While beers, meads, and ciders pair well with turkeys and cranberry sauce, one can't forget the wine drinkers this holiday season. For suggestions on what to wines serve friends and family this year, Eater turned to certified sommelier David Armin-Parcells of MotorCity Wine. The proprietor, who has 20 years of experience pairing wines, offers several ideas for vintages to accompany the sweet and savory aspects of holiday eating.
"It's generally a good time to get wines that are pretty easy drinking and crowd pleasers instead of pulling out an old bordeaux," Armin-Parcells says. "Your flavors are really going to overpower that; so I've selected some crowd pleasers but still really on the interesting side."
Lini 910—This lambrusco is a sparkling red wine. "Unlike most lambruscos, this one is actually mostly dry. It has a lot of cranberry-type tartness to it [and] great acidity, so it's fantastic before a meal, sitting around eating chips, or you can have it all the way through dinner and even through dessert. It's got a beautiful frothy purple mousse on the top when you pour it and it's certainly celebratory."
Groundwork Grenache Blanc—This wine from California is "something that would appeal to a chardonnay drinker but also to someone who likes more unusual varietals. It's pretty full-bodied. It has a really intense tropical fruit quality." While there's no oak on it, the grenache blanc "does have a real creamy richness. [It's] definitely a crowd pleaser and maybe two grams of residual sugar, so it'll match really well with things on your holiday table that have that little bit of sweetness to them."
Nexo Rioja—A Spanish wine that's 100 percent tempranillo, Nexo Rioja is an "all around, everyday, crowd pleaser. It's a soft really easy drinking style of rioja. It has a lot of soft blackberry fruit tones." There is no oak on this wine either-Armin-Parcells says oak can "fight a lot of flavors found on holiday tables"-the rioja "really lets that fruit shine through. There's no sugar left in it, but it's not super dry either."
Fuso Barbera—One of his favorites "pretty much any time of year," the Fuso Barbera is a "naturally fermented wine from Piedmont, Italy. It has a real interesting sour, tart, cranberry quality to it-almost like a bowl of berries that maybe have been sitting out overnight and are starting to ferment on their own...That sourness really kind of cleanses the palate and makes you want to keep drinking."
Big Gun—The Big Gun is a red out of California. "This is a Cabernet-Syrah blend from Paso Robles in California, and it's on the bigger side from what we've shown here so far. It's not as big as say a Napa cab. [But] it's still big and soft and really friendly style," he adds. This bottle "will appeal to someone who really likes a bigger, bolder style of wine. There's very little oak on this."
All of wines on this list and the expert opinions of David Armin-Parcells are available at MotorCity Wine, a bottle shop and wine bar in Corktown. Today the bar is opened for extended hours until 2 a.m. The company's regular hours are Sunday and Monday from 4 p.m. to 12 a.m.; Wednesday and Thursday from 2 p.m. until 1 a.m.; and Friday and Saturday from 2 p.m. until 2 a.m.