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The Grapevine

6 minutes reading time (1257 words)

Which wines for Christmas Day

As Christmas time approaches, and you've almost completed the gift buying, the house and tree decorating it's time to start thinking about the main event. Christmas Dinner. Now whether you decide on a traditional Christmas or something a bit more modern, please, please, please remember the wine. After all a good meal never started with a bad wine.

The thing with Christmas is that there are so many flavours to consider, that actually pairing wine with your Christmas meal is quite difficult, and very mind boggling. Everyone has different tastes but having spent so care working out what you are going to eat, it's only right that we make sure the wines compliment the food.

Not everybody decides to go with the traditional Roast turkey but there are a few things that come up time and time again that are crucial in the pairing of wine and food, these core taste changers are dominant at Christmas and are as follows:

  • Butter
  • Salt
  • Sweetness
  • Very strong flavours.

The wine you choose needs to compliment the food and not be overshadowed by it and with so many flavours on the table this in inevitably going to mean that one wine will not suffice. You need options and plenty of them.

When we break down the meal there are several component parts that we can give you advice on which wines would work well. They are ingredients such as: Butter, Green Vegetables, Herbal stuffing, Potatoes, the meat and of course Dessert

The most crucial piece of advice I can give you is this…if you want your Christmas meal to be a hit choose several wines to compliment the food and not just one. With so many variables at the table this is not a one size fits all situation.

So where do we start?

Sparkles of course

The obvious choice would be a sparkling, everyone loves a sparkling and there are plenty to choose from. Sparkling wine goes well when your guests arrive it can also work throughout the meal. If you choose to serve sparkling wine throughout the meal don't just pick one. Try a light style sparkling to begin with as the lightness and acidity will go really well with canapes, choose something that is fruity or has a tiny bit of sweetness such as a new world Champagne style blend or a Durello from Italy if Champagne is beyond your budget.

As you head on to the main course a sparkling rose works well I would suggest something with Pinot Noir this offers a little more structure and will balance well with the butteriness but also works with a herby stuffing, if you can afford champagne then go for a Blanc de Noir. Finally when it comes to dessert you could add to the table a demi sec sparkling a Vouvray is a great choice here or even a English Demi Sec such as Nyetimber.

Whites

If sparkling wine is not your thing then white wine is the obvious answer to the Christmas meal. White generally goes better because the Christmas meal usually contains a lot of butter and for this you need a wine that is both rounded and has plenty of acidity, by this we mean the sort of acidity that you get from say a Strawberry or a Kiwi Fruit and not the sort from a lemon. So this may exclude a lot of Zingy New World Sauvignon Blancs I am sorry to say. It also has to be an aromatic wine which will compliment the green things on the plate. So for this we are meaning a Chenin, an off dry wine like a Riesling or a Gruner veltliner, if you want to go to Chardonnay choose a good quality lighter style not something that's heavily oaked. These wines are strong on acidity they generally come from mineral type soils, but the overwhelming feature of these varieties is the fact that these wines are not just drinkable they're highly sniffable too. Why is this important?, because by hitting two of your senses your experience is more intense, much more memorable and if you get it all right - oh so enjoyable.

Rose

Another must have for the Christmas table is Rose wine, people love rose wine and it shouldn't just be drunk in the summer months. It pairs superbly with roast turkey and potatoes. If you like drier wines once again a Pinot Noir or a Pinot Meunier works well as they have not just the fruitiness but also the structure to hold their own.

And the red's

The winter is all about red wines, and yes they go well with heavy casseroles, steak and ale pies and all things Italian. However when choosing a wine for the Christmas table you shoul err on  the side of caution so as not to overpower the food with tannin. Tannin and butter are not a good mix so please bare this in mind. Personally however whenever I cook I usually do a strong flavoured gravy that's heavy on the beef bouillon, so if this is you then your Christmas table can carry off some of the bigger reds, like a Californian Zinfandel, Chateauneuf du Pape or a classic Bordeaux. But be warned wines with too much tannin will simply over power the other flavours so for a safe bet we suggest sticking to something that is lighter and fruitier, something from Beaujolais maybe a Brouilly or a new world Gamay, a Merlot would be ok although personally not for me.

Pudding or dessert

Finally, we can't leave the discussion without mentioning dessert. The general rule with wine for dessert is that the wine needs to be sweeter than the pudding. So a late harvest Riesling or a Sauternes will pair well with your Christmas pudding and custard. If you're feeling adventurous, we do a dessert Tannat from Uruguay which is divine with anything that has chocolate in it or simply poured over ice cream.

And the final piece to the puzzle…, a ruby port goes not just with cheese but also with chocolate so is a great way to finish off any meal.

Christmas is a time for indulgence and a lot of the wines mentioned here are not in the cheapest price bracket, there are however alternatives at every level and we hope that by reading this you have gained some insight as to the type of wines that would work well. Of course everyone's tastes are different so we hope that by offering a selection you will be able please most people.




Below is a selection of mouthwatering wines which I have chosen from our range which pair well with the Christmas meal. We have all of these available individually to purchase alternatively you can choose from our Christmas selection boxes for the ideal Christmas treat. Our full list of wines can be downloaded below. 

Sparkling
Montressor Royal Rose

Gremilet Blanc de Noir

Durello

Henners Native Grace Rose

Whites

Peacock Wild ferment Chenin Blanc

Spiny Back Pinot Gris

Estival Gewurtztraminer, Moscatel, Chardonnay

Pfaffl Gruner Veltliner

Crozes Hermitage Blanc

Rose

La Boheme Pinot Noir Rose

Chateau Clarettes Provence Rose

Reds

La Boheme Gamay

Chateau Gaillard Fleurie.

Cline Old Vine Zinfandel

Arc Chateauneuf du Pape

Dessert

Alcyone Dessert Tannat

Rustenberg Red Muscadel

Port

Krohn Ruby Port
Krohn Vintage Port

Wriggly Tin Opens its doors for Christmas.
Christmas Wine Tasting
 

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Friday, 25 September 2020

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