It’s that time of year again when friends and family get together to celebrate Christmas. Whether you’re hosting a party or attending one, there’s always wine to be had! But what wines should you choose? And more importantly, what food should you serve them?
In this article, we’ll take a look at 10 different Christmas wine pairings. We’ll start with the most obvious choice – red wine – then move on to white wine, sparkling wine, and finally dessert wines. So whether you’re looking for something festive or something a little more unusual, we’ve got you covered!
1. Red wine and roast turkey
One of the most popular Christmas dishes is a traditional roast turkey. For this classic dinner, you can’t go wrong with a full-bodied red like cabernet sauvignon or merlot. The tannins in these wines will cut through the richness of the roasting juices, while their intense flavours will beautifully complement the delicate turkey.
When it comes to sides, serve a selection of roasted vegetables such as carrots, Brussels sprouts, and potatoes. These will all work perfectly with your chosen red wine.
2. White wine and fish
If you’re serving a seafood dish for Christmas dinner, a light and crisp white is your best bet. A warm-climate chardonnay works well with salmon, while an unoaked sauvignon blanc pairs nicely with a classic fish pie or creamy shellfish dish.
Sides can include roasted vegetables or a simple salad, depending on your preferences. If you’re feeling adventurous, why not try pairing your white wine with some tasty garlic potatoes or crispy roasted kale?
3. Sparkling wine and ham
Nothing says Christmas quite like bubbly! A sparkling rosé or brut champagne is the perfect accompaniment to a succulent glazed ham. For extra festive flavour, try adding some seasonal spices such as clove and cinnamon to the glaze.
On the side, why not go for something light and refreshing? A simple green salad or roasted Brussels sprouts work well alongside any sparkling wine.
4. Dessert wine and pudding
If you’re looking for an indulgent treat, why not try pairing a sweet dessert wine with your Christmas pud? A sticky port or moscato d’asti are both lovely choices that will add a little extra sparkle to the festivities.
Serve with some festive fruits like clementines or cranberries for an extra special treat. And if you’re feeling really adventurous, why not try making a boozy cranberry trifle or a chocolate mousse with port for an unforgettable dessert?
5. Fortified wine and cheese
Fortified wines such as sherry, port or vermouth are a great after-dinner choice. They have a higher alcohol content than regular wines, so they’ll help you remain merry and bright throughout the holiday season!
A traditional Spanish manchego is a perfect partner for these wines. Its sweet, nutty flavors will be enhanced by the richness of a port or sherry, while its creamy texture is guaranteed to make any cheese platter a hit.
6. Ice wine and chocolates
For those with a sweet tooth, ice wine is the perfect match for creamy chocolates. This intensely sweet dessert wine has notes of honey, citrus, and apricot that will balance out the bitterness of dark chocolate.
Serve alongside some freshly made mince pies or gingerbread for an extra special Christmas treat. And if you’re feeling daring, why not try making your own boozy truffles?
7. Mulled wine and cookies
For a truly festive experience, nothing beats a glass of mulled wine! Simply heat up some red wine in a pan with spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg, and add a little orange juice for sweetness.
Pair with freshly baked cookies such as shortbread or ginger snaps, and you’ve got yourself a delicious Christmas treat. And if you’re feeling really generous, why not use the leftovers to make your own mulled wine syrup? Perfect for drizzling over ice cream!
8. White Burgundy and Canapes
If you’re looking for something a little different, why not try pairing a white Burgundy with some Christmas canapés? This crisp, dry wine has notes of melon and lemon that will perfectly balance out the richness of your snacks.
Try serving smoked salmon blinis or cheese straws, and don’t forget to add a few slices of apple or pear to make the perfect pairing. It’s a wonderful way to enjoy a classic wine with some Christmas cheer.
9. Pinot Noir and Roast Turkey
Pinot Noir is a classic red wine that pairs well with almost any main course. Its delicate flavours of cherry and spice are guaranteed to bring out the best in your roast turkey.
On the side, try serving roasted root vegetables such as carrots or parsnips for extra flavour. And if you want to add something special, why not try brushing them with a little Pinot Noir before roasting? It’s sure to be a hit!
10. Zinfandel and Christmas Cake
Finally, why not finish off your festive feast with a glass of zinfandel? This bold red wine has notes of cherry and raspberry that will perfectly complement any rich Christmas cake.
Serve it with a few mince pies or homemade truffles for an extra special treat. And if you’re feeling brave, why not try making your own boozy fruitcake? It’s sure to be a hit!
No matter what you choose, there are plenty of delightful wines that will perfectly complement your festive feast. So raise a glass and enjoy the holidays with a delicious selection of wines!
Tips to Choose Perfect Christmas Wine Pairings
- Consider the flavors in your food – What flavors are present in the dishes you’ll be serving? Look for a wine that will balance them out and enhance their flavor.
- Think about the intensity of both your food and wine – Matching an intense red with a delicate white fish can overwhelm the flavor of the dish, so choose a pairing that complements each other.
- Consider the occasion – If you’re hosting a dinner party, think about serving multiple varieties of wine so guests can choose their favorite.
- Don’t be afraid to experiment – Have fun with different combinations and find something unexpected! Just make sure to keep track of what worked and what didn’t.
- Talk to a professional – Wine experts can give you great advice on choosing the perfect pairings for your menu. With their help, you’ll be sure to find something that everyone will love!
Happy Christmas! Cheers! 🥂 🍷 🍸
What is the best wine to serve at Christmas?
The best wine for Christmas depends on the food you’re serving. Consider the flavors in your meal and choose a wine that will complement it. For example, Pinot Noir pairs well with roast turkey, while white Burgundy goes great with canapes.
What are some tips for choosing the perfect Christmas wine?
Consider the flavors in your food, think about the intensity of both your food and wine, consider the occasion, don’t be afraid to experiment, and talk to a professional. With these tips, you’ll be sure to find something that everyone will love!
Is it better to serve one type of wine or multiple?
A: It depends on the occasion. If you’re hosting a dinner party, it might be better to offer multiple types of wine so guests can choose their favorite. However, if you’re having a more intimate gathering, one type of wine should be enough.
What are some unique Christmas wines?
Sparkling wines such as Prosecco or Champagne make excellent choices for the holidays. For something a bit more unusual, try a spicy Gewürztraminer or a sweet Moscato d’Asti. Whatever you choose, it’s sure to be a hit!
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Hi there! I'm Jonas Muthoni, a wine enthusiast, entrepreneur and writer based in California. With over a decade of experience in the wine industry, I've developed a deep passion for all things related to wine, from the vineyard to the bottle. As a writer, I aim to share my knowledge and love for wine with others, making it approachable and accessible for everyone. Whether you're a seasoned wine connoisseur or just starting your journey, I hope to provide valuable insights and tips to help you enjoy and appreciate wine to its fullest. Cheers!