The Best Wines to Pair with Popular Holiday Dishes, According to a Master Sommelier

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Playing A Master Sommelier's Holiday Meal Wine Pairings

Once your holiday menu is all planned out, it's time to think about drinks. If you don't have time to make cocktails, there's always wine. Chef, master sommelier and host of a new CNN Original Series called "Nomad with Carlton McCoy," Carlton McCoy, shares his favorite wine and food pairings for your holiday table that are sure to impress your guests.   

Pair: a Cheese and Charcuterie Board 

With: Sparkling Wine 

Carlton's Pick: Legras & Haas Rose Brut 

Carlton suggests starting off the evening with a sparkling wine. "I love to start with a sparkling wine [like] a Champagne. I always say, 'You have champagne friends and prosecco friends, so you don't have to get Champagne every time, but Legras & Haas is a great small family producer," he explains.  

"I love rosé during the holidays. It's very festive and a bit richer, but you can get a rosé cava [or] a rosé prosecco. There [are] great domestic American sparkling wines that are really incredible," he adds.  

Wine Shopping Tip: When you go into the retail store, start with the price point. Starting with that will make the conversation a lot easier.  

Champagne Tip: Champagne should always be served ice cold. Carlton explains it should be almost icy on the top. Pop it in the freezer for 20 minutes and you'll be good to go.  

Pair: Latkes 

With: White Wine   

Carlton's Pick: Heitz Cellar Chardonnay 

Talk about a delicious holiday appetizer—and Carlton pairs it with a white wine that's a little bit richer. "Everyone loves Chardonnay, I'm not personally a big fan of the oaky chardonnays, so [Heitz Cellar] only uses a little bit of oak. It's bright and fresh, it's fantastic," he explains.  

Plus, it's not too overwhelming for a first course. And Rach adds that this pairing can be the perfect midday meal. "When people come, they don't go home. They stay for days, so this is a great [option]," she says.  

Pair: Holiday Ham 

With: Red Wine 

Carlton's Pick: Stony Hill Cabernet Sauvignon  

"There [are] so many different red wines, so have a variety. Don't try to pair. So, get a nice light pinot noir, a red blend, and then two different cabernets," says Carlton.  

Always drink responsibly.  

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