A Guide For Pairing Wine With Christmas Food - With Recipes
Planning your Christmas Day feast shouldn’t be a chore, so to make it a breeze we’ve put together this easy-to-follow Christmas food and wine pairing guide, featuring our suggestions for the best Christmas recipes to enjoy with a glass or two of top-quality Australian wine.
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Matching wine and food is as much about personal taste as anything else, and you may have your own family traditions when it comes to the food and drink served at your table. Nonetheless, these tried and tested pairings can be a good way to ensure your Christmas Day is one to remember.
Read on for our best Christmas recipes and prepare for your most delicious festive season yet!
Best Christmas Turkey Recipe and Wine Pairing
If you were enjoying it entirely on its own, roast turkey would be one of the easiest ingredients in the world to match. You could drink your favourite white, red, Rosé or even Sparkling wine with it and it would work fine.
We feel this roasted turkey with smoked oyster stuffing calls for a Chardonnay with more pronounced oak, however, as the charry characters will complement the smoked oyster stuffing nicely – but Viognier and Pinot Gris are also good options thanks to their richer flavours.
Since turkey is low in fat, if you’re a red wine lover choose something with low tannin levels. Smooth, fresh and juicy wines like Grenache and Pinot Noir make great partners… or if you’re in the mood for bubbles, try a Sparkling red!
Best Christmas Chicken Recipe and Wine Pairing
This roast chicken with parsnip mash, asparagus and a cherry-ginger glaze apricot and mixed berry pudding takes the standard Christmas roast and gives it a delicious festive twist.
Richer whites like Chardonnay, Verdelho or Viognier are great pairings for the flavours of this dish – particularly Viognier, as its distinctively varietal apricot character makes it a natural match for the flavours of this dish.
Red wine lovers needn’t miss out either – a lighter, fruity red like Pinot Noir or Grenache is also sure to make a satisfying flavour combination.
Best Christmas ham recipe and wine pairing
You can’t beat a baked, glazed ham for the traditional Christmas table! A sweet glaze combines well with a ripe, fruity wine with pronounced fruit flavours to offset the saltiness of the ham, so for this this glazed Christmas ham recipe try a Riesling, Rosé or Semillon.
The recipe’s sweet-and-salty flavour combination also make mid-weight red wines like Nero d’Avola, Grenache (and GSM blends), Tempranillo and Barbera excellent matches, thanks to their balance of tannins and fruit sweetness.
Best Christmas Salmon Recipe and Wine Pairing
The oily richness of salmon makes it an excellent choice for an indulgent Christmas lunch, especially when it takes the form of this prosciutto-wrapped regal king salmon with crisp capers.
Chardonnay is perhaps the most natural match for this dish, but the Mediterranean twist present in this delectable recipe means that a fruity Pinot G, Vermentino or Fiano would be especially delicious.
Red wine drinkers, on the other hand, can always rely on Pinot Noir as another classic partner to salmon.
Best Christmas Prawns Recipe and Wine Pairing
Fresh prawns have a delicate flavour so when enjoyed on their own, the wine should simply act like a squeeze of lemon, making Semillon the perfect all-round accompaniment thanks to its fine acidity and bright lemon flavours.
When enjoying prawns with other elements however it’s worth considering what the additional flavours bring to the dish, and what wines might work well to complement them. Matching ‘like with like’ tends to work best in this regard, so a fruity salad will pair best with a wine that shares similar fruit characters.
Lyndey Milan’s vibrant prawn and pineapple salad needs a wine that’s ‘sunshine in a glass’, and few varieties can make that claim like Verdelho. Arneis and Fiano are emerging varieties with similar attributes, while red drinkers could opt for a juicy Grenache.
Best Christmas Pasta Recipe and Wine Pairing
Sometimes on Christmas day you just want the utter simplicity of an easy-to-prepare pasta for all the family. Your chosen sauce may determine your choice of wine, with tomato or meat-based sauces being better matched with red wines, and white or cheese-based sauces pairing more naturally with white wines.
This open lasagne with cheese, mushrooms and spinach by Lyndey Milan finds its ideal complement in a Mediterranean-style white wine like Pinot G or Fiano, which match its subtle flavours, yet if you prefer red wine you’re in luck – the cheese and mushroom components of the dish find a sublime pairing in a silken Pinot Noir.
Best Christmas Vegetarian Recipe and Wine Pairing
Make sure there’s something your meat-free friends and family can enjoy with some tasty Greek-style barbequed vegetables with haloumi and thyme crumb.
A fresh and juicy wine with zippy acidity will complement the vibrant flavours and colours of this dish, so we recommend pouring a Sauvignon Blanc or Semillon Sauvignon Blanc, or a refreshing Riesling to ramp up the flavour.
Red wine drinkers are best advised to avoid heavier varieties like Cabernet or Shiraz, so as not to overpower the fresh flavours of the vegetables.
Eat, drink and be merry this Christmas with Wine Selectors!
We hope you enjoyed our picks for the best Christmas recipes and wine pairings for the festive season, offering a host of different textures and flavours so that there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
But don’t forget to leave room for Christmas dessert… head over to our best Christmas desserts and wine pairing guide, and complete your festive feast in style!