2023 is getting closer. The key question is not How are we going to celebrate?, but What wine should we drink on New Year’s Eve? Celebrating the end of the year and welcoming a new one is a big moment, a ritual on which the best traditions of Italian culture (and more) converge – two above all: food and wine. The New Year’s Eve dinner brings together friends and family around the celebration par excellence, an event that brings to the table not only the best flavors, but also feelings and hopes: the wish for the future can only be accompanied by delicious food and good wine.
In this article, we will look at how to choose the right bottle to share during the NYE dinner, from the aperitif to the last toast, not forgetting the main courses. We will talk in particular about three pairings to make a great impression on the most anticipated night of the year, three matchings of food and wine, with the addition of an unconventional tip to reach the grand finale of the year with an original variation on the theme.
Red or White wine on New Year’s Eve?
As for the wines to pick for New Year’s Eve, the first way to navigate the huge panorama of wine excellence could be to start with the distinction between white and red labels. Common usage speaks for itself, and often – not always – agrees with the experts’ recommendations: white wine is perfect for aperitifs and seafood, red wine goes well with more traditional courses and meat dishes, depending on its level of intensity and structure. A nice, sparkling wine, to open at the stroke of midnight is a classic. But let’s start with the basics, before trying something new. To match wines and dishes with common sense, we can rely on two opposing principles: concordance and contrast. The first method suggests balance, the search for similarities for a pleasant continuity of taste; it is most pleasing when applied to particularly sweet, spicy and aromatic dishes. Pairing by opposition, on the other hand, enhances contrasts, and differences capable of creating a new balance; it is preferred with greasy and savory dishes that have sour or sweet inclinations that may be interesting to balance.
What wine goes well with seafood? Chardonnay pairings
Even if there are many creative theories about wine pairings on New Year’s Eve, the one between white wines and fish is a happy marriage. In the appetizer, in particular, a solid, medium-structured bottle is a great start for a mixed or fish-only menu. Taking a moment to pause over the entire menu is always a good practice, to be clear on the sequence with which wine should be served. As a general rule, we should always start with the lightest to finish the meal with the strongest and most structured wines. For example, if shellfish or mollusks are on the menu, we recommend the combination with a good Chardonnay. Think in particular of a langoustine cocktail or oysters: beyond the classic match with champagne, a bottle like Boroli’s Chardonnay Bel Amì 2019 effectively balances the savoriness of the seafood with its soft and harmonious taste. This is a fine and versatile label, registered in the Langhe DOC Chardonnay denomination and coming from the generous land of Castiglione Falletto; the vinification is enriched by maturation for a few months in barrels, and the wine offers an intense aroma with fruity flavors that recall apricot and yellow peach; the taste reveals freshness with mineral notes and great balance between acidity and corpulence. An excellent start.
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What wine goes with a Christmas dinner?
Red wines cannot be missing for the perfect Christmas or NYE dinner. The great stars of wine culture find a place of honor among the most typical dishes of Italian tradition. The slow and intense tastes of food find, in the persistence of textured reds, a classic and incomparable matching.
Red wine means elegance, luxury, pleasure as a virtue – perceptions that during the dinner party enrich the sense of sharing and celebration. It, therefore, qualifies as the most ideal choice both for first courses such as risottos, ravioli and stuffed pasta, as well as meat courses. A timeless combination sees ancient and iconic dishes such as boiled and braised meats served with impressive wine such as the 2018 Barolo DOCG proposed by the Boroli winery. An elegant bottle to enjoy intimate moments. Velvety tannins, bright red color, flavors of sweet berries and licorice. A magnificent wine, the perfect way to celebrate the new year with one of the best vintages of the decade.
New Year’s Eve dinner: an alternative to sparkling wines for the toast!
Here comes midnight, it’s time for the New Year’s toast!
It is the iconic moment, the peak of the celebrations, when the bottles are opened and with them the expectations and wishes for the New Year.
Between champagne, sparkling wines and prosecco, bubbles are definitely the most popular choice, an effervescence that explodes from the glass into euphoria at the stroke of midnight. As for wine pairings with desserts, a golden rule is to check that the wine has a similar level of sugar to the dessert; sparkling wines such as Moscato or Passito are a good choice.
The New Year, however, could be the ideal opportunity to start a new tradition. Champagne is not the only option for your toast!
Here is one of the possible scenarios: we are in a mountain resort with our closest friends, maybe outside, right on a snowy spot. There is nothing better to warm up and celebrate than a good glass of dense and enveloping red wine. The beauty of traditions, sometimes, is also that they can be revised. If we are wondering what wine we should drink on New Year’s Eve, maybe this is the right moment to switch to something more personal, just like a New Year’s resolution.