What wines go best with Christmas Dinner?

What wines go best with Christmas Dinner?

Okay, first off, the best wine to drink with any food is the wine you like. Now, that answer might feel like a bit of a cop-out. But when it comes to wine, I never, ever want to tell people what they must drink.

So, take any and all of these suggestions with a generous pinch of salt.

If you're going to prepare a more traditional three-course turkey dinner, with all the trappings, it can be hard to pick out some good wine matches. Tart cranberry sauce, brussel sprouts, as well as the turkey, stuffing, and gravy - it can all get a little overwhelming.

But, first things first. Let's kick off the festivities with a glass of fizz on Christmas Day. It adds a real sense of celebration. And it doesn't have to be expensive. Whether it's Cava, Crémant, or Champagne, it's time to get a bit of festive fizz.

Wines with the Christmas starters.

Smoked salmon on brown bread is the quintessential Irish starter. And a nice match is a good quality refreshing Sauvignon Blanc. But don't yet rule out some excellent Chardonnay too., particularly a good Chablis.

Wines to go with Christmas main course.

The turkey itself is not the challenge, it's more so the trimmings. From the tart cranberry sauce, sausage meat in the stuffing, or those infernal Brussel Sprouts there’s a whole lot of effort the wine needs to go to cope!

The big bird itself won't be a problem for most wines.

For the reds, Pinot Noir, or Rioja for me. Lovely bright fruit and plenty of fresh acidity. And I'll have a bottle of Chianti Classico on my own table. Fresh, vibrant and just so good with food.

Less popular, and highly underrated is Loire Cabernet Franc, particularly Saumur or Chinon

For whites, the class is white Burgundy or a good Chardonnay from elsewhere, but I'm a huge fan of white Rioja. Fresh, complex, and really interesting. Hugely underrated too.

Wines for Christmas Roast Beef

Many Irish Christmas tables have eschewed Turkey for roast beef. And this is where we're spoiled for choice. You can never go wrong with a classic Cabernet Sauvignon.

Or pick out a red from the Rhône with a lick of spice, great for beef or lamb. This is also where your classic red Rioja, Chianti like the wonderful Gineprone, and Aussie Shiraz will come into their own.

Another worth a look is the ever popular Chocolate Block, written about in the Indo a few years back. 

Wines to match the Christmas Dessert

Some Christmas desserts are so rich, they need something weighty enough to match. Mince pies, Christmas cake or Christmas pudding scream for a sweet sherry like a sweet or the Christmas-pudding-in-a-glass,  Pedro Ximenez. 

And if there's a trifle, then go with a sweet wine like Sauternes or a Tawny Port. If you're looking for something a bit fresher, then reach for an Italian Moscato d’Asti.