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Making Holiday Parties More Memorable

Contributed by: NAPSA

(NAPSI) - Throwing a holiday party that earns compliments often starts with pairing food and beverages that complement each other.

Here are some tips on entertaining from Peter Granoff, master sommelier and founder of the Web site, who has dedicated his career to helping consumers find the best the world of wine has to offer.

Remember that the food should not overpower the wine and the wine should not over-power the food.

Try matching richer, fattier foods-such as roast leg of lamb, a grilled New York steak or a triple cream cheese like brie-with heavier full-bodied wine, such as Chardonnay, Cabernet, Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel and Syrah, which is called Shiraz by the Australians.

Spicy, salty, smoked and highly seasoned dishes like smoked salmon, sturgeon, chicken curry or Christmas ham are best paired with fruity wines, such as Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris/ Pinto Grigio and Pinot Noir. Sparkling wines can also work well with these dishes.

When pairing a sweeter food or dessert with a wine, try to keep the dish less sweet than the wine.

When adding a wine to a marinade or sauce, if possible serve the same varietal wine to complement the dish.

When serving a meal that calls for multiple wines, serve the lighter wines, such as Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc before the sweeter wines.

Often, the most memorable food and wine pairings come from discovering similarities and differences in flavor, body, intensity and taste. Serving more than one wine with a course allows you to explore different combinations rather than worrying about that elusive "perfect" match.

Remember that given their chemistry, certain foods can be tough to match.

For example, artichokes make most wines taste strangely sweet. A wine with enough ample acidity, such as Loire Valley Sauvignon Blanc, will usually be more successful.

When serving foods that can numb the palate, such as chilies, it may be best to avoid serving wine altogether. Beer is a better alternative!

For those who enjoy blending the right wine for the right dish, the Web site that provided these tips is a ready source of information. The experts at can help you select the wine you need and depending on your local or state laws, shi` it directly to your door. For some selections, you can even get a personalized label.


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