Five Wines and Pairings You Need to Try This Holiday Season

November 15, 2018

Local wine shop is marching to the beat of its own grapes


Whether enjoying a bottle during date night, saluting an achievement, finding refuge after a hard day’s work, or toasting the holidays, wine tastes best when shared.  Great wine, good food, amazing company creates the ultimate trifecta! Just ask Kevin McLean, general manager and wine buyer with University District’s retailer, Market Wines.


“Nothing brings people together quite like wine, and while we all have our favourites, the holiday season presents a great time to try something new and mix things up a bit. Traditions and classics are loved for a reason – they hold memories! But that doesn’t mean you can’t spice things up with a few new flavours that you and your guests likely haven’t tried before.”


Perhaps it’s time to break with tradition. Get a little ‘wild’ and change up the rules. The outcome could be happily surprising. Take a tip or two from Kevin’s guide to stepping outside the box and freshening up your holiday entertaining game this season.



Five Wines You Need to Try This Holiday Season


1.  Think Big


The holidays are about sharing, so it’s nice when everyone is enjoying the same wine together. Consider a 750ml bottle of Bouland Morgon from Beaujolais ($75 for 1.5L). It’s juicy and fun with just the right spicy notes to bring out the best flavour in your turkey.


2.  Think Pink


Rosé is an absolute must for the holiday season. Much like a fresh, tart cranberry sauce makes the perfect foil for turkey, so does a lovely dry rosé. Give the Leitz Pinot Noir Rosé ($21.95) a try this season. It’s fresh and bright with lovely hints of wild strawberry and cranberry. Not only does it complement stuffing and sweet potatoes — for the more adventurous — it pairs perfectly with other poultry like goose, pheasant or quail. 


3.  Think Bubbles


The holidays are the perfect time to pop open a sparkling wine. This is the time to try something new and festive, after all. So why not the Rolet Rosé Brut ($31.95) from the Jura in France? Nothing says holidays like a sparkling pink wine and don’t worry, this one is dry, as in no sugar. Serve a simple gougère (a homemade cheese puff) with this wine and it will wake up everyone’s palate.



4.  Think Sweet


Both the Les Lys Vouvray ($24.95) and the Willi Haag Riesling ($21.95) with their ripe stone fruit flavours, make them the ideal match for turkey or ham.  Another tip – turn that leftover turkey into a flavourful Asian soup. Add a little heat with some sriracha and these off dry wines make an ideal companion to the spicy turkey soup!


5.  Think Light


Are you forgoing the traditional turkey and opting for red meat instead? Give those Cabernets, Malbecs and Shiraz varieties the night off. Lighten up by venturing to regions you might not think of at other times like the Jura, Beaujolais, Italy’s deep north or an adventurous red from Sicily. 


Looking for wine tips suited to budgets and tastes of all kinds? Check out these essential tips from J.Webb Market Wines. 



A Fine Wine Experience


University District announced in 2017 that Market Wines would be welcomed to the community’s anticipated, evolving retail mix. The local favourite wine shop is bringing its unique perspectives and wine selections to NW Calgary residents in 2020.


Residents and the surrounding communities will be treated to a wine shop like no other in the city, offering organic, sustainable, affordable and niche products. With a 23-year legacy — its original location was across from the first Calgary Farmer’s Market –Calgarians have trusted Market Wines for its passion, service, quality and expertise.


“It’s simple – we love what we do and our goal is to source our wines from small, independent, family-run wineries so we can offer the best of the best whether you’re interested in a glass of wine or bottle to share,” Kevin says.


At Market Wines, shopping becomes an experience for the avid wine connoisseur, the leisurely wine enthusiasts, and new wine tasters with its welcoming environment.


“Our locations are a gathering place for friends and neighbours who share our passion for quality wine,” says Kevin. “We get to know our customers by name, answer every question that we can, and sit down with them to teach them about flavours and pairings.  That is what our community is about.”



Have a favourite locally owned business in NW Calgary that you’d love for us to profile? Share with us in the comments below— at U/D we’re always on the lookout for new neighbours, friends and partners! 


Park of the NW Community


When you enter Market Wines, you’re greeted by a smiling face, knowledgeable staff and a team that wants to get to know you. The team finds out about your preference in wine, the occasion you’re planning for, or who you’re looking to impress.  You can also sample the latest international finds to leave with the perfect wine to match your needs. 


Building connections with its customers is key to Market Wines success, matching a cornerstone of the University District’s values. This people-first philosophy helps build the opportunities for people to gather and enjoy other’s company. Making new friends and meeting neighbours is where creating a stronger community starts.


“We encourage everyone to come by and pay us a visit. Truly becoming part of the communities we serve makes Market Wines unique. Not only is it an enjoyable experience for shoppers, but it’s a pleasure for our us. It feels like we’re building a relationship around your life milestones and helping create memories.”


During the holidays, visit Kevin and the Market Wines team at their various locations across the city for a personalized experience where navigating the wine aisle is an education and a joy. And come by our annual winter festival –Northwestival — on December 9 when Market Wines will help enliven the afternoon of holiday surprises.  See below for details and we hope to celebrate the winter season together!


Check out Northwestival, our annual winter warm up event! Join us on December 9 from 1 to 6pm for a festive and all-age friendly community event. See what else you can expect at this year’s Northwestival event!

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