A Little Main Meal Wine Pairing Advice
Red wine has always been traditionally more popular at Christmas time and generally during the colder months. At Premier Estates Wine, we are more than familiar with watching the sales figures for Christmas red wine rise faster than those for white and rosé wines, although for wine in general, we have seen a huge increase in sales year on year during the yuletide season.
We always get a great many inquiries at this time of year from customers asking for our advice about which reds go well with traditional Christmas fayre. Our red wine range covers all the bases whether you’re looking for a wine to accompany a meal or a wine you can just relax with and enjoy in front of the fire on a chilly evening. We’re sure you’ll find something to enjoy and indulge in, whether that’s our rich, full Californian Cabernet Sauvignon or our fruity Australian Shiraz.
So, let’s get down to business and look at pairing some Christmas red wines with traditional fayre:
Pairing Red Wine with a Traditional Turkey Meal
Turkey has been a big Christmas favourite as the focus of the main meal on the big day itself, since the reign of Queen Victoria. It is not a strongly flavoured meat and the trick with pairing red wine with such a meal comes in paying attention to the accompanying sauces and trimmings, many of which have powerful flavours. The turkey may be wrapped in bacon, for instance, and the gravy will be quite salty. The cranberry sauce is fruity and sweet to provide a contrast to the gravy.
Picking a Christmas red wine for your meal may, to a certain extent, be dependent upon your preference, but as a general rule of thumb choosing a young, ripe, fruity wine will satisfy most wine drinkers. Pick up a bottle of our Chilean Merlot red wine to complement your turkey dinner and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how diverse it is, whatever your preferred meal accompaniments may be.
Roast Beef and a Rich Red Wine
Arguably the second most popular choice for a Christmas day meal would be a marvellous slow roasted beef joint or a large, juicy steak. Beef is more strongly flavoured than turkey and so isn’t quite so over powered by gravy and sauces. The cut of the beef goes some way towards helping you decide upon the perfect Christmas red wine to go with your meal. A low fat cut of beef, such as a fillet, would be perfectly partnered by our Chilean Merlot, but a rib eye steak would benefit most from the ripe berry fruit flavours and smooth tannins of our Californian Cabernet Sauvignon. This versatile red is also great if you’re a big Brussel sprout fan as it nicely complements the slightly bitter flavour of sprouts with its fruitiness.
The Perfect Red for a Salmon Dish
Most people would automatically associate a salmon meal with a glass of white or rosé wine but it’s perfectly acceptable and quite common for seafood fans to choose a quality red wine to go with their preferred Christmas meal. Salmon is almost as popular a choice as beef when it comes to the main meal on the big day itself, particularly with those who prefer a lighter meal and more subtly flavoured accompaniments. Salmon meals usually have a buttery sauce and light, crisp vegetables like green beans and asparagus to go with it.
A Christmas red wine such as our Italian Cabernet Sauvignon with its ripe summer berry fruit flavours would be ideal to complement the light fish and vegetable flavours of this Christmas favourite.
Choosing the Right Christmas Red Wine for A Vegetarian Meal
Many of us choose not to enjoy a meat based dish as our meal on Christmas day and would much prefer a vegetarian dish. With some amazingly tasty dishes on offer that have been refined over many years by talented vegetarian chefs, selecting a nut roast or a mushroom risotto is most certainly not a second choice and those who just fancy a change, rather than being dedicated vegetarians, will often plump for this option. Vegetarian meals are very easy to pair with red wines as their enhanced vegetable flavours are wonderfully complemented by the fruitiness of a fine Christmas red wine. Try a bottle of our South African Pinotage along with your vegetarian choice, especially if it’s a strongly flavoured or spicy dish.We’ll shortly be taking a look at pairing white wines and also rosé wines with seasonal meals over the next couple of weeks, as Christmas draws ever closer. So, keep an eye out for our next blog post for some more Christmas wine advice from the Premier Estates Wine team.