The Perfect Wines for Christmas Day
For many families, Christmas is the only time of year they get to spend together as a single unit.
This of all reasons, is why Christmas is still the major event on the calendar for many people.
And what better way to enjoy the company of friends, loved ones and family, than drinking some excellent wine?
Christmas day itself offers a massive range of possibilities for drinking wine. Christmas dinner is a very complex meal, that just screams out to receive some great wine pairings.
Alpha Domus – The Pilot Sauvignon Blanc 2011-13 75cl Bottle€16.60 Find Merchant
Barbadillo – Cream Sherry 6x 75cl Bottles€65.66 Find Merchant
Bisol – Jeio Prosecco Valdobbiadene Brut NV 75cl Bottle€14.78 Find Merchant
Blandys – Duke of Clarence 75cl Bottle€16.24 Find Merchant
Bluebell Hindleap Blanc De Blancs€30.34 Find Merchant
Chateau de Fonscolombe – Rose 2013 75cl Bottle€11.31 Find Merchant
Da Vinci – Chianti 2014 – 75cl Bottle€9.62 Find Merchant
Dopff Au Moulin – Cremant d’Alsace Cuvee Julian Brut NV 75cl Bottle€17.73 Find Merchant
The First Lady, Chardonnay – Warwick Wine Estate€12.30 Find Merchant
Turkey Flat – Rose 2013-15 75cl Bottle€14.34 Find Merchant
So in this article, we are going to take a journey through Christmas day, and look at some of the best wines to drink throughout the entire event.
We will look at traditional pairings, and we will also offer some bold, adventurous alternatives for people ready to try something different.
A Champagne breakfast has long been a traditional event for kicking off an important day such as a wedding.
So why not start your family Christmas day by adopting this tradition?
It doesn’t need to be formal. But it will help to make the day special, starting it off with something different.
But Christmas is already an expensive time of the year. It may not be within the budget of many families to roll out 3-4 bottles of authentic bubbly for everyone to enjoy.
So we are going to take a look at a couple of lower costs alternatives here.
Remember that Champagne is just the name of a specific region that makes white sparkling wine.
Many other white sparkling wines are just as good.
Available from TheDrinkShop, this is a great budget sparkling wine.
A traditional Italian Prosecco in every way. It is also very easy to drink.
This is a fruity and very refreshing wine, great for a breakfast wine.
A bouquet dominated by apple blossom and fresh pears.
A soft taste delivery with a very refreshing finish.
A delicate, slightly citrus bouquet, with summer apples and rich caramel.
When drunk, the citrus really comes to the fore, but with a surprisingly honey like finish.
Wines to Drink with Christmas Dinner
Now we get to the really tricky part of choosing the perfect wines for Christmas.
A traditional turkey dinner is on the one hand a simple meal, yet on the other, a very difficult meal to pair well with wine.
Turkey is a white meat, so our go to wine would usually be white right?
Well, in theory yes. But as white meat goes, turkey is actually a pretty heavy one.
Also consider that the turkey may have been stuffed.
All that sage, onion and pork mince add some more complexity.
So in theory, we might actually be able to get away with a light rose wine. Something to help bring out the flavours.
Pudding on Christmas day is also quite complex.
Minced pies and Christmas pudding with brandy sauce are sweet desserts yes, but they are also very heavy desserts, even spicy.
So instead of pairing dessert on Christmas day with a sweet white, we could possibly use a semi-dry red, to clear the palate between mouthfuls.
So with this in mind, here are two pairings for both the main course and dessert.
One normal kind of pairing, and one a little more adventurous.
From the Warwick Wine Estate this is a traditional pairing for a main course of roast turkey with all the trimmings.
You really can’t go wrong with a Chardonnay to accompany white meat or fish.
This is a South African Chardonnay. Some of the best modern Chardonnay wines come out of South Africa. And at a good price.
A typical Chardonnay bouquet, heavy on fresh flowers and spring apples.
A taste delivery that is dry, but not too dry, with a long finish.
Coming from TheDrinkShop, this is our more adventurous pairing for the main course at Christmas dinner.
The name is actually not an indication of the fact it was made to be drunk with Turkey, it’s just an interesting coincidence.
This is a fairly heavy rose wine, with a good body.
It will help to clear the palate much better than a white wine over Christmas dinner.
