When you’re creating a special menu for a particular occasion or get-together, pairing wine with your chosen dish is part of the fun. With Christmas dinner being a big family affair for many, choosing the perfect wine is a fundamental part of your planning.
When it comes to a special occasion like Christmas, it’s worth spending a little extra on a nice bottle of wine to enjoy on the big day. With so many varieties of wine available, it can be tough to choose one that will complement your Christmas dinner and dazzle your guests. But don’t worry, we’re here to help you narrow down your selection to find the perfect Christmas wine for your holiday feast.
Of course, you can pair any wine you enjoy with your chosen festive dish, but if you’re looking for the perfect match, we’re here to help. Here we’ve explored which wines pair best with some of the popular mains many of us enjoy on Christmas day.
Christmas wine to pair with the main course
Turkey is a staple at many Christmas dinner tables but it can be quite a bland, lean meat, so it’s best to choose a wine that doesn’t overpower its delicate flavour. Red berry flavours work well with turkey, which is why cranberry sauce is a common accompaniment, so opt for a medium-bodied red such as a Pinot Noir that’s light in tannins. Alternatively, a full-bodied white such as a Chardonnay, like RedHead’s very own Harmonie Rox Chardonnay, or a perfumed, honeyed Voignier such as RedHead’s Studio Bar Viognier, are excellent matches for turkey.
Roast beef is a popular alternative to turkey at Christmas. A juicy Malbec like RedHead’s Nobs & Snobs or fruity Cabernet Sauvignon are great choices to pair with red meats. You’ll want a wine that not only holds its own against the beef’s rich, fatty flavours but also complements them – discover RedHead’s very own Catbird Seat Cabernet Sauvignon as a match for your roast beef. With its dark fruit flavours and hints of mint, this medium to full-bodied Coonawarra Cabernet Savignon would be an excellent addition to your party.
Duck or goose
Serving duck or goose for Christmas dinner is a decadent choice and is typically served with plenty of herbs and citrus flavours. Duck and goose meat is very fatty and rich, allowing you to go big and bold with the wine you serve.
These flavours easily overpower white wine, so stick to serving an acidic, semi-sweet red with rich meat dishes. A fruity Pinot Noir works well with duck while many Italian reds such as our R’Dotto Royale Italian Blend are a good match for roasted goose. A velvety, medium-bodied Shiraz with flavours like toasted spices and blackberry and a long finish, like RedHead’s Dan’Jango, can also help balance out the rich flavour of the meat.
A gammon ham is a traditional meat served over the holidays. Baked, glazed in honey, or smoked on the BBQ, it’s a versatile meat that doesn’t need much propping up if cooked correctly.
Contrary to the rule of “red meat, red wine”, a medium-bodied white is an ideal choice to pair with a Christmas ham. A dry, citrussy Chardonnay would cut through any sweet glaze and the fattiness of the meat, such as our Harmonie Rox.
Seafood is a staple for many at Christmas.
Smoked salmon is the quintessential Christmas starter and a must-have component to any buffet or grazing platter. A light red or classic white wine is your best bet when matching salmon’s fleshy, oily character. Think buttery Chardonnays or chilled Pinot Noirs with floral flavours – its low tannins leave less dryness in the mouth and balance out the oiliness of the fish.
Lobster or prawns are often dished up during the festive season too, and pair perfectly with a smooth, creamy Chardonnay that suits the delicate flavours of the meat.
Not forgetting our vegan and veggies friends here – a nut roast is a popular meat-free Christmas main. Made with vegetables including carrots and onion, pulses, herbs and spices, nuts and oil, a nut roast is a welcome, hearty addition to any Christmas table.
Nut roasts are savoury and substantial, so a lighter and sweeter wine is ideal for balancing out the weight and those earthy, nutty flavours. A low tannin, dry Pinot Noir is the perfect pair and offers added flavours of red currants, cherries and vanilla.
A Pinot Noir is also a great option if a savoury tart is on the menu instead, especially with a mushroom dish.
All RedHeads wines are vegan making them the perfect accompaniment to any festive vegetarian or vegan meal.