The holidays are times of family, friends, great food, and even better wine! While holiday dishes vary from household to household, there are a handful of traditional dishes enjoyed by many. These seasonal treats are worthy of an equally special wine pairing to take your holiday season to the next level!

We’ve gathered a few of our favorite wine and food pairings, along with the delicious recipes that we’ll be indulging in this year. Check them out below!


Whether it be roasted or baked, honeyed glazed or smoked- it is safe to say that ham is a holiday classic. This traditional dish is often full of distinct flavors, both sweet and salty. To best cut through these bold flavors and the meat’s fattiness, pair this dish with a fruit-forward wine that has subtle tannin, such as a Zinfandel or Pinot Noir (from regions such as California’s Russian River Valley, Central Coast, Beaujalois, or even Chile). If you’d instead opt for white wine, try pairing your holiday ham with a dry Riesling or Chenin Blanc.

Check out one of our favorite ham recipes here:  Bourban Orange Glazed Ham

Prime Rib

This holiday staple is best enjoyed when paired with a bold, acidic red wine. The delectable, savory flavors of prime rib are equally matched with a significant amount of fattiness, calling for a red wine that is structured and medium-bodied, with enough acidity and astringency to reach the perfectly balanced wine and food nirvana that this dish deserves. There are many wines perfect for this dish, including a nicely-aged Barolo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Rioja Gran Reserva, Malbec, or even Petite Syrah.

Check out this delicious prime rib pairing: Pepper-Crusted Prime Rib Roast with Mushroom-Armagnac Sauce

Winter vegetables

Winter veggies are always a crowd favorite; their palatable balance of sweet and starch makes them hard to resist. Vegetables like parsnips, carrots, rutabaga, turnips, fennel, green beans, and endives pair nicely with a white wine that is earthy and adaptable. We suggest pairing these veggies with wines such as California Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, or Sauvignon Blanc. Heartier vegetables such as kale, leafy greens, and broccoli pair well with red wines that emulate the same earthy, ‘green’ flavors of the vegetables such as Merlot or Syrah.

Here’s a great recipe to try this holiday season: Roasted Winter Vegetable Medley

Christmas Cookies

Forget the milk; what better way to spoil Santa than with a delicious wine pairing? We’ve got you covered with a wine pairing for all of your favorite holiday treats! If chocolate chip cookies are your jam, try pairing them with a Cabernet Sauvignon. Why Cabernet Sauvignon? The wine’s cherry, dark berry, and delectable dark chocolate flavors balance well on the palate with the cookies sweet notes of chocolate and vanilla. A rich buttery Chardonnay will be the best bet when looking to pair classic sugar cookies or butter cookies. Finally, pair your gingerbread house making activities with a bold Zinfandel– the balanced notes of spice and sweetness in both the wine and the cookie make for an irresistible pairing!

Delicious recipes to indulge in these sweet-treats: Chocolate Chip CookiesSugar CookiesButter CookiesGingerbread Cookie

Established in 2002, Benchmark Wine Group is the leading source of fine and rare wine retailers, restaurants and collectors around the world. Based in Napa Valley, we acquire the most sought-after wines from private individuals and professional contacts, but only when provenance can be verified by our team of acquisition professionals. Our staff draws on decades of industry experience and is dedicated to providing exceptional service to all of our clients. offers 24-hour access to our cellar, displaying inventory in real-time.