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The Best Wine For Christmas Dinner

by Grape Expectations

Matching wine to Christmas dinner is not so much about the protein, but the combination of flavours that end up on the plate. Whether it’s turkey, pigs in blankets, stuffing and cranberry sauce or beef, horseradish and Yorkshire puds, you need a wine that can smooth its way through the extremes of flavours. For the classic turkey dinner, look no further than Pinot Noir, it also works well for Goose as it’s high in acidity and helps cut through the fat. With beef, you need bold tannic reds, so Bordeaux, Côtes du Rhone or new world Shiraz will be great. As for whites, they are more likely to struggle with the array of flavours, but if it is your preference opt for bigger styles - oaked Chardonnay, Viognier or Gewürztraminer.

Minimal:

Coldridge Estate Chardonnay 2010, South Australia, £4.99 at Majestic Wine. This is a typical Aussie Chardonnay – tropical fruit and buttery mouth feel. It will stand up to the demands of Christmas dinner.

Tagus Creek Shiraz & Trincadeira 2010, Alentejo, Portugal, £5.99 at Asda. This is an unoaked red wine so it has a fruity, perfumed nose of berries with a hint of pepper. Its juiciness and fresh finish will work well with turkey and all the trimmings.

Manageable:

Asda Extra Special Gewürztraminer, £7.00 at Asda. A more unusual choice for the Christmas dinner table, this is a dry wine but with a floral, sweetly spiced aroma. This fruitiness and spice will complement the fruity elements in Christmas dinner, like cranberry sauce, red cabbage, cloves and ham etc.

Argento Chardonnay 2010, Mendoza, Argentina, £7.49 at Majestic Wine (but widely available). Citrus and stone fruit with subtle hints of vanilla and sweet spice and a toasty finish. A good all-rounder.

Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference, Central Otago Pinot Noir, 2009, £9.99 at Sainsbury’s. Juicy red fruits of plums and cherries on the nose and palate, with good acidity that will cut through rich Christmas flavours. Great with turkey, ham and goose.

Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference, Crozes-Hermitage 2009, £9.49 at Sainsbury’s. A great red wine with Roast Beef, this has a lovely combination of red fruit and smoky, savoury flavours. A classy own-label wine.

St. Hallett Gamekeeper’s Reserve, £9.99 at Waitrose. This is a blend of Shiraz and Grenache and it brings the qualities of both to the table. Bold, peppery spice, mixes with juicy red fruits. A good all-rounder but particularly suited to beef.

KC Cabernet Merlot 2009, Klein Constantia, South Africa, £9.99 at Majestic Wine. This is a Bordeaux blend with lots of leathery, spicy, blackcurrant and dark fruit with well-structured tannins. A good match for roast beef.

Maxed:

Montes Alpha Chardonnay 2009, Casablanca, Chile, £12.99 at Majestic Wine. A lovely, premium, new world wine with tropical fruit and a creamy buttery finish. A perfect partner with turkey.

Louis Jadot, Chassagne-Montrachet, Premier Cru, 2008, £26.95 at www.slurp.co.uk . A deliciously complex Chardonnay, with aromas of white peaches, hazlenuts and subtle oak. Beautiful mouth feel and long finish that will be a delight with poultry.

Brancott Estate Letter ‘T’ Series Terraces, Pinot Noir, 2009, New Zealand, £15.59 at Waitrose. This is a delicious wine packed with juicy, ripe, raspberries, cherries and plums and a hint of spice. With its silky, balanced texture and concentrated fruit it will be a good match to turkey and goose.

Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Barolo, 2007, £16.29 at Sainsbury’s. Great value for this classic red wine, it is full of sweet, spicy, baked fruits and black cherries. This is a big, bold wine, full bodied and high in acidity, it will work equally well with goose and beef.

Château Labégorce 2002, Marugaux, France, £19.99 at Majestic Wine. This is a very sought after appellation from Bordeaux. The 2002 vintage is drinking well now and has tannins and bramble hedge, black fruits to work well with roast beef.

Petaluma Adelaide Hills Shiraz, 2007, £19.99 at Waitrose. This is European in style with berry fruits, tobacco and pepper complexity. A good choice for beef but if you’re really bucking convention and going for lamb or venison it will also work a treat.

Grape Expectations is a small wine tasting company, specialising in informal wine tasting events for friends and colleagues. Events are tailored to suit the requirements of the group and are designed to increase wine knowledge in an interesting and interactive way. The aim is to have fun and enjoy wine.

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