The Christmas holiday brings to life old family recipes, traditions, and (of course) creating a feast for all to enjoy. With last-minute gift shopping to do, we decided to round up holiday wine and food pairings from some of the most recognized winery owners in Italy. They are professionals at pleasing a group with not only their wines but also their cuisine during Natale.
Priscilla Incisa della Rocchetta, Co-Owner of Tenuta San Guido
Hailed as the standard-bearer of Italian enology, the historic Tenuta San Guido estate is known for crafting Sassicaia, the world’s first Super Tuscan and an important contribution to Italy’s evolving reputation as a fine-wine producing nation in the mid-20th century. The estate also began producing two additional wines in 2000 and 2002—Guidalberto and Le Difese.
“Christmas in Italy is a very special time for the family. We spend the whole day together around a fireplace,” explains Priscilla Incisa della Rocchetta. Priscilla suggests opening a bottle of Tenuta San Guido: Guidalberto Toscana for your holiday meal. Guidalberto Toscana has easy drinkability at its young age with great potential in terms of development and evolution over time. It pairs well with traditional Italian dishes, such as zampone and lentils, thanks to the wine’s structure combined with great freshness. The best part is that you can open it just before pouring, serve at approximately 63-64 degrees F, and enjoy.
Emilia Nardi, Owner of Tenute Silvio Nardi
Brunello is one of the legendary, collectible wines of Tuscany. As an area leader, Tenute Silvio Nardi produces finely rendered Brunellos that highlight the specific terroir of Montalcino. The vineyard estates include three prime properties in Montalcino.
“During the Christmas holiday, my family unites and opens an older vintage of Brunello di Montalcino with slices of panettone bread,” explains Emilia Nardi. The flagship wine for Tenute Silvio Nardi is Tenute Silvio Nardi Brunello di Montalcino. It is wonderful to enjoy on a cold Christmas day with its elegant yet complex aromas of vivid ripe blackberries and spicy hints. It is smooth and round on the palate, with velvety tannins and great body. Nardi suggests pairing with juicy steaks, rich fish like sturgeon or grouper, or hearty pasta dishes. Nardi’s favorite holiday dish to pair with her Brunello is meatballs. “I wish you a very merry Christmas and happiness that develops as our fine Brunellos do over time.”
Giovanna Moretti, Co-Owner of Tenuta Sette Ponti
Located in the heart of the Chianti zone, Tenuta Sette Ponti is one of Tuscany’s most innovative, quality-driven producers of world-class Super Tuscans. Lead by luxury goods entrepreneur Antonio Moretti, he engaged the finest team of enologists, viticulturists, and agronomists to help ensure the highest quality wines.
“On Christmas morning, we meet to exchange presents under the tree. Then we have a delicious lunch together,” says Giovanna Moretti. The Moretti family celebrates the holiday with a beautiful lunch comprised of a traditional tortellini en brodo (soup), turkey stuffed with chestnuts, and boiled cotechino or zampone meats served with a green sauce and mustard fruit. Ms. Moretti recommends entertaining with a bottle of Tenuta Sette Ponti Crognolo Toscana for your holiday lunch or dinner.
“The Crognolo pairs wonderfully with cotechino sausage and green sauce dish.” Crognolo is an intense ruby red wine with a fruitful, spicy bouquet and ripe cherries and berries on the palate. It has the vivid acidity typical of Sangiovese, with well-integrated tannins and an earthy finish. Moretti suggests opening the wine approximately an hour before eating and serve the wine slightly under room temperature (approximately 62-63 degrees F) for best tasting. “May your Christmas be full of joy, health, and love!”