The holidays are here – the season of toasts, gifts and cheer. With the wine sure to flow as friends and family gather, it’s time to prepare.

Holiday parties are sure to include Champagne. But why not switch things up and serve Beaujolais too? Moderate alcohol levels mean Beaujolais wines are great for parties, and their unique versatility makes holiday table headliners taste even better.

So put Beaujolais on your holiday guest list. And don’t forget to pick up a few extra bottles to give away as gifts!

Beaujolais holiday pairing guide

Wondering which Beaujolais wines suit the winter holidays best? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here are few tips that should help you choose which Cru to serve this season:

What grows together goes together. Feel like celebrating the holidays à la française? What a great idea! Especially since Beaujolais wines were born to be served alongside specialties from nearby Lyon. Why not serve saucisson sec as an appetizer with a nice Chénas, our wine of the month? They go so well together, the Lyonnais will sometimes bread the saucisson and serve it in a Chénas sauce.

Opposites don’t always attract! In pairing wine with food, try to serve like with like. Beaujolais wines are perfect for this season because their light flavors don’t overpower milder traditional holiday cornerstones like ham, according to Food & Wine.

You’ve got 10 Crus to choose from. While all Beaujolais wines are considered lighter reds, there is definitely a spectrum. Lighter Crus like Fleurie taste great chilled on warm summer evenings. This season, however, you’ll want something a bit more robust like a Moulin-à-Vent, which will bring out the earthiness of winter vegetables like squash, says Jennifer Fiedler of Wine Spectator.

Flavor vs. Structure. The way a wine tastes does not depend solely on the flavors you detect; structure comes into play every time. The structure of a wine comes from its tannins (those things that make your mouth feel dry when the wine is immature). Certain foods, like creamy cheeses, can bring out the tannins in wine, so be careful. Are you a Brie fan? Beaujolais wines, having softer tannins, bring out the best in Brie (and vice versa).

Most importantly, remember that if it tastes good to you, then it’s a good pairing! Happy holidays!

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