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How to pair wine for Christmas day

Dan Farrell-Wright Dan Farrell-Wright
5 minute read

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How do you pair wine for Christmas day? Whether you’re serving traditional turkey or going with something different, let Wickhams guide you to the perfect wine for Christmas pairings.

Canapés and Aperitifs

Chirstmas Lunch with wine

The pop of a cork from a bottle of fizz will let everyone know that the party has started. Crémant makes a great alternative to Champagne, it’s made using the Champagne method, but doesn’t come with the expensive price tag. 

Cave de Turckheim “Mayerling” Brut is an elegant option from Alsace. This sparkling Pinot Blanc will cut through the fattiness of smoked salmon blinis or compliment a creamy baked brie. 

Filare Italia Prosecco Extra Dry is a good all-rounder and ideal if you’re offering glasses of Buck’s Fizz.

Browse our selection of sparkling wines and Champagne.

Starters

Terrine with wine

If you're starting with Chicken Liver Pâté a fruity red will balance out the richness. Domaine bel Avenir Julienas "Les Capitans" 2020 is a match made in heaven. 

For a terrine, whether chicken, pork or vegetable, a Provençal rosé is a good pairing. Louis Alix "Les Calanques Bleues" Rosé 2022 offers superb value.

Serving goats' cheese? Sauvignon Blanc from France's Loire Valley will make a pretty partnership. The Loire is the home of Sancerre, but Sauvignon de Touraine is a good value alternative. Try Domaine Octavie Sauvignon de Touraine 2021.

Fish & Seafood

Are fresh oysters a must on Christmas Day? If being decadent is the aim, then only Champagne will do. 

AR Lenoble Brut Intense NV is from one of the few remaining family owned Champagne houses. An English sparkling wine is a patriotic alternative, Henners Brut NV has the elegance to make this pairing sing. 

Those looking to dial down the extravagance should pair their oysters with Picpoul de Pinet. Florensac Picpoul de Pinet "Soleil" 2022 has zingy citrus and a lick of sea salt; classic and delicious.

As an unabashed traditionalist I'll be serving prawn cocktail. The gentle sweetness of prawns combines perfectly with a medium-dry wine. Vouvray is a great choice. Made from Chenin Blanc, Vouvray Deniché 2021, has the balance of acidity and sweetness to carry this pairing off.

Turkey et al

The main event has a lot going on. The turkey, of course, various stuffings, sauces, vegetables, potatoes, and pigs in blankets. Finding one wine to match everything seems difficult, nigh on impossible, but we're here to help.

When it comes to wine for Christmas, Pinot Noir is a good choice as it pairs with many flavours, Louis Père et Fils Mercurey "L'Or Rouge" 2019 is classic Burgundy. 

Cru Beaujolais is a more value conscious proposition, made using Gamay it shares similarities with Pinot Noir. Clos du Vieux Bourg "Javernières" Morgon 2020 is an excellent example which would pair equally well with goose or duck.

If you want more depth, how about aged Bordeaux from a classed growth estate? Le Haut-Médoc de Haut-Bages Libéral Haut-Médoc 2015 will gladden the heart of any budding connoisseur.

When looking for a white wine for Christmas lunch, the perfect match is a ripe, lightly oaked Chardonnay. Burgundy is the obvious place to look, Florent Rouve Saint Véran En Crêches 2020 has everything I want from white Burgundy. 

Those seeking a solid value option need look no further than De Wetshof Estate Bon Vallon "Sur Lie" Chardonnay 2022 from South Africa.

Roast Beef

Beef rather than turkey? A bold red is an easy partner. 

Anything from the Peter Falke range will work, PF Ruby 2017 is my personal favourite, these Stellenbosch wines are serious wines for serious food. 

The south of France has plenty of options whose tannins will soften thanks to the interplay of meat and wine. Le Lion de Cicéron 2019 is an organic wine from Corbières which fits the bill.

Desserts & Puddings

Wine for Christmas Pudding

Christmas lunch, to my mind, is not complete without a flaming, fruit packed, boozy pudding. Borges Tawny Reserva Port NV has the depth and sweetness to seize the day.

If Yule Log is more your thing, pair it with Cline Cellars Late Harvest Mourvèdre 2017. Luxuriously sweet and divinely tempting you'll be reaching for another glass.

Cheese

Many people will round off the Christmas feast with a vintage Port. This big, fortified, wine is an unrivalled partner to strong, salty, creamy, blue cheeses like Stilton, Roquefort or Gorgonzola. Krohn Vintage Port 2003 is drinking well now.

Pungent soft cheeses, think Brie or Camembert, will pair well with an aromatic Viognier. Try Le Versant Viognier 2021 from the south of France. 

Real Cheddar, the stuff from Somerset, needs an equally robust red to match. Syrah (or Syrah based blends) have the oomph to work. Smalltown Vineyards "Knock Knock" Shiraz 2020 from Australia's Barossa Valley is a great choice.

Semi-hard cheeses like Cornish Yarg or Emmental need a wine with acidity. English wines are often defined by their strident acidity, Sharpham Estate Selection 2021 will provide a nice counterpoint to the inherent fattiness of the cheese.

Whatever you want from your food and wine for Christmas, remember the most important thing is to enjoy the festivities.

Merry Christmas!

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