So when it comes to selecting wine for any occasion, it can get a little daunting, especially when trying to match with food. Christmas time is a season consumed with rich food and having the perfect bottle of vino to match, and getting it right can be a little overwhelming. I have simplified your choice below, and I give a few recommendations.
So if you are going all fancy, and having a different wine with each course, I go through the day from morning to evening. I may have chosen a wine for each course, from starter to dessert, but whether you choose white or red, if you stick with the one type of wine, that’s ok, I have chosen high acidic wines, these wines will compliment all the flavours in every meal.
Why not start the celebrations early….. Start your morning off with a glass of mimosa, the best sparkler for making mimosas surprisingly is not Champagne, you’re better off opting for something a little less expensive, Prosecco from Italy or Cava from Spain, they are the perfect dry sparkler that blend well with juice.
We have prosecco ranging from €10…
Per Ora Prosecco, delicious flavours of green apples and pear, with a pleasant acidity and subtle finish, this prosecco makes the perfect aperitif with a splash of orange juice. €10
And we have Cava ranging from €20…
Marques de La Concordia Cava, this fresh sparkler has aromas of citrus and a little honey. On the palate, green fruits, a little lemon and a subtle nutty flavour. €20
Jumping straight to the main event…
To start whether you are having soup or traditional prawn cocktail, you are best to start with a light refreshing white with high acidity, this will cleanse your palate, before all the rich flavours that will follow in the main course.
I would recommend a Crisp Albariño from Spain, or a Champagne from France. Albariño offers a light and refreshing body with high acidity. … The slight bitter flavour comes from the thick skins of the grapes, this consequently makes Albariño great for palate cleansing. Champagne is the absolute best palate cleanser of all time! Champagne is bubbly which lifts any lingering flavours and washes them away, the acidity will brighten the palate.
We have Albariño from €16…
Paco & Lola Albariño has fresh acidity, aromas of white and tropical fruit. On the nose you will get subtle floral undertones. With a long finish, this young wine has a gorgeous citrus aftertaste. €18
We have a huge range of Champagne ranging from €57…
Moet & Chandon has a vibrant intensity of green apple, citrus fruits and brioche. A Blend of over 100 different elegant wines, grapes used are Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay. €62
What wine you serve with the main course, all depends on what food will be on the table.
Firstly let’s stick with the traditional Turkey and Ham. Turkey is a white meat and has no fat content, so a full bodied white or a light bodied red with high acidity would be perfectly matched.
I would recommend a Pinot Noir. The high acidity of Pinot Noir, would cut through the rich flavours. The red fruits flavours are ideal for a juicy slice of ham.
But if you are not a red drinker and prefer a white wine, then a full bodied Chardonnay can be an attractive accompaniment to your turkey. The oakiness and sweet spice notes, along with creamy acidity can accentuate the dry meat and balance out the flavours.
We have Pinot Noir ranging from €10…
Luis Felipe Edwards Pinot Noir from Chile at €10, this wine has a delicate red colour, on the nose, you have plum and raspberry, and on the palate it is fresh and light with a pleasant fruit intensity and soft tannins on the finish.
We have Chardonnay ranging from €10…
Macon Uchizy Domaine Talmard 2020 from France, winning white wine of the year ’21/’22, €19.95, this French wine is a rich, full flavoured chardonnay based, beautifully balanced white. Stunning citrus and ripe pear flavours.
If you are serving a Tenderloin of Beef for your Christmas dinner, it is safe to say that red would be the preferred choice with roast beef, but to be a little controversial I am also going to point you in the direction of a good white, that would also pair well with a strong meat.
So when it comes to red, a full bodied Bordeaux with high tannin content, would work best. The sharpness and dark fruit flavours would enhance the flavour and texture of the beef.
Alternatively you could go with, and which I would prefer is a full bodied Rioja. The spice, herbs and plum flavours would complement the spices in the beef.
We have Bordeaux red wines ranging from €13
Château Calendreau is a deep, rich and flavoursome red wine with this vintage displaying a warming but subtle fresh nose of jammy prune. The palate is ample and fresh, supple but rich in extract, floral, and with a long, sharp finish. €16
We have Rioja red wines ranging from €16
Coto de Imaz Reserva, with an intense cherry red colour. On the nose you have everything associated with Christmas, red berries, vanilla, and cinnamon. It does not disappoint on the palate, good acidity, elegant and high tannins leading to a long finish. €20
Some people prefer a white wine, especially with Christmas dinner, as it can be refreshing with a big meal. To try something a little different, I am going to recommend a Sancerre, this wine has high acidity and is medium bodied. Perfect match to the juicy spicy flavours of a roast beef.
Château la Sancerre, this Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley has a lovely crispness, aromas of lemon and ripe green fruits. The high acidity lends to a long lively finish. €23
After all that rich food you may prefer to leave a little bit of time before you tuck into the pudding, but we all do love a little sweetness after dinner. So not to over indulge straight away, why not choose a liquid dessert.
A sweet Sauternes from France, or an ice wine such as Riesling from Germany, both these wines would go well with a fruit salad or tart. The best thing about a dessert wine such as Sauternes, is it comes in a half bottle, and a glass is usually enough. It will also keep in the fridge for about a week. Sauternes has a very high alcohol content, this is due to the grapes being affected by noble rot, and this causes the grape flavours and sugars to become more concentrated.
On the other scale then Riesling has a lower alcohol content, this is typically due to the grapes been grown in cooler climates and as a result grapes wouldn’t be fully ripe, which then produces grapes of lower sugar levels.
We have Sichel Sauternes from France, peach and apricot flavours, with a subtle taste of honey and orange. Great acidity and a lovely long length. 375ml bottle retailing at €18.
For a Riesling I would recommend Dr. Loosen Riesling Qualitätswein, this is refreshing and fruity. Aromas of apricot and green fruits. Crisp flavours of apples, apricots and peaches. 750ml bottle retailing at €15.
Now it’s nap time or game board time, whatever you choose to do, I hope you enjoyed my recommendations above and made Christmas dinner that little bit easier for you, but we are not done. Later in the evening you may get a little peckish, and decide to have a slice of that Christmas pudding, and nothing goes better with pudding than a lovely Ruby or Tawny Port. The fruitiness of Ruby Port and the Nuttiness of Tawny will both compliment the rich fruit & nut flavours of the Christmas pudding.
We stock a range of different Ports, from Ruby, Tawny, White and you could also splash out and get a vintage port. We stock Taylors brand and Fonseca, ranging from €19.50.
What a long day, it is now time for bed…..
We have 8 stores across Cork City and County, please pop into your local branch, and we are happy to help you with all your beverage needs. We offer a free gift wrapping service, and once you hold onto your receipt, we offer sale and return. We have a huge range of gifts packs, from beer, spirits to wine. We can custom make hampers for any budget. And if you are unsure we also have gift cards.
Most importantly … Please remember drink sensibly. Visit drinkaware.ie
I hope you all have a lovely Christmas!
Written By: Lorna O'Driscoll - Marketing O'Donovans Off Licence