Food & WineChristmas Food and Wine Pairing
Christmas Food and Wine

Christmas Food and Wine Pairing

When I was growing up, my father always had a wooden firkin of beer in the living room over Christmas. This made our house very popular with friends and neighbours. However, beer isn’t the first thing on my list of Christmas Food and Wine Pairing, but a good quality fizz is right up there.  To this end, I find Prosecco sometimes a little too sweet and simple so look towards a Champagne, Cava or English Sparkling Wine.  My personal favourite would be Stanlake Park Hinton Brut, which is only lightly sparkling with delicate flavours.  The 25th can be a long day, so you really need something light, and this is perfect. 

If Sparkling Wine isn’t your thing and a Gin and Tonic isn’t special enough, why not try a white Port with tonic and a Christmassy slice of orange.  White Port is one of Portugal’s best-kept secrets, a fortified wine made with white grapes such as Malvasia Fina, Rabigato and Viosinho. It has a similar sweetness to gin, but with a much lower alcohol content, coming it at around 20% abv, offering guests a more sensible start to the festivities.

Christmas starters and wine

If you are serving smoked salmon or cheese-based starters, then you can continue with your sparkling wine.  Should you want a still wine, you may want to look towards a Chenin Blanc or Pinot Grigio.  Pinot Grigio is a versatile wine, with a lovely texture, plus a hint of spiciness and a sweetness that is generally balanced by the acidity. Want to keep it British? Stanlake Park Regatta is a perfect pairing here, especially with lightly smoked salmon.  

Pairing turkey with wine

These days, an increasing number of people are going off-piste on Christmas Day, serving up rib of beef or leg of lamb, but in my view, Christmas isn’t Christmas without a turkey.  Some may think that turkey is somewhat bland for wine pairing but it’s important to remember everything else that is sitting on your (large) plate; a rich stuffing, Brussel sprouts, and bacon-wrapped sausages. Therefore, it’s a good idea to consider a red wine.  I’d opt for Stanlake Park Cricket Grove which is light but with a long spicy finish.  If you want something with more body, then go for the Negroamaro from The Stanlake Park Italian Collection.

If you really would rather stick to white wine with turkey, then I’d recommend Stanlake Park King’s Fumé, a dry elegant white wine made from Chardonnay and Ortega grapes giving it a rich complexity, ideal for roast turkey.  In reality, when you sit down at the Christmas table, the first duty of the wine is to go not with the food but with your mood; it must be festive and celebratory. The best advice is therefore to drink the wine you most fancy at the time.

Sweet wine for Xmas pudding

Finally, Christmas pudding.  How do you match those big, raisin-treacly flavours?  Seeing as many Christmas puddings include Port then why not drink a Port or Sherry alongside.  Alternatively opt for a dessert wine such as a Sauternes or a Muscat wine, although the intensity of the pudding may be too strong.  If you’re opting for cheese instead of the traditional pudding, then the same wines work just as well.

If you’re still standing at this point and fancy a mince pie with crumbling pastry and luscious dried fruit, then you really need a sweet Oloroso or Cream Sherry.  Usually on Christmas Eve, you would leave out a Sherry and mince pie for the guy in the red suit to partake when he arrives down your chimney. 

Hopefully, you have now some ideas on Christmas food and wine pairing. Santa Claus certainly knows his food pairings very well!

Grab the fizz for your toast! »

Passionate about music, craft beer and wine but loves travel and food too especially Staffordshire oatcakes!