Dec 16, 2020

Christmas is all about celebrating with friends and family and a big part of that - the best bit, let’s face it - is ensuring there's good food for dinner, plus bold wine and loads of stories and laughter shared.

Getting the best wine as a pairing for your Christmas dinner and the festive food in general is important - whether it's red, white or rosé.

We're going to give you a hand in finding the perfect fit, with a rundown of the best wine to pair with these classics and even suggest some surprising, adventurous wine pairings for your Christmas feast.

Best wine for Christmas dinner

1. Starters

2. Mains

3. Vegetables and extras

4. Desserts and sweet treats

 

1. Starters

All families are different when it comes to Christmas food, but whether you go straight in with the mains or take your time over starters, it's always great to be adventurous and try something new. We've selected two traditional favourites for you to put a fresh twist on and have included wines that make a perfect pair.


Smoked salmon

If you decide on a canape-style starter for a relaxed opening to your meal, why not try smoked salmon and cream cheese blinis or oatcakes with dill and a squeeze of lemon?

For your smoked salmon wine pairing, you can opt to go with fizz but the best zesty white - a crisp Dark Horse Sauvignon Blanc is ideal. Pairing red can be tricky as wine that's too bold might be overpowering, but a light, modest variety would also do the trick.

 

Prawn cocktail

Spice up the traditional prawn cocktail by wrapping the prawns in bacon and pairing the starter with a Chardonnay wine. Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio are also great with a classic prawn cocktail, as is a festive glass of bubbles.

2. Mains

This is the star of the show - the main dish is what everyone's waiting for and the centrepiece of Christmas Day. Pull up a chair with your family and friends and tuck into your mouth-watering dinner. Whether you've shirked convention or stuck to tradition - it's time to pair your wine for the perfect finishing touch.
 

Turkey

Beautifully basted, succulent and ready to carve - it's time to find a wine pairing to go with your Christmas turkey, the question is white or red? The perfect white wine is our oaky and smooth Chardonnay which will add creaminess - ideal for turkey and your expertly-made bread sauce.

When you're looking for a red, you'll need something that won't overpower the turkey meaning it needs to be low in tannins and medium-bodied. Merlot is a good choice.

 

Ham

Look no further than Dark Horse's Merlot wine as a perfect pairing for your Christmas ham. Don't forget you'll have leftovers, perfect for stuffing between slices of bread for a few days - save a drop to have with your sandwich on Boxing Day.

 

Nut roast/Mushroom Wellington

Going meat-free this year? Make sure you get the wine pairing on point too!

We think our Cabernet Sauvignon is the best red possible to go with a nut roast as it's packed with a balanced blend of black fruit. Meanwhile, we've identified the Dark Horse Chardonnay to be a match made in heaven for a mushroom Wellington. If you add chestnuts to either dish, Malbec is also an awesome option.
 

3. Vegetables and extras

No Christmas dinner is complete without those seasonal vegetables - roasted, boiled, steamed, fried - however they come, they're all part of the perfect Christmas experience. Pair your wine with your main, for sure, but if you're looking for a glug of wine to have with leftover vegetables on Christmas Day evening, we've got you covered.

 

Roast potatoes

Did you roast your potatoes in duck fat? That oaky drop of Dark Horse Chardonnay is exactly what these crispy spuds are looking for.

However, if you felt daring when you were making your potatoes and added garlic and a rogue shaving of parmesan cheese then you have three amazing options. You can stick with Chardonnay, or even go for a sip of crisp, citrusy Sauvignon Blanc. Looking for a red though? Opt for a glass of our smooth Cabernet Sauvignon.

 

Roast parsnips

Similar to the roast potatoes, these popular root vegetables will pair brilliantly with a few wines this Christmas. A delicious red such as Malbec will match the earthy taste here. Alternatively, follow this BBC Good Food recipe to glaze these beauties in honey for a sticky sensation and they’ll pair wonderfully with Rosé.

 

Stuffing

We love sausage-based stuffing with a Dark Horse Zinfandel, or even our Merlot. Stuffing absolutely deserves pride of place on your festive plate - and with the right wine pairing it’ll be an even bigger crowd pleaser during first and second helpings.

4. Desserts and sweet treats

Christmas is synonymous with eating chocolate and sweet treats at all hours of the day - it's such a huge part of the season so you’ll need ideas on how to match the moment with a great wine too.

 

Christmas pudding

Full of fruit and bursting with rich flavours, a Christmas pudding certainly packs a punch so pairing wine with this dessert can be tough.

It's traditional to opt for a port, but we think something lighter might work brilliantly - try going for a glass of Rosé here.

 

Chocolates

When it comes to chocolate, Red wine is your best bet. If you have a selection box of milk truffles for example, go for Merlot and feel your mouth burst with flavour.

 

Whatever you decide to serve with your Christmas dinner this year, we hope we've got your creative juices flowing for wine pairings to impress your guests. Remember to be bold and adventurous with your choices as everyone loves tradition with a twist of excitement - and it’ll be a talking point that impresses your dinner guests.

 

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