Choosing Wines for Christmas Day

Choosing Wines for Christmas Day

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For many families, Christmas day is one of the biggest events of the year, but preparing for the occasion can be fraught with problems. Catering for sprout-hating children, the vegetarian uncle and the mother-in-law who would prefer roast beef can be a nightmare; choosing great wines isn’t so simple either!

A special occasion like Christmas deserves special wines: A sparkling champagne or Prosecco is virtually a necessity, yet it’s important to consider the type of trimmings, as well as individual tastes, when it comes to choosing what to serve with the turkey or goose

We hope that this article will help to steer you in the right direction when choosing wines for Christmas day.

 

Remember that the most important factors to consider when deciding are:

  • Match the Weight of both the food and wine. Rich and heavy food go well with full-bodied wines.
  • Consider the wine’s Fruit Character (the raspberry flavours in Pinot Noir complement duck the same way a delicious fruit sauce would)
  • Complement Acidity in wine and food (acidic wines pair well with fatty foods the same way lemon cuts the greasiness of smoked salmon)
  • Salt clashes with tannic wines, so this pairing is best avoided.

 

Aperitif

 

There’s really only one thing to look for when choosing an appetite-whetter for Christmas Day- and that is lots of fizz! There’s really no need to spend a fortune on big-name bubbly some of the lesser known brands offer excellent alternatives at affordable prices. This 2012 Althea Prosecco is priced at just £8.60 and is a fragrant and elegant wine with a fine mousse and bouquet that will make a fine party-starter on the day. If you’re looking for something a bit special, try the fruity and elegant 2005 Rose Champagne from Deutz.

 

Goose

 

When it comes to pairing wines with goose, considerations have to be made for the unique, fatty profile along with the gamey flavour of the meat.  For a good match, choose something fairly acidic and tannic.  Tastes of cherries or raspberries will complement the flavour of the meat well. Some folk prefer a soft, velvety red like  this 2007 claret, but I prefer a nice white- this 2010 Fiano Sannio would be perfect.

 

Turkey

 

Despite rumours of decreasing popularity, sales of turkey continue to remain steady from one Christmas to the next. Being a richer meat than chicken, it’s best to choose a wine with a bit more oomph, but it can still be red or white, as you fancy. 

The strongest flavours are likely to be found in the accompaniments, so these ought to be considered when choosing wine. Being fruity and sweet, cranberry or redcurrant sauces will not go with a mellow aged red wine – instead choose a young, ripe, fruity wine low in tannins (remember the fat content) like this Picollo Piemonte Bianco 2012.   This Dona Paula Sauvignon Blanc 2013 wins hands-down one of the top white wine picks for turkey, as it brings its own herbal and citrus tones to the table that complement the meat well.

 

Beef

 

Roast beef calls for bold wines. The big flavour and dense texture of British beef needs a equally muscular red.  A couple of our favourites are this rustic Tempranillo from Spain, or if you’re budget can stretch a little further, this 2007 Tatone would fit the bill nicely.

 

Christmas pudding

 

You will want something just a touch gentler and lighter to drink with your Christmas pud.

Gently sparkling, and with its uplifting fragrance of blossom, spring flowers, apricot and delicate strawberry, this Nivole Moscato D'Asti, is just the ticket.