Wine & Spirits

A Wine Dinner

Bill Coy suggests keeping it simple for your holiday wine dinner

wine rack

Planning your own wine dinner for the holidays can be easy. No matter the size of the group or budget, the idea is to pick wines that complement each dish, whether you’re serving a lemony white with fish or a big red with steak. My idea: keep it simple. Pick what you like and enjoy. This month’s wine selections are from Lake Wine and Spirits, 404 W. Lake St., Mpls., 612-354-7194,

The Greet: Bubbles
Tiamo Prosecco, NV (Valdobbiadene, Italy)
Price: $14.99
•  This wine is light, refreshing, and festive! You also can substitute cava from Spain, a California sparkling wine, or go all out with Champagne.

First Course: White
Domaine St. Pierre Sancerre 2009 (Sancerre, Loire Valley, France)
Price: $20.99
•  You can go in any direction at this point, but I like oysters and Sancerre as a starter. An appetizer of seafood or chilled shrimp works great with this wine. Other options include chardonnay with bold cheeses or
a riesling with fresh fruit.

Second Course: Medium-bodied red
Raptor Ridge 2009 Pinot Noir (Willamette, Oregon)
Price: $22.99
•  A lighter styled red pairs up with chicken, mushroom pasta, duck, or pheasant. Depending on how fancy you are or if you plan to serve wild game, a gamay, syrah, or Cotes du Rhone would also work here.

Entrée: Big red
Vina Mayor Reserva 2004 Tempranillo (Ribera del Duero, Spain)
Price: $22.99
•  Full-flavored meats can hold up to bold reds, and the acidity helps break down fat and protein in the food, making both better. This big Spanish red or your favorite California cab, Bordeaux, or super Tuscan
will also fit.

Dessert: Something unique
Alorna Abafado 5 year (Portugal)
Price: $14.99
•  This is a barrel-aged white wine from Portugal that has been fortified with a distilled spirit. It is unique and full of vanilla and caramel flavor. Try it with crème brûlée. Or go for port with chocolate, ice wine with an apple tart, or sauternes with lemon curd or blue cheese.

Bill Coy runs Vintage U, which organizes wine tastings, classes, and events for corporate groups, wine enthusiasts, and the general public. Reach him at