Best Wines for Christmas

Christmas is a fabulous flavour-fest. With so many meals to consider, not just the main event of Christmas Dinner, but also Christmas Day breakfast, Boxing Day and all those meals using up leftovers.

When it comes to food and wine pairing, there is no style of wine that doesn’t have a part to play, or a wine region that can’t contribute.

Best Wines for Christmas index:
>> Top Tips on Wine & Food Pairing
>> Best Wines with Christmas Day Breakfast
>> Best Wine for Christmas Dinner

Based on the type of wine
>> Best Red Wine for Christmas
>> Best White Wine for Christmas
>> Fortified Wines are for Christmas

Top Tips on Wine & Food Pairing – Your Definitive Guide

WATCH Your definitive guide to pairing food and wine. All you need to know in this informative, easy to follow guide. With a few food & wine pairing principles, you have all the tools you need to pair whatever you are making with all styles of wine - sparkling, white, red, and rosé wines. 



Best Wines with Christmas Day Breakfast 

Get your Christmas off to a great start with sparkling wine, whether you prefer white or rosé, there are lots of styles and countries to choose from, and prices to suit every budget.

Sparkling wines are delicious with pigs in blankets, the bubbles help to cut through the fat in the sausage and bacon. They are also wonderful with smoked salmon breakfasts and aperitifs of all kinds.

Pick sparkling rosés if you prefer red fruit flavours to the citrus that usually dominates white sparkling wines.

Italian Prosecco is a great value choice, as are French Crémant and Spanish Cava. South Africa’s Cap Classique and English sparkling wines are a great alternative to Champagne.

If sparkling wines are not your thing, crisp white still wines are a good alternative. Try English whites, particularly made with Bacchus grapes.

Best Wine for Christmas Dinner

 Whether you like a traditional turkey for your Christmas Dinner, or you prefer ham, goose, duck, or a vegetarian/vegan alternative, it’s not just about the meat.

It is the trimmings which make it a rich, complex meal and a real wine-pairing challenge.

Best Christmas Day Reds
Fruity, smooth reds are best, with pronounced flavours. A bigger, richer red would work, so long as the tannins are smooth.

Pinot Noir, Merlot, Shiraz, and a Southern Rhone red are all good options. Oak-aged Bordeaux reds, Rioja Reserva and Amarone della Valpolicalla should be 5 years or older.

Best Christmas Day Whites
To hold their own with Christmas Dinner you need rich, full-bodied white wines. Rich, aromatic whites can work well too.

Chardonnay is the ideal grape, in a white Burgundy, or from California or Australia. Oaked Chenin Blanc from South Africa and aromatic Viognier are great alternatives to Chardonnay.


WATCH 5-minute wine & food pairing videos 

Whether you are having turkey or ham for Christmas Dinner, watch our 5-minute videos to get lots of ideas for wines that will work beautifully with your Christmas Dinner.

Best Wines to Pair with Chicken & Turkey

Cut through the choices with helpful tips and suggestions. In only 5 minutes our video guides you through the best wines to pair with chicken and turkey.


Best Ham & Wine Pairing

If you are planning delicious ham for Christmas, this video will give you some fantastic wine pairing ideas in just 5 minutes.


Best Red Wine for Christmas

 The best red wine for Christmas is one that can hold its own with the flavour fest of Christmas Dinner.

Fruity, smooth reds are best, with pronounced flavours. A bigger, richer red would work, so long as the tannins are smooth.

  • Pinot Noir is a favourite for many for Christmas Dinner, as they are less tannic and have good fruit. They are a good option for people who don’t usually enjoy red wines.
  • You can get Merlot reds at prices to fit most budgets. With their fruity flavours and medium tannins merlot is a great all-round option.
  • Valpolicella Ripasso is a fantastic value, rich red Italian wine. Ripasso works so well with the flavours of Christmas Dinner (no matter what meat you are having), and if there is any left over, enjoy it with cheese.
  • Shiraz. Australia have made Shiraz their own, Barossa Valley is one of my favourites.
  • Zinfandel from California. Zinfandel reds are rich red wines with a hint of dried fruits which will go well with cranberry sauce and stuffing. Watch out for Old Vine Zinfandel from Lodi, particularly good.
  • Southern Rhone reds made from fruity Grenache.

If you know your wines, are happy to spend a bit more then here are some wines to push the boat out. Most of these styles of wine need age to drink at their best, therefore look for ones that are 5 to 10 years old a least.

  • Northern Rhone reds are a great Shiraz option.
  • Amarone della Valpolicalla are fabulous wines, rich, intense, and deliciously smooth. A real favourite of mine.
  • St Emilion Grand Cru, Grand Cru Classé if you want a real treat. These Merlot dominant red wines from Bordeaux in South West France offer rich, complex, intense wines. A real Christmas treat.

Best White Wine for Christmas

The best white wines for Christmas cover all wine styles. From crisp aromatic white wines with Christmas breakfast, rich full-bodied whites with Christmas Dinner and rounding off with aromatic whites with body for using up those leftovers like Turkey Curry.

Crisp whites for aperitifs, and with enough flavour for Christmas breakfast:

  • English Bacchus
  • New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc
  • Gavi from Italy
  • A good Italian Pinot Grigio

Richer fuller-bodied whites for Christmas Dinner:

  • A bit of oak can add the richness of flavour and body you want for your Christmas Dinner white.
    • Chardonnay is the ideal grape, in a white Burgundy, or from California or Australia.
    • Oaked Chenin Blanc from South Africa is a good alternative.
  • Aromatic Viognier are fantastic food wines. With intense fruit and a great texture, you can’t really go wrong.
  • Head to Spain with a white Rioja.

For those leftovers:

  • Go for a Gewurztraminer with creamy Turkey Curry.
  • Crisp white wines also work well with creamy and/or spicy dishes, particularly dishes with lighter flavours.
  • White Bordeaux wines are great all-round options.


Fortified Wines are for Christmas

Do you know your Sherries from your Ports? Are you baffled by Madeira?

Most fortified wines are purchased for Christmas. Whether you never buy fortified wines because you don't know what to buy, or you always buy the same kind. Fortified wines offer a fantastic range of wines to enjoy with your festive food.

Banish your bafflement and explore the wonderfully rich world of Fortified Wines. Learn what the wines will taste like from reading the label, discover food pairing suggestions, and no! they are not just for cheese.

READ more in our blog post Fortified Wines Explained here...

WATCH this relaxed and informative video. With food pairing suggestions


 Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays





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