No matter where, when or how you are celebrating Christmas this year, you could be sitting down to sumptuous feast of some description. The choice of wines to match the many different styles of food that can be served for this festive meal can range from traditional to something that matches the weather on the day.
Some useful guidelines:
- Light, white or sparkling wines that are fruity yet not too sweet are great for arrival drinks.
- Red wines are the natural choice for lamb or beef dishes, and their natural tannins are calling out for the protein that meat dishes have to offer.
- If there are spicy foods on the table, avoid big and bold reds, or white wine with higher acid content
- Open red wines an hour before serving to allow them to soften. Decant if you wish.
- Champagne and sparkling white wines such as Prosecco – pair with oysters, prawns, lobster, salmon and mussels. Also great with white meat of chicken and turkey. Sparkling red is ideal with turkey, pork and any barbecued meats
- Riesling – choose a dry style that has some fruitiness and acid and serve with ham, pork and seafood.
- Sauvignon Blanc – can be great with light white meats and seafood
- Chardonnay – choose one that is not too “oaky” and match with chicken, turkey, barbecue poultry, pork sausages, ham and turkey.
- Pinot Noir – perhaps the most versatile wine for the festive table. Chill if it’s a warm day and it will reward you when served with turkey, ham, chicken, pheasant and duck.
- Merlot – a soft and jammy style of wine that is wonderful with lamb and roast beef.
- Shiraz – try to find an aged version of this wine to avoid harsh tannin and the very strong flavours from overpowering the food
- Cabernet Sauvignon – the same rule applies. An older vintage (at least four years) will be softer and flavoursome and match with turkey, beef and lamb.
Visit some of our cellar doors in the lead-up to Christmas to stock up.