The perfect wines to drink with Christmas dinner
Tips for matching Christmas main courses with wine
In this blogpost I look at 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 my Food & Wine Matching Guidelines and you should find that the food is enhanced by serving complementary wines.
The main aim in food & wine pairing should be to....
Below I list some typical Christmas main courses and give some suggestions for wines that will enhance rather than clash with the food.
Wines for Turkey
if you prefer red wine with your turkey or chicken there is also plenty of choice but make sure the wine does not have too many tannins as there is very little fat in these white meats to soften the tannins.
Wines for Goose
Gaining in popularity goose makes a tasty alternative to the traditional turkey. Its meat is oily though and so needs to be balanced by wines that are relatively high in acidity, fruit and/ or tannins, all of which help cut through the fat and make the meal seem less rich
Wines for Duck
You can't beat the classic pairing of duck with Pinot Noir. The mouth-watering acidity of Pinot will cut through any fattiness in the meat but you could get this effect also from a Cru Beaujolais. And if you prefer a more "gutsy" wine with your meal, this Oregon Pinot Noir has the body to cope with any richness.
Wines for Roast Beef
for a more fatty joint wines with more tannins will help to cut through the richness. For example why not try this delicious New World Cabernet Sauvignon?
Wines for Roast Ham or Gammon
Wines for Poached Salmon
Wines for Nut Roast
A popular Christmas vegetarian option, nut roast can be quite rich so it needs:
I realise that this is a bit of a stereotypical vegetarian Christmas dinner; these days there is so much more choice of interesting vegan and vegetarian food. My general rule would be as per my number one rule - match the weight of the dish with the body of the wine.
Still can't make your mind up? Try one of my Christmas cases to make life easy for yourself. Many of the wines featured in this blogpost are included in them.
© Wines With Attitude Limited, www.wineswithattitude.co.uk
Lindsay Cornelissen DipWSET is passionate about good quality wine and set up Wines With Attitude to share that passion with other wine lovers.