Holiday Wine Guide

at Lloyd’s Chicago

‘Tis the season to celebrate with friends and family. Libations are popping and drinks are being shaken and poured. Whatever your favorite drink may be, wine is one of the most popular holiday accompaniments during the season.   If you are a novice at wine pairing and choosing, well, then this complimentary holiday wine guide from Lloyd’s Chicago, restaurant and banquets, is a great starting point.

White Wines:


-Rich, complex with a creamy texture

-apple, pear, lemon, butterscotch, and vanilla flavors

Pairs well with….

Shellfish and seafood, pastas, and butter sauces

Did you know…

Wine makers in California have slowly been changing over from Oak barrels to stainless steel tanks to develop a crisper overall flavor.

Lloyd’s pairing suggestion:

Chalk Hill, Sonoma Coast, CA `14 and Orzo Shrimp Pasta with Shrimp, prosciutto, red peppers, shiitake mushrooms, peas in a light cream sauce

Sauvignon Blanc

-Tart and crisp

-Tropical fruits and grapefruit, with hints of herbs

Pairs well with….

Herbaceous dishes, green vegetables, salads

Did you know…

Sauvignon Blanc is widely cultivated in France, Chile, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Brazil, and California.

Lloyd’s pairing suggestion:

Groth, Napa Valley, Ca `15 and Vietnamese Crunch Salad with Red and green cabbage, romaine, quinoa, tomato, pineapple, red and green bell peppers, cashews, Thai basil, cilantro, mint, spicy lemongrass vinaigrette *LifeStart Menu Option


Sparkling Wine

-bubbly lemon, cherry, pear, strawberry flavors

-pleasant acidity and minerality

Pairs well with….

Pretty much everything from freshly grilled seafood to deep fried foods

Did you know…

Traditionally, sparkling wine uses the champagne method of producing bubbles in individual bottles.

Lloyd’s pairing suggestion:

Charles Lafitte, Sparkling, France and Maryland Style Crabcake with Remoulade sauce


-Crispy and aromatic

-peach, lime, and apricot flavors

Pairs well with….

Grilled seafood, fresh salads, and Asian dishes

Did you know…

There is dry and sweet varieties available to choose from.

Lloyd’s pairing suggestion:

Rudi Wiest Dry Riesling, Germany, `14 and Ahi Tuna Poke with Marinated Ahi tuna, edamame, scallions, avocado, sesame seeds, shredded carrots, radish, cucumber, white rice, seaweed salad, sriracha aioli sauce *Lifestart Menu Option

Red Wines:

Cabernet Sauvignon

-full bodied, dark-fruited wine, gets better with age

-black currant, cedar, blackberries with strong tannins

Pairs well with….

Hearty and fatty proteins, slowly braised meat or vegetables.

Did you know…

Some vintages can be enjoyed the day of as others may need time to age and mellow out.

Lloyd’s pairing suggestion:

Freemark Abbey, Napa Valley, CA ’12 and Short Rib Gnocchi with mushroom, onion, veal demi-glace cream sauce, short rib.


-popular choice amongst Americans

-softer and rounded out a bit more than a cabernet

-plums, blackberries, cedar, tobacco, and chocolate

Pairs well with….

Meaty fish like halibut, tuna, and swordfish

Tenderloin, mushrooms, and assorted grilled meats, vegetables, and seafood

Did you know…

Try a merlot from Washington state it exhibits elements of a cabernet yet subtle features of a merlot.

Lloyd’s pairing suggestion: Tangley Oaks, Napa Valley, CA, `11 and Center cut skirt steak, Marinated, char-grilled, crispy onions sauce.

Pinot Noir

-light bodied, with silky texture

-red berries, cloves, cinnamon, smoky

Pairs well with….Lamb, duck, pork, and seafood with Asian flavors

Cheese, lentils, and rich custardy desserts


Did you know….Pinot Noirs vary based on the regions they are from. French Pinot Noirs tend to be earthy while Californian and Oregon Pinots are fruit centered.

Lloyd’s pairing suggestion:

Deloach, California and Sesame Seared Yellow Fin Tuna, Sashimi style, chilled Thai noodle salad, wasabi, ginger, soy sauce

Special wine offer at Lloyd’s Chicago:

Monday: 10% off bottle wine

Warm up at Lloyd’s Chicago with a glass of wine for lunch, dinner, or after work drinks. Looking for a venue this holiday season with customizable menu and drink options, an event coordinator, and downtown Chicago location? Lloyd’s Chicago has a gorgeous Frank Lloyd’s Wright interior available for your next holiday party, business luncheon, or private party. If you have any questions, or to check availability, please contact our event coordinator at 312.401.1352.