lox + Chinese food Christmas
Was hoping you could throw out some ideas for our non-traditional December 25th meals:
Brunch: traditional Jewish brunch - lox, whitefish salad, bagels, kugel, etc. I'm thinking maybe a champagne/sparkling wine?
Dinner: Chinese food delivery extravaganza - we'll undoubtedly be ordering different dishes (i.e. beef, seafood, poultry). Maybe champagne is the only thing that will work with this, too?!
Champagne's great with smoked salmon and would work well with the other dishes. Among still whites, Chablis and other white Burgundy/restrained New World Chard or a dry Pinot Gris (nothing too fancy in either case) or one of the richer German Spätlese Rieslings.
Chinese food: while some dishes pair beautifully with specific wines (Peking duck with aged Châteauneuf du Pape, for example), in the typical mish mash situation you're often best off pouring two wines, an easy-drinking red and white, and sipping whatever is most appropriate to your last mouthful. For a red, maybe a Gamay (Beaujolais), supple Pinot Noir, fruity Grenache/Tempranillo, etc. For a white, maybe a Riesling (preferably German) or a Chenin Blanc, and don't worry about a little residual sugar. Champagne, of course, goes with everything. There's been quite a lot of discussion of the subject, by the way. For example, see www.chowhound.com/topics/433135
For the bagel brunch: chardonnay or a high-chardonnay champage.
For the Chinese dinner: riesling... kabinett or spatlese. While champagne will "work" with this buffet, moscato d'asti would work better, IMO, and riesling or gewurztraminer are best of all. The improvement gradient is high enough that it's worth it to get the best wine match here, and these aren't expensive wines anyway, you can find great riesling anywhere from the low teens up. I recommend riesling only because good examples are more widely available than are good gewurztraminers, IMO.