Wine Experts Offer Advice for Holiday Entertaining
Local experts recommend their favorite holiday and gift wines and offer tips for serving just the right pour at any holiday gathering.
Buying the right wine and serving it properly can put the finishing touch on your holiday get-together. Local wine sellers have chimed in to help you make the right impression:
Garry Brady's experience with wine goes back more than 20 years. He began by serving wine at resorts. Now he's the owner of The Wine Shop of Largo where he and his team of four wine experts have helped customers pick the right wines at the right price for 11 years. At the shop located at 251 Clearwater Largo Rd., economy shoppers can find good wines from $5 to $10.
Chris Scott, owner of 688 Fine Wine and Spirits, specializes in a variety of wines and hard-to-find liquors.
"We'll make special orders as small as one bottle," Scott said.
To help customers pick their favorites the store pops open the wine bottles once a week for free wine tasting.
For foolproof gift wines, these local experts recommend Abarino, Pinot Gris, Pinot Alsace and Mescato.
- Let the whites warm up for 10 minutes before serving.
- Pair red wines like Malbec Argentina, Cabernet and Pinot Noir with red meats.
- Serve sweeter wines to guests who only drink wine occasionally, like on the holidays.
- Try Cabernet Sauvignon with sausages.
- Chilled wines should not be stored in the refrigerator but rather chilled for a half hour to an hour before serving.
- When it comes to wines, room temperature means 65 degrees.
The Wine Shop of Largo's Holiday Hours are Dec. 22 from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m., Dec. 23 from 1 p.m. until 6 p.m., Dec. 24 from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Closed Dec. 25 and Jan. 1. Otherwise open regular Monday through Saturday hours of 10 a.m. until 7 p.m.
The 688 Fine Wine & Spirits will be open Dec. 22 from 9 a.m. until midnight, Dec. 23 from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m., Dec. 24 from 9 a.m. until midnight. Closed Christmas.
Check the Largo Patch business directory for more shops, which sell wine.
*Editor's Note updated 12/18/2012 with current holiday hours.