Top Christmas Recipes and Wine Pairings
Wondering what to cook for the family this Christmas? Look no further than our guide to the top recipes for the festive season! From ravishing roasts, vegetables and salads, to sensational seafood and delicious desserts, we've provided all the inspiration you need to host a series of memorable meals. And of course, we've include wine pairings for every dish.
Chilled Natural Oysters with Lemon
Oysters are one of the best celebration foods and Christmas is arguably the greatest of celebrations. It's only natural that the two go hand-in-hand, especially considering Australia's access to quality seafood.
No complicated recipe or abundance of ingredients are required to enjoy natural oysters. All you need is a dash of lemon or a simple vinaigrette for seasoning. Crushed ice is an ideal garnish as it keeps the oysters chilled while making them more presentable. Feel free to experiment with your favourite sauces and spices - Tabasco is a popular choice.
Howard Park have been producing Rieslings from Great Southern for over 30 years, and this fantastic example is a blend of the finest free-run juice from select vineyards in the Mt. Barker sub-region. Bright lemony-green in colour, this Riesling possesses aromas of sea spray, light florals and citrus. On the palate, it's energetic with slatey minerality, lime-like acidity and crisp length. Oysters + Riesling = winning combination.
Prawn, Avocado & Mango Salad
The bright colours and fresh, juicy flavours make this salad a real summer stunner! It's an easy to prepare option that doesn't require any cooking and will only set you back 15-20 minutes. Peel and devein some fresh prawns and place them in a bowl with diced mango and avocado. Squeeze lime juice over the top, add your choice of herbs and spices and for presentation, serve on a bed of lettuce leaves. It's the perfect light meal for hosting a lunch on the deck with a few friends or loved ones.
Margaret River's Ashbrook Estate produced this stunning Verdelho brimming with fruit-forward aromas of white peach, green apple and lychee. On the palate, this Verdelho presents vibrant and zesty flavours of citrus and stonefruit, with grapefruit-like acidity and a juicy mouthfeel before a clean, crisp finish. It's an excellent match for a light and zesty salad.
Potato, Egg & Aioli Salad
A classic potato salad enhanced with egg, aioli and chopped chives adds a creamy kick to your seasonal spread. Cook some spuds in salted water, then repeat to boil the eggs. You can create aioli from scratch using mayonnaise and garlic or purchase it premade. Gently stir the ingredients together and season with salt, black pepper and lemon zest. Add chives or some parsley for a touch of colour and extra flavour.
Named in honour of legendary winemaker Phil Ryan, this delicious wine demonstrates the wonders of great Hunter Valley Chardonnay. Aromas of vibrant peach and cedar oak give way to rich and juicy flavours of peach, melon and citrus with toasty oak characters and bright, balancing acidity. This refreshing, medium-bodied wine is ideal with creamy dishes like the salad above.
Maple-Glazed, Clove-Studded Leg Ham
A sweetly-glazed ham takes some work to prepare but it’s well worth the effort. After removing the rind, score the fat in a criss-cross diagonal pattern about 5mm deep then stud the centres of the diamonds with cloves. Brush the ham with the sweet glaze and bake for 90 minutes, brushing with glaze every 30 minutes. This also makes for fantastic leftovers!
This award-winning Pinot is made using fruit sourced from premium vineyards throughout the Yarra Valley – one of Australia's best regions for producing this popular cool-climate style. On the nose, this Pinot presents aromas of cherry, cranberry, leaf litter, charcuterie and orange zest. On the palate, it's a bright mix of red berry fruit with velvety tannins and background vanillin oak on the savoury finish. Pinot pairs well with rich and gamey meats, so is a great choice with Christmas ham.
Roasted Chicken or Turkey
Nothing says Christmas dinner like a roast chicken or turkey. This centrepiece of any festive feast satisfies the masses, and a recipe can be tailored to any taste and skill level. Choose or create your stuffing of choice. Baste the roast before surrounding it with carrots, potatoes, onions and any other of your favourite veggies. Whether spit-roasting on the barbeque or roasting in the oven, the results will be delightfully moreish. And don't forget the gravy!
