In preparation for the most highly-anticipated presidential election in U.S. history, here are the top politically correct wines to serve your guests at your election night gathering.
Political affiliation and wine preferences
According to the Wine Market Council, an industry leader in wine research and consumer consumption trends, your right wing or left wing affiliation is also symbolic of your choices for wine.
Red state wine drinkers are more likely to purchase an unfamiliar brand of wine, drink at home and select wines based on how well they pair with their meals.
Blue state wine drinkers are more likely to drink more Champagne or sparkling wine, try wine from a local winery and purchase wine made from sustainably or organically grown grapes.
Expert wine and food picks for your election night entertaining
There is no doubt that election night will be a roller coaster of emotions — making an election night party an ideal way to spend the fretful undecided hours.
"Election night is all about abating anxiety and, ultimately, celebrating victory or consoling oneself or others in defeat," says Courtney Cochran, one of today's most recognized young sommeliers and author of Hip Tastes: The Fresh Guide to Wine, which won the 2007 Georges Duboeuf Wine Book of the Year award. "Your wine and food pairings should match these emotional highs, or they'll be lost in the ups and downs of the evening."
For the Republicans, Cochran recommends the following party pairings:
- A hearty cabernet sauvignon paired with lamb kabobs
- Sparkling wine and fried chicken
- An elegant pinot noir and cheese assortment
These recommendations not only pair impeccably, regardless of the occasion, they also offer a few bonuses for election night gatherings. The lamb kabobs and cheese tray can deliciously divert party-goers attention when tensions run high, and fried chicken — a quintessential American dish — is ideal for eating in front of the television when missing even a minute of the election is out of the question.
For the Democrats, Cochran recommends the following wine and food pairings:
- A sustainably-produced syrah paired with a wood-fired sausage and mushroom pizza
- An organic sparkling wine and a samosa and dosa platter
- A late harvest dessert wine paired with a cupcake assortment
Cochran says, "Pizza makes for a terrific casual meal to share with pals, especially when camping out in front of the tube." She also recommends the spicy samosa and dosa platter because the spicy ingredients can keep your guests tuned into the food — not just the TV. The cupcakes, regardless of the election outcome, provide a sweet finale to a high-tension evening and bring their own sense of celebration.
Try new wines on election night
When it comes to pairing wine and food, there are no rules and no right or wrong answers. No matter what our political party affiliation, it's important to remember that wine and food are meant to be enjoyed together. Have fun discovering the combinations that you like. Drink what you like and trust your own tastes.
And even if the impending election is cause to fret, when it comes to wine, there is nothing to fear. Many Americans who drink wine are actually intimidated by it so they don't drink it as often as they'd like. Especially as the election nears, there's no better excuse to uncork some interesting new wines to share with family and friends as you celebrate, or commiserate, over the 2012 election results. Either way, you'll discover something new and have fun while doing it.
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