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Holiday Wine Pairing

Although celebrations will be different this year, New Jersey wines are the perfect addition to your meal to get in the holiday spirit. New Jersey is home to over 50 wineries. With the ability to order wine over the phone or online and have it shipped directly to your home, the garden state offers an excellent selection that will pair well with everything planned for your holiday celebration.

The cold of winter calls out for a heartier wine and New Jersey winemakers are producing award-winning red and white wines that are the proper fits for any winter and holiday table. The winners of the 2020 NJ Wine Competition can serve as prime examples of wines that belong on your holiday table.


Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Syrah are red wines that pair quite well with the heartier winter fare. On the white wine side, Chardonnay, Riesling, Viognier and native grape Cayuga wines provide a nice touch to any meal.

Sharrott Winery’s 2018 Merlot, which won the Governor’s Cup for Best Red Vinifera wine; Bellview Winery’s 2018 estate bottled Chambourcin, which won for Best Red Hybrid; Beneduce Vineyards‘ 2019 Tuxedo, the Governor’s Cup winner for Best White Vinfera are all great choices.

Rosé wines go well with ham as well as turkey and assorted cheeses, fruit, salad and other appetizers. Working Dog Winery’s 2019 Equinox Estate Bottled Rosé was the best Rosé wine in the NJ Wine Competition.

Seafood lovers can enjoy Vidal Blanc, Chardonnay, Dry Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc while those enjoying game as part of their diets will savor a nice Cabernet, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Foch, Chambourcin or Pinot Noir.



After enjoying a delicious holiday dinner you might want to try some specialty chocolate that pairs well with your favorite wine. If you drink a white wine like Chardonnay, Pinot Gris or Sauvignon Blanc, you might enjoy pairing that with white chocolate, maybe with a bit of orange zest if you dare. For those red wine lovers that enjoy Pinot Noir, Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon, a semi-sweet dark chocolate would pair effortlessly.

Also for dessert, you can combine some of the great fruit wines that New Jersey vintners produce, including Apple, Blueberry, Cranberry, Raspberry and Blackberry wines as well as Port wines, Sparkling wines and Asian Pear wine, and you have a smorgasbord of tastes to satisfy the palates of every diner.Sparkling and dessert wine choices include: William Heritage Winery’s 2017


Late Harvest Semillon, the Governor’s Cup winner for Best  Dessert Wine; the Isaac Smith 2019 Apple Wine from Cape May Winery,  voted  the best fruit wine; Auburn Road Vineyard’s Vintage Ruby Fortified Wine, voted Best Fortified wine and William Heritage Winery’s  2017 Blanc De Blancs, voted the Best Sparkling wine.

The Garden State Wine Growers Association wishes everyone a happy and healthy holiday! Visit a New Jersey winery and stock up for your celebration today. Learn more at to find a winery near you.


© 2024 Garden State Wine Growers Association Supported in part by a grant from the NJ Department of State, Division of Travel and Tourism
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