Elevate your Christmas with perfect pairings you'll want to make a tradition.
It’s that time of the year again, wine lover. Whilst you may be hard at work planning 2022’s festive feast, have you thought about what wines you will pair with each course? Don't stress. We have you covered!
Pair with: Rioja Reserva - or - a Full-bodied Chardonnay
Why is works: OK, so we couldn't help but offer up two suggestions here, so sue us! Let’s start with the red. We suggest medium-bodied red wine with a touch of age, making a top bottle of Rioja Reserva perfect for the occasion. A bit of oak and bottle age on these wines will work wonders, softening those tannins and working beautifully with the delicacy of that bird! Then we have Chardonnay… ever heard people say “white wine with white meat?”… well this is why. A rich, oaky Chard will have the body to stand up to a plump, juicy piece of turkey and all the trimmings!
Pair with: Pinot Noir
Why it works: There are few wines on the planet with the complexity, earthiness and sometimes herbal quality that a good ole’ Pinot Noir delivers. Should you go down the traditional sage-stuffing route, then Pinot is your best friend.
Pair with: Sangiovese
Why it works: What’s the best thing about cranberry sauce? That tang, right? Well, in that case, seek out a red-fruited red wine with a bit of tang on its own. Sangiovese has naturally high levels of acidity and works wonders with this accompaniment. Did you know: acidity + acidity = sweet, so this is a match made in wine heaven.
Boxing Day (Glazed Ham)
Pair with: Blanc de Blancs Sparkling wine
Why it works: It could be Champagne, Cremant, Cava or English fizz and beyond, but a classic Blanc de Blancs sparkling wine is a top match for the Boxing Day ham. This style of fizz is just perfect for cutting through that wonderfully rich, salty meat.
Pair with: A zesty white like Sauvignon Blanc, Grüner Veltliner or Pinot Grigio/Gris.
Why it works: We are looking for freshness to counter those wonderfully earthy, vegetal notes from our festive roasted veggies. If asparagus is on the menu - Sauv’ Blanc; for sprouts and cabbage - a groovy Grüner, and you can always count on a solid Pinot Grigio or Gris as an all-rounder.
Pair with: Côtes du Rhône red or Grenache
Why it works: Let’s face it, the best roasties are those par-boiled, shaken and dropped into a smoking pan of goose fat with a few sprigs of rosemary to be roasted off until golden and crisp right?! Well if that’s your bag, then look no further than a classic Grenache blend from France’s Rhône valley. These wines tend to pick up a slightly wild, feral, herbal character that will marry up seamlessly with your roast tatties!
Pair with: 10 year Tawny Port
Why it works: We are just salivating at the thought of this epic pairing. Christmas pudding in all its glory delivers wonderful flavours of raisin and dried fruits, a bit of winter spice and subtle notes of citrus. So there’s only one thing for it: 10-year Tawny Port. With an average age of ten years in the barrel, this Tawny style takes on the best of both worlds; offering up dense, ripe fruity notes and combining them with that fabulous, irresistible nutty, figgy, raisin’d character that we adore. This is a no-brainer.
About the Author
Harry Crowther started his adventures in New Zealand learning how to make wine before squishing grapes with his feet (literally) in Portugal. He is a contributing wine writer for a number of UK magazines as well and a former wine director and consultant specialising in wine list development. When he isn’t drinking wine, he loves a beer and collecting records before spinning a few tunes.
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