The holidays are here, and no matter what traditions you observe, it’s likely that at some point you will have people coming over to eat, drink, make merry, and –oh yes—knit. Sip-n-knit gatherings have become increasingly popular as we look for more ways to create community and connect with other knitters offline. As our gift to you, we offer a guide to the best wine/fiber pairings for your holiday parties and beyond.
The Bubbly Is the Thing
When planning your sip-n-knit, be mindful of your budget when selecting both beverage and yarn. If you have a large group or large project, you may want to consider something festive-but-wallet-friendly like prosecco and Bluefaced Leicester. Both are lively and special, and prosecco’s inherent fruitiness strikes a playful note alongside the lustrous fiber.
True champagne, on the other hand, is dry and refreshingly acidic. Pairing it with rich cashmere is a no-brainer, but don’t be afraid to buck convention. Try serving champagne with a salty Leicester Longwool, or even primitive breeds such as Shetland or Icelandic. It may seem a bit déclassé, but it’s also insanely good.
Sip-n-Knit with Bold Bordeaux
Vintage Bordeaux are appropriately fancy for holiday festivities, but beware. The heavy notes of blackcurrant and plum combine with resinous cedar only to finish with mouth-puckering tannins. It’s a tricksy biscuit for all but the most discerning palates (and probably wasted on people like me). Be clever and pair with a fiber that has a similar terroir, such a French Rambouillet or the similarly dramatic Valais Blacknose.
For very large groups, stick with tried-and-true croud-pleasers like Pinot Noir and superwash. Sure, it seems a bit mundane, but there is a reason both are bestsellers. Also, if you spill a glass or need to frog, it’s not nearly as traumatizing as that time you dumped curry all over the mohair shawl.
Sweet Sipping Action
Doing a dessert buffet for your guests? A dessert wine like a Sauterne or Sauvignon Blanc needs balance. Inherently honey-tasting with notes of ginger and a surprisingly grassy finish, such wines cry out for the crisp dry hand of a tussah silk/wool blend.
If your knit group takes place at the end of a holiday meal, what better time than to bring out that bottle of port you’ve been saving? Tawny, ruby, rose, and white: port comes in as many styles as an alpaca does colors, so pairing the 2 is a natural. Full-bodied and syrupy with notes of chocolate and cherry, port is further enhanced by the rather soapy feel of a strongly-plied alpaca yarn.
Whatever your holiday plans, we raise a glass to you!