No matter what holiday you celebrate, chances are your plans include food. Whether you're cooking up some home-made Christmas classics or ordering takeaway while doing some boxing day shopping, the holiday season is a time to relax and unwind with a festive meal and great wine.
But since we all tend to eat such a wide range of foods it can be difficult to find wines to complement all those different flavours. So we wanted to make a guide to help you find the perfect wine to go with anything you're having, from Gingerbread Cookies to your winter vegetables. The main goal is to match the weight of the dish with the body of the wine, heavy wine with heavy food, and sweet wine with sweet treats. So here's our recommendations but there are no hard and fast rules for wine at this time of year, ultimately you should go with whatever wine sounds good to you!
Here's the WM guide for holiday dishes and our suggestions for wines will enhance - rather than clash with - the food:
Gingerbread Cookie + Riesling
The sweet, bright, and floral notes in a German riesling create an unexpected compliment to the classic gingerbread cookie. Because gingerbread cookies often include cinnamon, honey, molasses, and other heavy flavours, the crisp, light flavour of this Riesling Spätlese from Baumberger is a great match. Additionally, something less sweet like the Steinbock - Yellow Muscat from Hörner has bright citrus flavours and acidity that balance the richness of the warm spices in gingerbread.
Mince Pie + Tempranillo
We love all variations of yummy Cornish pasties and since this dish offers both savoury and sweet flavours so something like Tempranillo is a great wine to go with. The Partisano from Bodegas Más Que Vinos has a high fruitiness and a medium body that makes it a great match for your holiday Mince Pies. Another great and appropriately festive pairing option with Mince Pie is making a warm Mulled Wine!
Roast Beef & Veggies + Strong Red Reserve
With a heavy hitter like roast beef you really want a wine with the same level of oomph to match with it (this is not a job for Pinot Noir). We'd suggest something bold, red, and aged, like the 5 Elementos Superior Tinto. This hearty wine is strong and will make you want to sit back and relax after the first sip, but it's not so over-concentrated that you are full right away. And with notes of dark fruits, a light ethereal freshness, and a charming spice, it's the perfect star for your Christmas dinner table.
Turkey + Oaked Chardonnay
While turkey (or chicken) is a relatively light meat, all the sides that we tend to have with it make the typical Christmas dinner quite heavy so the wine needs to have some weight to match the meal. Therefore we'd suggest a full-bodied white wine like the La Muse from Domaine La Louviere. It is a blend of Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc and Viognier, which have come together perfectly and aged in wooden barrels for an enhanced and powerful flavour that perfectly matches with rich holiday foods. Additionally, this rich and buttery Chardonnay blend is an oh-so-perfect match with a decadent sugar cookie. ;)
And our last piece of advice for Holiday food and wine pairings: when in doubt, go with sparkling. Because you can never go totally wrong when pairing a festive meal with an equally festive sparkling wine! Or shop our Merry Wine-Mas Box for more excellent wines for the holidays.