Pairing Christmas Food and Wine
For us, Christmas without great food and wine is just another day in December. Taking the time to choose and prepare your Christmas dinner is one of the great joys of the season and it would be a real shame not to do justice to your food by choosing the wrong wine! Thankfully, we know a thing or two about wine pairing, so we have picked our seasonal, sustainable favourites to pair with whatever you are eating this Yuletide.
Smoked Salmon - Chenin Blanc 'Te Arai', Millton, Gisborne (NZ)
One of the easiest and most popular of Christmas starters, smoked salmon is an oily, medium-bodied fish and, as such, needs a wine with a good amount of acidity, to cut through the fat like a squeeze of lemon might. We chose the Millton Te Arai Chenin Blanc – biodynamic and delicious, its aromas of lime zest and notes of quince and ripe pear will pair beautifully with the fish. In fact, this wine is so good it is included in the book ‘1001 wines to try before you die’!
Chicken liver pâté - Pinot Gris 'Woven Stone', Ohau 2014 (NZ)
Any rich, heavy dish, pâté or terrine needs to be matched with ripe, aromatic wines with the correct balance of richness and acidity. The Ohau Woven Stone Pinot Gris is perfect, with a subtle sweetness, rounded palate, refreshing acidity and juicy finish that will work wonderfully with such a rich starter.
Pigs in blankets - Champagne Rosé, Fleury AOC (France)
Not the most sophisticated dish, perhaps, but these are one of our Christmas staples! These indulgent, meaty treats should be paired with an equally decadent beverage and we have opted for this fabulous rosé Champagne to cut through the richness but complement the pork notes.
Roast Turkey - Pinot Noir, Clos Henri, Marlborough (NZ)
Of course, the main issue with choosing a wine for the Christmas main course, is that it must pair with more than just the meat – any wine you choose must suit your trimmings so, if you are having turkey, we would recommend a lighter red. Pinot Noir and Turkey are a match made in heaven in this case, especially when the Pinot Noir is our Marlborough Clos Henri. A painstakingly-made Pinot Noir with delicate plum and cherry aromas and hints of cinnamon and clove, this round red will be even better slightly cool so pop it in the fridge and take it out 30 minutes before you eat.
Nut Roast can be a fairly hefty dish, so pick a fruity red which is full-bodied enough to balance the weight and flavour. Our red of choice is this fabulous organic red from the Piva family. Mature, stylish, and made predominantly from Merlot, this rich well-rounded wine will be a perfect, smooth accompaniment to your vegetarian main.
Honey-glazed Ham - Beaujolais-Villages Domaine des Grandes-Bruyères, AOP (France)
If you have chosen the less-traditional option of a honey-roast ham this Christmas, then you will be wanting to pair it with a bright fruity red like a Syrah or a Beaujolais. We have gone for a Beaujolais-Villages, organically grown and made with grapes from 50-year old vines, this flavoursome red is ruby in colour, with a red-fruit nose, perfect with ham.
And, if you are looking to make some terrific sustainable savings this week, why not look for some Christmas pairing options in our Black Friday sale and get a huge 20% off with code BF20 – but you better hurry, the offer will expire at the stroke of midnight on Friday 25th November!