White Christmas Anyone?
With only a few weeks to go until the Big Day, the team at Premier Estates thought it was high time that we pass on our advice with regards to pairing white wine with traditional Christmas fayre. It’s common knowledge that wine sales rise significantly at this time of year as so many of us are enjoying pre-Christmas parties and catching up with old friends or family who we haven’t seen in ages. Whether you’re partying in style with a big turn-out expected or keeping it simple and just inviting around a few guests, it’s useful to know how to match up your Christmas white wine with the food on offer, to maximise your guest’s enjoyment.
In the past, it has been red wine sales that have dominated around Christmas time but the last seven or eight years have seen this trend gradually change until sales of red and white wine are more or less even. The wine industry has also seen an amazing rise in the sales of wine over other alcoholic beverages. Enjoying a glass of white wine with Christmas food is increasingly popular and matching the two isn’t always that straight forward as we all have our particular favourites. It’s difficult to please all palates!
So, without further ado, here’s some useful Christmas white wine advice from our expert team:
Christmas White Wine with a Turkey Dinner
Let’s face it. Christmas dinner is usually associated with overindulgence with many of us feeling “stuffed” just like the turkey at the end of it, but turkey is actually a very low fat meat and whereas the roast potatoes and gravy may contribute to the meal’s fat content, the carrots, peas, parsnips and Brussels sprouts, do not. There’s little in the meal to work with the tannins of a red wine and so a full bodied white wine is definitely the way to go as it will provide a refreshing accompaniment to salty gravy, or if gravy isn’t your thing, a little zest to complement the subtle turkey meat and veg flavours.
We can heartily recommend either our Californian Chardonnay or our Italian Chardonnay to complement your turkey dinner as both are fruity and full bodied with the Californian leaning more towards melon softness and the Italian with a little more citrus zest.
White Wine To Complement Beef, Lamb and Pork Christmas Meals
A great many of us actually prefer a beef, lamb or even pork dinner for our Christmas meal and would also prefer a white wine to a red, but we drink red wine with red meat because that’s the “done thing”. Well, don’t be afraid to break from tradition, after all, it’s good to get maximum enjoyment from your Christmas dinner! You can find all sorts of expert recommendations for white wines to go with a red meat dish, so it certainly isn’t frowned upon by those in the know.
For a roast beef or steak dinner, we would recommend a dry, crisp, white wine with citrus hints. Try our Italian Garganega Pinot Grigio or our Chilean Sauvignon Blanc. Both of these wines will fit a red meat meal perfectly and to enhance the experience, offer up some pickled red cabbage and a red wine based sauce for the beef. The red wine sauce might sound a little contradictory but it actually works amazingly well with a dry white wine.
A lamb or pork dish, especially if served with a creamy sauce, will be nicely accompanied by the tropical fruit and soft peach flavours of our South African Chenin Blanc. Alternatively, the smooth side of our Australian Chardonnay will also work wonders with these subtly flavoured red meats.
Finding a Great White to Accompany Fish and Seafood
This is a much more straight forward situation as our white wines lend themselves superbly to a choice of chilli, citrus or cream based sauces traditionally served with fish dishes. Salmon is a big favourite with those who prefer a fish dish on Christmas day and we would recommend the complementary gooseberry hints of our Chilean Sauvignon Blanc or the flashes of acidity and long finish of our Australian Chardonnay. Both of these wines pair amazingly well with light fish dishes and creamy sauces.
Vegetarian Dishes and Christmas White Wines
Should your preference be a vegetarian dish, such as a chestnut, spinach and blue cheese en croûte or a lentil, mushroom and chestnut roast, then once again, a white wine will be an easy pairing because of the subtle flavours and accompanying sauces. The generally lower fat content of a vegetarian dish lends itself more towards a white wine accompaniment than a tannin rich red wine. Premier Estates Wine’s Italian Trebbiano will prove to be a lively, fruity partner for less complex, gently flavoured vegetarian dishes and our Californian Chardonnay will satisfy those Christmas white wine fans who prefer a vegetarian meal with more spicy characteristics.
With Christmas almost upon us, choosing a Christmas white wine to delight your guests and help you get into the seasonal spirit just adds to the excitement! Look out for our Christmas rosé wine food pairing blog post coming soon, for those of you who look forward to a glass of pink during the Christmas festivities.