This Wine Selectors exclusive from d'Arenberg is a blend of classic Rhône varieties that are well suited to McLaren Vale's Mediterranean-style climate. Aromas of apricot, melon and pear give way to loads of fruit flavours including stonefruit, melon, and apple, with musk, white pepper and spice complexity. It's a vibrant wine with lovely viscosity, a creamy mouthfeel and a long, savoury and persistent finish. It’s the perfect wine to share around a table with a Christmas feast.
Pork Roast with Crispy Crackling
Who doesn't love a good pork roast? It's flavoursome, tender and juicy, and is made all the more enjoyable by a crispy crackling exterior. It's surprisingly easy to get the ideal crackling. One of the best ways to achieve crisp crackling is to thoroughly dry the skin before rubbing it with oil and salt and then baking in the oven. This might be the most labour-intensive of the roasts, but the results will be worth it. Serve with your favourite roast veggies and apple sauce.
Margan's vineyard is planted in red volcanic soil which gives its wine earthiness along with savoury fruit characteristics and rustic tannins. This particular Tempranillo presents aromas of cherries, strawberries and forest floor. On the palate, it's smooth and juicy with a ripe mix of red berries, dark chocolate and charry oak before a long, spicy finish. The fruit characteristics make Tempranillo a food-friendly drop and an ideal choice with your favourite roast.
Rare Roast Beef
A lot of chefs will advise you that a juicy steak is best cooked medium-rare. This helps bring out the meat's flavours while retaining moisture. Try applying this principle to your Christmas day roast for delectable results. Sprinkle with salt and pepper or add seasoning rub before roasting and serve with your favourite sides for a hearty, filling family meal.
This sensational Shiraz is from a 100% certified organic vineyard from vines planted in the early 1970s and is made without the addition of preservatives. Aromas of plum, berries and cedar give way to rich and generous flavours of black fruit, purple fruit and peppery spice. The wine presents a seamless texture, excellent acidity and balance with loads of tannin depth and drive. Shiraz and red meat are always a winning combination, and this example from Battle of Bosworth is one of our recent favourites.
Fruit Mince Pies
Keep the Christmas tradition alive by serving up fruit mince pies as treats before or after the family dinner. Roast up some apples, sultanas, raisins and apricots and pair with ginger, cloves and mixed spice before filling your favourite pastry with fruity goodness. Add some brandy or apple cider to the recipe for an extra 'kick' or save yourself for a bottle of one of your favourites.
A great complement to this seasonal treat is the Bethany Old Quarry Tawny, which is blended from a range of vintages to make a consistent Barossa style with concentration, freshness and balance. Aromas of toffee, raisin and fruit cake give way to flavours of dark fruit, chocolate and currants with hints of leather, salted caramel and orange rind. This Tawny possesses a creamy mouthfeel and a rich, decadent and long finish.
This classic meringue-based dessert is a crowd-pleaser, whether you're baking from scratch or purchasing pre-made and adding your toppings of choice. Strawberries and cream, passionfruit, berries and beyond – pavlova is a foolproof dessert and the perfect dish for winding up the celebrations.
The family-owned and operated Pizzini wines specialise in Italian varieties, and this Moscato is ideal when paired with a sweet dessert like Pavlova. Aromas of orange rind, cranberry and grapefruit give way to a delicate and light-bodied palate. With flavours of tart red fruits and citrus zest, a creamy and silken texture and mouth-watering acidity, this vibrant drop is sweet and seductive.
Wine lovers should also consider a bottle or two of chilled Sparkling red. This classic Australian Christmas wine is flexible enough to be paired with a diverse range of festive foods and is ideally served under the sun with good company. For more wining and dining inspiration, explore our complete range of recipes and fantastic Australian wines.