Christmas Food and Wine Matching
Christmas is the time when family and friends get together and most often celebrate the season with good food and wine. Although we all have our personal favourite wines, the matching of the different dishes with something special can really enhance our enjoyment of the occasion. This doesn’t mean spending a fortune, just selecting carefully, so here are some wines we have lovingly selected that can really bring your Christmas meal to life.
Before we start
It’s usual to serve something to enliven the appetite and thoughts turn immediately to Champagne. But why not try something a little different this year. Cava can offer great value and the Pares Balta Brut is stylish, well fruited and dry and in addition it’s also organic and vegan so it will cope with everybody’s likes and dislikes.
Of course there’s also Prosecco which is in general a touch sweeter yet can still be a good livener and also it pairs well with all sorts of interesting canapes. For something really good, try the Prosecco di Valdobbiadene “Corderie” from Astoria. It’s top flight Prosecco and the presentation of the bottle is classy too so everyone will remember the occasion.
What to have with those starters?
Well there are any number of different things that people enjoy to start their meals at Christmas, some of the most popular being smoked salmon or shellfish based. With these, something crisp and slightly aromatic normally touches the spot and for us a Riesling based wine is a good partner. If you want something with a touch of sweetness try a Zeltiner Himmelriech Kabinett from J&H Selbach. It’s a bit of a mouthful to say but it’s a great mouthful of wine with the green apple fruit and crunchy acidity being perfect against the various fish dishes. If you would prefer something drier, you won’t go wrong with Bouchard Finlayson’s Blanc de Mer. This was born to go with fish and shellfish and it certainly does.
Anyone for a terrine or paté? These can be quite rich so something to balance the depth of flavours is called for here. A popular choice would be our Macon Peronne, a great quality for partnering food. Crisp, fresh and with aromas of Hawthorn blossom, it’s a wonderful wine for terrines. For all of you lovers of Southern Hemisphere wines, try the DeMorgenzon Chenin Blanc.
And now onto the main event
Whatever your choice, be it Turkey, Goose, Beef, Pork or even something vegetarian, a light red suits both the food and most people’s tastes. Well priced and so easy drinking is the Fleurie from Didier Desvignes in the Beaujolais, a seductive, silky offering with loads of floral and red fruit aromas and flavours. If you really want to push the boat out on this special occasion, try one of our red Burgundies, the best you can afford. One of our favourites is the Savigny les Beaune 1er Cru Les Lavieres from Tollot Beaut. If someone asked me what does Pinot Noir taste like, we’d definitely show them a wine from Tollot Beaut! This Savigny is generous yet fresh and clean, well fruited yet with some notes of spice too and no matter what meat you put it with it works well. But as mentioned, it’s also good with some vegetarian dishes like a wild mushroom risotto or pasta dish.
Cheese & Dessert - most people’s favourite part of the meal if there’s still room!
We prefer a white wine here for cheeses such as Brie or Camembert – a barrel fermented Chardonnay is always good so something like the Moederkerk Chardonnay from Stellenbosch would be good or of course any of our great white Burgundies.
If it’s Christmas pudding, we’d opt for a Recioto di Soave, a plump and luscious pudding wine with oodles of dried apricot flavours with honey and caramel notes too. It’s a sensation and works really well with blue cheese too so you could run on with the Stilton to finish depending on when you like to serve your cheese.