What are the best wines for Christmas day?

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. A time where food and family take centre stage, and we’re no different here at The Pip Stop.

We’ve done blogs around food and wine matching in the past to try and put you on the right track but this is different. We’ve taken the most popular recipes from BBC Good Food for Christmas starters, mains and desserts and paired them with our pick of the bunch.

So, without further ado, lets get cracking!

Christmas Wine
image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Starters

Smoked salmon with prawns, horseradish cream & lime vinaigrette

The recipe name is a bit of a mouthful but this Smoked Salmon starter was rated more times than almost every other festive starter combined. It sounds incredible so what should we pair with it?

We’ve gone for the Domaine Daulny Sancerre. The wine’s acidity will stand up to the lime and cut through the oily fish while a 13% abv content won’t taste too boozy with the spice from the horseradish.

Honeyed winter salad

Our first of two vergetarian starter options (it’s even vegan if you switch out honey for something like maple syrup). This salad with winter vegetables is a great, light start to what can be a day of heavy food.

For this we suggest the Los Coches Viognier. It’s an aromatic wine and really works well with root vegetables, and isn’t so dry that it will taste sour alongside the roasted parsnips.

Source: BBC Good Food

Make-ahead mushroom soufflés

Christmas is a busy enough day without having to make everything on the day so a recipe you can make ahead of time is always a winner. Besides, mushroom soufflé sounds just fancy enough to impress the in-laws right?

Time to break out an old favourite then, the Chapter 3 Chardonnay from McPherson wines. It’s rich, its textural, it’s creamy…it’s almost like it was made just for this dish.

Mains

Chestnut, spinach & blue cheese en croûte

Sticking with the vegetarian theme for our first match (don’t worry carnivores, you’ll love what comes next). This baked pastry centrepiece promises a riot of flavour and textures.

Although the Chapter 3 Chardonnay would work with this as well (which makes pairing easier if you don’t want to change wine mid-meal) we’ve gone for the Dopff & Irion Gewurztraminer. It’s nice and rich to hold up against the blue cheese, but not overpowering in a way that it takes away from the food. Give it a try!

Source: BBC Good Food

Turkey crown with roast garlic & pancetta

Although seemingly going out of style Turkey is still a huge part of a traditional Christmas. This recipe also features a lot of work you can do on Christmas Eve to make the day itself easier.

We say it every year (because it’s true!), Pinot Noir is the perfect compliment to Turkey. This time we’ve gone with the Napa Cellars Pinot Noir.

It’s a very well structured wine with enough toasty notes to stand up to roasted garlic and bacon in the stuffing. The fruit flavour is where it’s at with this wine though, bold black cherry, spice and (surprisingly) a hint of cola.

Slow-roast shoulder of lamb with anchovy & rosemary

This is a great lamb recipe for something quick to prepare, that you can just throw in the oven and leave alone. It does strike me though that you’ll need another oven to cook the rest of your meal (maybe it would work in a slow cooker?) but hey-ho it sounds lush so on we go!

As your christmas centrepiece meal, it should also have a centrepiece wine so we’ve gone for the Les Galets de la Berthaude Châteauneuf-du-Pape. This wine is a lot easier to drink than it is to pronounce.

We’d recommend opening this wine when you put the lamb in the oven to let the tannins develop. It has a lovely herbaciousness to it with gamey notes to compliment the lamb as well as rich dark fruit flavours.

Source: BBC Good Food

Desserts

Christmas pudding with citrus & spice

Pudding time, hurray! First we tackle the classic Christmas Pudding. This one has bit of an orange kick to it so we’ve got 2 options for you, depending how boozy you wanted your puddng.

If you’ve been a little eavy handed with the orange liqueur in the recipe then something like the Chase Marmalade Vodka will be ideal. A touch of sweetness and enough orange flavour to keep pace with the pudding.

For a more traditional, slightly less orangey pudding, the Rutherglen Muscat from Pfeiffer Wines is a treat. The rich flavours of sweet spice and raising meld perfectly.

Mince Pies

Big puddings after Christmas lunch can be a little hard to stomach, but a mince pie mid afternoon? Oh go on then.

Our tipple of choice, the Deen Vat 5 Botrytis Semillon from De Bortoli. This dessert wine has enough sweetness to stand up to the sweet mince without becoming too sickly and cloying.

BBC Good Food

Yule Chocolate Log

These beauties are becoming the chocolate dessert of choice for Christmas. But what on earth can you pair with a heavy chocolate yule log?

Enter the Cline Cellars Late Harvest Mourvedre. This spectacular dessert red is great with chocolate, with flavours of coffee, jammy berries and of course, chocolate.

The Afterparty!

So that’s christmas food and wine pairing sorted but what about party wines? Well now that we’ve recovered from our food coma, we’ve picked two white and two red crowd pleasing wines for your party as well as a delightful fizz.

Baglietti No 10 Prosecco

Now, we’d like to point out that we didn’t choose this just because the bottle looks fab (depite the fact that it really does). Prosecco is still the nation’s favourite fizz, and it’s a lot cheaper than champers as a party wine.

This prosecco has a vibrant spritz to it with aromas of apple and pear. It’s citric on the palate with prosecco’s trademark refreshing acidity.

Speakeasy Pinot Gris

The first white wine we’ve chosen is a real crowdpleaser. Graet value for money, the Speakeasy Pinot Gris is a textural, complex wine with a slightly savoury character.

Much more fruit driven than traditional Pinot Grigio, this particular Pinot Gris is left on it’s skins for a short space of time for a light blush.

Picpoul De Pinet

The perfect wine for someone who likes Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio but wants to try something new. Picpoul is one of the oldest grape varietals in the Languedoc but has experienced a bit of a resurgence recently.

The Racine Picpoul De Pinet is a light wine with a lively zest acidity and floral notes among lemon citrus. A surefire hit.

Lautarul Pinot Noir

On to the reds now and we start with something on the lighter end of the spectrum. This is a great value Pinot Noir from Romania.

Soft and juicy with black cherry and raspberry flavours, it’s surprisingly potent in flavour for the price. There’s also a delightful hint of cinnamon and spice on the end palate that is sure to delight your guests.

Smart Dog Syrah

An unnsung hero here at The Pip Stop. We all forget just how much we love this wine until we feature it on a tasting event and discover it all over again.

Soft and medium-bodied with a delicious fruity palate and floral notes. You really can’t go wrong with it.

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