their Bubbly Cherry.  This Bubbly Cherry wine is made from 100% Montmorency tart cherries.  It is done in the very popular sweet style with bubbles.  The pairing recommendations are strawberries, popcorn, spicy foods, appetizers, and fried food.  I also recommend chocolate with this beauty.  This wine won a silver medal at the 2017 Tasters Guild International Wine Competition.  This is a great wine to start out at your family and friends’ parties. 

Some additional great wineries that have come out with some amazing Rosés are Cupcake and Dark Horse. Cupcake has released a new Rosé which comes from California grapes. Flavors of watermelon, strawberry and white nectarines give this wine a very refreshing taste. Dark Horse also from California has come out with a limited release Rosé. There is no oak contact with this wine which leads to a very complex, rich fruit-forward flavor. Available in all Family Fresh Market stores.   

In Michigan, between Hudsonville and Allendale there is a road named Stanton.  You need to take a little trip to this road and visit Farmhaus.  My wife and I are close enough to ride our bikes to Farmhaus.  Farmhaus Ciders have a new cider named Crushable.  What a great name for a cider, I’m surprised no one had used it before.  This is a cool and refreshing cider due to its addition of cucumber to the mix.  A real thirst quencher.  6.4% is the ABV.  This cider pairs with Christmas appetizers and anything vegetable. 

Outside of Michigan there are some amazing national brand cider’s to introduce you to the crisp, cool and refreshing flavors of apples and some amazing combinations that have been crafted. Depending on your taste there is something for everybody. Do you have a sweet tooth, check out Angry Orchard. Like something drier, Strongbow may be for you. Don’t like sweet or dry, Crispin is a nice in between and very refreshing. All of these brands also have released their own rosé cider. Available in all Family Fare stores.

Founder’s Rubaeus is all raspberry, all the way through.  You cannot believe how much raspberry is introduced into each batch of Rubaeus.  This beer is described as summer that can be enjoyed all year long.  The fruit in this beer will pair great with all the protein dishes for the holidays.  If you have BBQ pork ribs as any part of your holiday celebrations, this is the beer to pair.  You cannot fit another raspberry into this beer.  It is outstanding with cheese as well, especially brie or white cheddars.  ABV of 5.7% with 15 IBUs.  Very drinkable, very delicious. 

Modelo Especial from Corona is a very hot beer right now.  It has been showing strong growth for the last three years.  A bold Mexican beer than Corona, Modelo is a classic, thirst quenching beer.  Crisp and sweet are what characterize this pilsner from Modelo.  ABV is 4.4% with 12 IBUs. Available in all Family Fresh Market stores. 

All great items to pair with your Christmas fare!

Greg Vanoverloop Beer Wine Spirits Category Manager
Greg Vanoverloop Beer Wine Spirits Category ManagerGreg VanOverloop, Beer & Wine Specialist

  • Started in the Grocery business bagging at D&W in 1975.  Worked at D&W for 30 years in various departments.
  • Worked at SpartanNash for 11 years.  Currently the Category Manager for Wine/Beer/Spirits for SpartanNash East.
  • Have been a category manager since 1990 and a category manager of beer  since 1997.  CM of wine and spirits since 2007.
  • Have travelled extensively which provided the opportunity to taste many foods and beverages from Hong Kong to Caribbean, from California to Maine.
  • Love to cook, grill, and bake, snow ski, sail, and read books.    Best baked item – a bourbon pecan pie with rum crust.  Best grilled item – salmon with blueberry onion wine sauce and goat cheese.  Best cooked item – Squash Apple soup with bourbon.  Best ski slope – Go Devil at Keystone.  Best book – Wonder.
  • 1 wife, 3 children, 7.3 grandchildren.