Christmas is a time for celebration, with Christmas day being the highlight of the family’s culinary calendar for many. However, planning and preparing for the occasion can be fraught with problems. Catering for sprout-hating children, the solo vegetarian and an uncle who would prefer roast beef can be a nightmare; getting the wines right is not straightforward either!
Such a special occasion deserves special wines: Champagne is virtually a necessity, yet the type of trimmings, as well as individual tastes, need to be considered when it comes to choosing what to serve alongside the turkey or goose.

Here’s a few tips to help steer you in the right direction:
• Match the weight of both the food and wine. Full-bodied wines complement rich and heavy foods.
• Balance the flavour intensity of both (full-flavours like Sauvignon Blanc and asparagus) and also consider the wine’s fruit characteristics (the raspberry flavours in Pinot Noir complement duck the same way a delicious fruit sauce would).
• Match the acidity in wine and food. High-acid wines complement fatty foods the same way lemon cuts through the greasiness of smoked salmon.
• The greater the texture a food has (fatty food like duck, chewy like steak) the more tannin the wine should have for counter balance.
• Salt is not found in wine but does clash with tannic wines, so this pairing should be avoided.
• Always remember to serve a wine with greater sweetness than the food. Sweetness in wine also acts as a foil to rich foods (Sauternes and foie gras is a classic example).


Here’s a sample menu – perhaps worthy of a trial run prior to the big day?
Champagne Edouard Brun Cuvée Spéciale Brut NV
Ay, France
Served with eggs benedict or scrambled eggs & wilted spinach on sourdough toast

After Church
Domain Jean Goulley Chablis 2014
La Chapelle-Vaupelteigne, France
Accompanied with smoked salmon

With the presents
Lismore Barrel Fermented Sauvignon Blanc 2014
Greyton, South Africa
Matched with king prawns dressed in a creamy dijonnaise

Fox Gordon ‘The Dark Prince’ Nero d’Avola 2015
Adelaide Hills, South Australia
Served with turkey and cranberry – of course!

The Queen’s Speech
Viňa Pomal Rioja Gran Reserva 2004
Haro, Rioja, Spain
Matched with a cheese platter

The Christmas Day movie
El Candado Pedro Ximenez
Jerez de la Frontera, Spain
Accompanied with homemade Christmas pudding with brandy butter

All available from E:

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year!

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