Wine for Christmas starters, brunches & canapés

Christmas dinner place setting

In this blog post I give some suggestions for wines that will complement seasonal starters, brunches and party foods typically served at Christmas. I cover in two separate blogposts

wine suggestions to pair with Christmas main courses and

wines to serve with desserts typically eaten at Christmas.

There are no hard and fast rules for wine at this time of year as we tend to eat such a wide range of foods that it is difficult to find wines to complement all of the different flavours. The main aim in general should be to match the weight of the dish with the body of the wine.

Christmas starters & wine

Seafood starters are often served as a lighter dish before the heavier main course and will usually pair well with crisp light wines like an elegant Sauvignon Blanc or a Gavi di Gavi...

seafood with oaked or unoaked chardonnay.jpg

but when serving seafood or fish with relatively rich sauces you need a heavier wine like ...

  • Chablis, usually unoaked Chardonnay, would make a good match or

pate with aromatic white wine like riesling.jpgPâté needs acidic and more aromatic wines to stand up to the strong flavours and cut through any richness. Good pairings would be

Match butternut squash soup or a Stilton and celery soup with

Vegetable dishes need crisp wine unless in creamy sauces

lighter vegetable-dominant dishes and salads should benefit from


Christmas Breakfast / Brunch & Wine

...if you are starting early, well, it is Christmas...

smoked salmon deserves champagne.jpg
Smoked salmon often features at Christmas as breakfast, a starter or in canapés. It's not an easy food to match given the oiliness of the fish and the smoky flavours. What is required is a medium-bodied wine to match the weight of the dish and a wine high in acidity to freshen the palate:

Bacon can also be tricky to pair with wine due to its saltinessBacon sandwich with champagne.jpg

Party Food & Wine


For canapés generally, there is no perfect match given the variety of flavours, so stick to

Cremant de Bourgogne champagne method by Wines With Attitude.jpg

My Christmas mixed cases include several of the wines suggested in Parts 1, 2 & 3 of this blog.

If you want help putting together a mixed case of your own, please feel free to call me on 0333 772 0301 or email Did you know that 50% of my lovely customers prefer the direct approach and order by phone or email rather than via the website?


© Wines With Attitude Limited,

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Lindsay Cornelissen DipWSET is passionate about good quality wine and set up Wines With Attitude to share that passion with other wine lovers.

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