Christmas dinners are a great time to indulge in a special wine to pair with your family’s favorite holiday recipes. A really successful pairing can enhance both the food and the wine, making the meal greater than the sum of its (already wonderful) parts. Depending on the focal point of your holiday feast, there are some tried and true pairings that we swear by. Although there are a few things to take into account when making your choice, most important of all is your personal preference. It all comes down to what you like to eat and drink, so we’ve provided a few different options to choose from.
Ham or Pork Roast goes well with fruity, off-dry, acidic wines.
Think about what kinds of condiments you’d serve with a ham or pork. Mustard pickles? Apples? Likely it’s something fruity, sweet and with a healthy dose of acid to cut through the richness and saltiness of the pork. The same principle applies to great wine pairings. If you like white wines, look for dry Rieslings or Gewurztraminers, which are both medium to full bodied with great acidity and a hint of sweetness. If you prefer reds, look for Beaujolais Villages, Pinot Noir or Zinfandel.
Turkey goes well with dry, fruity, acidic wines.
Boldly fruity wines with mouthwatering acidity are great here, exactly the same characteristics that make cranberry sauce so good with turkey. By itself, turkey presents a straight-forward pairing, but since it’s often served with herb-filled stuffing and an assortment of savory sides, it’s best to consider the whole meal when choosing a wine. Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Shiraz, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, dry Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier are all great options and will compliment many side dishes as well as the show-stopping turkey.
Prime Rib goes well with dry, full-bodied red wines.
Prime Rib calls for a big bold red to keep pace with the rich textures and flavours in this flavorful cut. A Cabernet Sauvignon, a Bordeaux, Barolo or Amarone are all good options as they all have high levels of tannins and are quite full bodied. It’s a good idea to decant these big reds about an hour before-hand so they’re at their best when dinner begins.
- Chateau Magnol Cru Bourgeois is a classic Bordeaux. Elegant yet generous and approachable.
- Masi Costasera Amarone: Deep dark flavours of savoury black fruit and coffee, this one needs to be decanted at least 2 hours before serving.
- Sterling Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon: The blackcurrant and cassis flavours in this complex red from California are a great match for hearty rare beef dishes.