December 31, 2014

Q: What are the best beverage bets when enjoying Smoked Salmon Dip?

A VIVACIOUS WHITESalmon dip and other indulgent holiday fare call for a wine to both match and cut their opulence. A white with round body yet crisp acidity is ideal. Try a pinot gris from Oregon (a state also known for its salmon). Here, the grape finds a full texture without compromising the briskness and mellow flavors that shine with hors d'oeuvres. Ponzi, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley, 2013 ($15)

A BRIGHT, LIVELY SPARKLERThe prickly feel of bubbles makes a snappy contrast to the dip's creaminess. Meanwhile, the wine's citrusy burst cuts smoky fish flavors. Try a cava. Spain's version of Champagne, cava is often less complex, but its price is unbeatable, with a $12 to $15 sweet spot. Cava's dry perkiness is a great counter to rich, silky dip and other decadent delectables you're likely to encounter at holiday parties. Marques de Gelida, Cava Brut Reserva, 2009 ($15) — by Jordan Mackay

OOPS! Avoid all heavy reds, such as merlot or syrah, as their toasty, dark-fruit flavors make salmon taste fishy and their tannins are too rugged for a creamy dip.

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