Matching Christmas food & wine - Main Courses

Tips for matching Christmas food with wine - and practical suggestions - Part 1

In this blog post I look into the typical Christmas dishes that feature as a main course for Christmas dinner in UK homes and make suggestions about wines that can complement them - and about wines that won't match so well. See my separate blog posts covering a) Christmas desserts and wine and b) wine for Christmas starters, brunch dishes and party food.

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; think of a typical Christmas dinner with the lean turkey, fatty sausages, the accompanying fruity cranberry sauce and the contrasting rich milk-based bread sauce.  Nor do we want to dictate what you should be drinking as this should be based on your personal tastes so that you can relax and enjoy yourself.


However remember the basics as laid out in our Food & Wine Matching Guidelines blog and you should find that the food is enhanced by serving complementary wines. 

The main aim in food & wine pairing should be to....


Christmas dinner main course 1 with caption copy.jpg


Below we list some seasonal main courses and give some suggestions for wines that will enhance them. 

Turkey

A relatively light meat but all the accompaniments make the typical UK Christmas dinner quite a rich affair so wines need to have some weight to match the meal if you prefer red wine there is also plenty of choice but make sure the wine does not have too many tannins as there is little fat in the meat to soften them
Bear in mind that if you smother your turkey in fruit sauces such as cranberry sauce a younger, fruity wine such as a Cru Beaujolais or a fruity style Bordeaux will work better


Goose

Gaining in popularity this oily meat needs to be balanced by wines relatively high in acidity, fruit and/ or tannins

Duck

You can't beat the classic pairing of duck with any of my Pinot Noir wines


Christmas Ham with caption.jpg

Roast Beef

The best match will depend on the fattiness of the meat



Roast Ham or Gammon


Always avoid tannic wines with salty meat. Sweet glazes on the meat can counter this a little but stick to


St Veran on side with caption.jpg

Poached Salmon

It has to be an oaked Chardonnay from Burgundy, another classic combination


Nut Roast

A popular Christmas vegetarian option, nut roast can be quite rich so it needs:



Still can't make your mind up? Try one of my Christmas cases to make life easy for yourself.

I focus on foods typically eaten at this time of year; if there is something that I have not covered and you are struggling to find a good match, please feel free to call me on 0333 772 0301 or email hello@wineswithattitude.co.uk




Cheers!

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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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