Let’s face it, Christmas is not just lunch, but an all-day marathon of enjoying life’s greatest pleasures: eating and imbibing. How to tie these two together can sometimes prove to be challenging, but there are a couple of simple rules that you can follow to make Christmas pairings into a smash hit.
The first step is to pair the food that YOU love with wines that YOU love because we all have different tastebuds.
Christmas morning always starts off with family around the Christmas tree opening gifts, and the best pairing is obviously something that sparkles. Luckily, there is a style of wine for that: sparkling wine! Why? Because gift-giving is normally followed by fabulous brunch and sparkling wine, be it Champagne or Prosecco.
It’s not just the flavours of these two popular sparkling wines that go well with your masterfully poached eggs and homemade croissants (if lockdown taught us anything, is that we are now all Master Chefs!), but the actual texture of bubbles against something buttery and creamy makes it for a lovely contrast and help clean your palette.
Then comes the epic feast of 3 course Christmas lunch, but we all celebrate Christmas differently, but there are some basic rules to follow. Your starters may include freshly shucked oysters with Mignotte sauce or goat cheese tartlet with pear and walnut, which would go wonderful with high acid wines like Sancerre because these foods are high and acid and will bring down the high acidity of Sancerre. Salt will make dry and tannic wines loosen up, taste fruitier and dangerously juicier. Picture a Châteauneuf-du-Pape with a beef wellington. Because you’ve got pastry filled roast fillet with pancetta, this will make CNDP feel and taste softer. But what of dishes that have high umami content like a mushroom wellington? A Pinot Noir from Oregon or Burgundy will complement the foresty rich flavours of mushrooms, and again, texture.
Then how does one finish off an epic Christmas feast? Well, we at Humble Grape, have a penchant for homemade chocolate truffles and cheese, and what classic pairing do we offer? Port, Sweet Wine, or if you want to stick with a dry red, then an Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG, will do the job just fine.
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