Christmas day is all about indulgence, food and merriment. Matching the perfect wine to the occasion can be tricky, with so many choices to pair with all the different Christmas classics. That’s why we’ve put together our drink-lovers guide for what wine to pair with popular Christmas courses.
Beginning your Christmas dinner with a seafood starter is a classic choice. From prawn cocktails to smoked salmon, seafood is a light, fresh and exciting precursor to the main event.
The wine that you pair with your seafood starter needs to fulfil the same purpose. Its role is not to overwhelm but stimulate your senses, preparing your tastebuds for the festive excitement that’s up ahead without stealing the show.
We find that a dry white wine is an ideal choice for a fish-based starter, for example, our Madeline May Chardonnay. White wine goes well with fish because of its higher acidity – think of it as a dash of lemon juice to bring out the flavour of your seafood! You don’t want too sweet a wine, with many fishy Christmas starters already sweet enough, but instead a rich Chardonnay which will complement without clashing.
The people of Britain love a Turkey Christmas Dinner with all the trimmings. Is it really Christmas day if your plate isn’t overflowing with stuffing and roast potatoes?
As the foody focal point of the day, the pressure is on to find the perfect accompanying wine for your roast turkey dinner. Our Pinot Noir is undoubtedly one of the finest choices you can make here.
Turkey is not really known for having a strong or powerful flavour, which is why a more punchy red wine like Pinot Noir pairs so seamlessly with it. It also offers the perfect level of acidity to be able to cope with the complex myriad of flavours and textures coming from the supporting actors of cranberries, parsnips and yes, those dreaded Brussel sprouts.
Of course, a meaty turkey dinner is not for everyone, with one of the most popular Christmas choices for vegans and vegetarians being a nut roast.
With a drink to accompany your nut roast, you’re looking for something that pairs well with the chestnut and herby flavours. This means a wine that is not overly powerful itself, but sweet enough to pair with the savoury. The Water Meadows is an excellent choice here, a white wine with a blend of crisp yet citrusy flavours and hints of elderflower that’ll bring some summer sunshine to your Christmas day.
When it comes to a festive dessert, the Christmas Pudding reigns supreme as an unquestionable British favourite.
If you’re not already too merry from the tipples you had with the previous courses (or the brandy, rum or whisky you’re flaming your Christmas pudding with), you’ll be looking for a tasty dessert wine by this point. A strong contender on this front is the English Bacchus, a sweet grape balanced with herbaceous notes.
If a Christmas pudding isn’t your cup of tea – perhaps you prefer a slice of Christmas cake or a Yule Log – you can still rely on Bacchus to provide that sweet-but-not-too-sweet accompaniment to your final course.
Often brought out in the evening, a Christmas cheese board is the perfect way to round up your festive day. Wine and cheese are a famously harmonious combination, but what to pick?
Unsurprisingly, different wines pair best with different cheeses, which makes finding the ideal partner for your cheese board more challenging. The task here is to find a wine that doesn’t overwhelm the lighter, softer cheeses of your board (Brie, Wensleydale, etc.) but compliments the stronger cheeses in the selection (Roquefort, Stilton).
In our experience, our Nethercote Hill is the best wine alongside a cheese board. A rich ruby red wine that’s soft on the palate but packed full of flavour.
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