A great, berry rich bouquet, with a fruity tastes and a medium dry finish.
Coming from TheDrinkShop this is a fairly standard pairing to be consumed with that rich Christmas dinner dessert.
A semi-sweet Alsace from France. Not an all-out dessert wine per se, but sweet enough.
Remember we are not eating a fine dessert here, its heavy pudding and spicy tarts.
A very light sparkle, with a simple bouquet and a refreshing finish.
From TheDrinkShop once again, we have a pretty light Chianti.
This is a fairly dry red, with a light body. At first glance, including this wine as a dessert wine for Christmas day may not make sense. But consider for a moment.
Why do we drink dry red wines with rich meat dishes?
To clear the taste and juices of the meet from the lining of our mouths, so we enjoy the next bite more.
Now think about Christmas pudding and Minced pies. Both very rich, and both with a flavour and texture that lines the mouth.
So a dry red, gives is a chance to clear the palate.
Now, this is a very adventurous pairing indeed, and it might not be for everyone.
Give it a try, you might find it works well for you.
After Dinner Drinks
For most families, a good Christmas dinner can take several hours. As people sit and enjoy the good company.
So this means we need an after dinner tipple. Something to keep the festive spirit flowing, and also to taste great.
So it’s time to roll out those rich, or even fortified wines.
More traditionally we would drink Sherry after dinner, and our first selection is a Sherry.
However, there are other options, as our second selection shows.
Coming from TheDrinkShop, this is a classic Sherry in every way.
Many modern versions of Sherry found on high street stores lack the subtle, light finish of proper Sherry.
This one does not.
A very rich and creamy taste. It can even be chilled before serving, or poured over ice for a more refreshing drinking experience.
From TheDrinkShop, this is a classic Madeira. Not as heavy as Sherry to drink after that big Christmas dinner, but still pleasant to sip.
The great thing about this wine, is it could also be used for dessert, and just keep dropping bottles on the table once dinner is finished.
The meal that you either love or hate, Christmas supper.
With its cold turkey, pickles, traditional foods such as pork pie and other titbits such as Scotch eggs and other finger foods.
What we need here is a catch all wine, something that is going to work with everything.
Another important factor here, is people have been eating and drinking all day.
The don’t want a wine that is going to make digesting food late at night hard.
We need a refreshing wine, with enough character to clear the palate, yet forgiving enough to work with a very wide range of foods.
Sounds like a challenge right?
Well actually it isn’t there are a number of excellent new wines which will work very well in this situation.
Again from TheDrinkShop, this is an unchallenging Sauvignon Blanc.
Indeed, Sauvignon Blanc is one of the easiest wines to drink in the world. It is why it is such a go to wine for dinner parties.
Nobody hates it. And for Christmas supper, it really shines.
A light, citrus bouquet, with a moderate body and just the right level of dryness.
It also has a very long, refreshing finish.
This wine will work well with just about anything you serve at supper time on Christmas day.
It won’t be an amazing pairing, but with a wide variety of foods, nothing will. But it will work.
From TheDrinkShop, the pale pink colour of this Rose tells us it is going to be a very unchallenging wine to drink.
And indeed this is the case, which is what we are looking for this late in the day.
A flowery bouquet, with just a hint of citrus. A taste that is medium dry, just enough to clear the palate.
A very unchallenging body, and also a surprisingly refreshing finish.
As with our fist selection, it’s going to work with a very wide range of snack foods over Christmas supper.
Christmas – the perfect time for Wine Experiments
Christmas is a fantastic time of the year to enjoy great wines.
And because we eat such a wide range of food types over Christmas, it is also the perfect time to experiment with more adventurous wines.
In this article we have looked at some traditional pairings, and also tried to provide some interesting alternatives.
If you would like to try these alternatives, it might be wise to have both eventualities covered.
Have both pairings available, the traditional one for people who do not want to experiment, and the more adventurous one so that those who are interested, can try a little more challenging taste over Christmas dinner.
Mac is an avid traveller, who spends many months of the year wandering the world with a laptop and a suitcase. He has been a wine lover for over 30 years, and has a fondness for Italian reds, although don’t ask his opinion on the Barolo Wars. On his travels he has tasted a great many wines. Some good, some bad, and some that should never have been sold for human consumption.