Red or White Madam?
What wine to serve with Christmas dinner is likely one of the most asked questions in wine as the Christmas season approaches. A meal so full of flavours and complexity; turkey, ham, cranberry, parsnips, stuffing and Brussels sprouts being just some of the dishes vying for attention. Turkey’s succulent and juicy flavour profile make it the perfect match for many grapes however as a white meat, it has a low-fat content, which is why it can dry out if not cooked carefully. So, wines that work well will be either rich, balanced whites or medium bodied, fruit-driven reds with low or medium tannin and relatively high acidity.
With food choices broadening to include non-meat options, there is still a desire to stay with the Christmas trimming so really the wine choices can remain the same. Here are a few suggestions.
Reisling: Often overlooked, Dry Riesling (look for the word Trocken on the label) is a great Christmas day choice. A really versatile wine, high in acid, abundant in minerality, it’s a perfect wine for Christmas fare. Often lower in alcohol, making it a good choice given that you may be having a drink earlier in the day.
Chardonnay: In the form of white Burgundy, the wine’s crisp acidity, mineral undertones and fruit-forward nature bring out the best that turkey has to offer. Working really well with both brown and white meat, it brings a refreshing lift to what is an incredibly rich meal. It will cleanse the palate allowing you to get through all the trimmings without effort.
Pinot Noir: More-ish is often used to describe Pinot Noir and really, is there a more Mor-ish meal than Christmas dinner? Generally light to medium bodied, with gentle aromas and flavours of red and black fruit, layered with subtle earthy notes, spice and smoke, make Pinot Noir a great wine to pair with the many different flavours the Christmas table offers. A bright acidity brings out the juiciness in the turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce, while the gentle tannins marry well with all the green vegetables such as Brussels sprouts.
Negroamaro: For a crowd pleaser, go no further than the rich black fruit and distinct finish of dried herbs of a Negromaro from Puglia in Southern Italy. Though often paired with meat dishes, the caramelised sugars from that roast turkey skin and roast root vegetables bring out the sweetness of the fruit in this super value wine.
Joseph Drouhin Beaujolais Villages - Fresh and silky, showing the true terroir, micro-climate and spirit of the Beaujolais-Villages appellation. Food Pairing: Turkey, chicken, fruity tagines.
Les Grands Bouillons Pinot Noir - Packed with red fruit aromas of raspberry and cherry eucalyptus and vanilla. Smooth, rich with velvety tannins. Food pairing: The most versatile red grape. A delight with turkey, meat or fish. Nice served slightly chilled.
Messer Del Fauno Salice Salentino Negromaro - Fruit forward Negroamaro from the famous Salice Salentino region. Food Pairing: Grilled and roast poultry and veg.
Joseph Drouhin Beaujolais Villages 2018 750ml
Beaujolais-Villages makes a great option for any special occasion.
"A truly convivial wine. Owing to the careful blending of various terroirs, the result is a wine of great charm. It has a lovely raspberry colour and a brilliant hue. The nose is both refined and intense, with notes of violet, peony and red fruit syrup. As you drink it, it feels fresh and silky. Both freshness and fruit remain for quite a long time on the palate".