As the holidays draw near, it’s time to start thinking about how you’ll celebrate and how to choose the best wines to suit every palate.  At Ruth’s Chris Steak House, the servers are there to help you pair the best wines with both the food you ordered and the occasion.

“Our vast selection is great for those who want to branch out and try something new or for those who want to stick to the wines they love and know,” says Ruth’s Chris Steak House Regional Beverage Manager and Sommelier Joseph Davey. “We currently have over 200 wines at each location, so no matter what your preference is, I’m confident we’ll be able to help you find your next favorite wine.”

When choosing wines, it’s crucial to consider the wine knowledge level of your guests, as well as your budget.

“You don’t have to spend a fortune to present some truly amazing wines,” Davey says. “You just have to be bold and try wines from regions outside the mainstream. Try a Cabernet from Paso Robles as opposed to Napa, or a delicious Bordeaux blend from Argentina rather than France.”

Knowing your audience is one of the most important aspects of planning a party.

“Are they wine lovers or just beginners? Are you hosting 15 or 150? How is transportation being handled?” Davey says.“If it’s my father’s side of the family, which is Irish Catholic, I know I’m going to stock up. If it’s my mother’s side, which is Baptist, not so much. If it’s a dinner party, plan on three 4.5-ounce glasses per person. If it’s a cocktail-type event, plan on four. My best advice is to have too much and use it for the next event rather than run out in the middle of your party.”

Planning Thanksgiving wine pairings is simple if you’re willing to veer from mainstream choices.

“My recommendations are Beaujolais and Barbera from Piedmont in Italy,” Davey says. “Both are very approachable, go with a wide variety of foods and, believe it or not, are quite affordable for the quality of wine.”

For ham, Davey’s go-to choice is an off-dry German Riesling or a Pinot Noir. For roast beef, he suggests a California Cabernet or Bordeaux.

“If you are hosting a Christmas brunch, I have only one recommendation: Contrato Moscato di Asti,” he says. “This wine is sweet, but it’s incredibly balanced and appeals to novices and experts alike. This is quite possibly the best Moscato in the world, and you can usually find it in a wine shop for under $30.”

For the holidays, Davey says, Zinfandel-based red blends are popular, but rosé is another trendy option.

“[Rosé] has been growing by leaps and bounds and isn’t showing any signs of slowing down,” Davey explains. “It has crisp acidity, light fruitiness and subtle sweetness, making it a refreshing and drinkable wine.”

As for serving temperatures, Davey suggests reds between 58 and 60 degrees, whites between 48 and 54 degrees and bubbles cooler than 50 degrees. However, when it comes down to it, do what you like and throw rules out the window.

“You should drink the wine you like,” he says. “We would much rather you come in and have a glass or bottle of wine that you enjoy and then come back, as opposed to coming in, buying the most expensive wine we have, hating it and never coming back.”

In addition to an extensive wine selection, the fare at Ruth’s Chris can help make the holidays bright.

“We, of course, would love for you to come in and let us do the cooking for the holidays, but we do offer holiday dessert and sides to-go if you’re staying at home,” Davey says. “For $29.95, you can feed 10 to 12 guests with sides of creamed spinach, green beans, sweet potato casserole and mashed potatoes. Or pre-order a large carrot cake to take to a holiday party for $89.95 to feed 12 to 15 guests.”

Ruth’s Chris Steak House holiday hours are as follows:

Clayton location
Thanksgiving Day – noon to 7 p.m.
Holiday lunch (Dec. 17-21) – 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Christmas Eve – 4-9 p.m.
Christmas Day – 4-9 p.m.

Downtown location
Thanksgiving Day – noon to 7 p.m.
Christmas Eve – 2-8 p.m.
Christmas Day – Closed

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