Breaking the rules–throwing traditional tips out the window

A few weeks ago, we asked folks to give us their best holiday wine tip. We’ll be featuring (and expanding upon) a few this week.

Nathan T. says: “My tip? Drink what you like and don't worry about all the "RULES" – in fact, break the rules and drink a nice big red with your Christmas turkey!”

Yes! Sometimes (actually, quite often) it’s good to  break the rules. To be honest, they shouldn’t even be considered rules, simply suggestions. When you think of wine rules, don’t think of them as meant to restrict you, only to guide you in a direction that may make your taste buds happy. That said, sometimes it’s a good idea to think (drink) outside the box. One of my most memorable matches was at a small little restaurant in Genoa, Italy, when my husband and I missed our train to Nice and wandered around trying to find somewhere for a late dinner. The sommelier (who had actually spent some time at a restaurant in Savannah, Georgia!) recommended an Italian Sauvignon Blanc with our thinly sliced steak. We took his suggestion, and it was one of the best parings I can remember.

A couple of traditional “rules” that you can adhere to or disregard include:

- Drink white wine before red – while this often makes sense, due to the fact that some white wine won’t taste as great if you are drinking it after a heavy red, sometimes a white wine can taste even better and more refreshing when consumed after red. Particularly if you are serving a salad or light course at the end of the meal. Or even as an after-dinner drink – no need to serve an even heavier wine, instead try a light white that will refresh the palate.

- White wine with fish, red wine with meat – as I mentioned above, one of my favorite pairings was a white wine with red meat. It was 6 years ago and I still remember my taste buds being so pleased! Though meat may overpower a white or red wine may over power some fish and make it taste slightly metallic, If you are enjoying both, knock yourself out!

What other “rules” do you like or dislike?