I love wine. And I love food. But sometimes matching the two can be difficult. And let’s face it, at Christmas you want to get it right. Just as well, then, that I have a wonderful friend who just happens to be a wine expert. Every year, lovely Helen helps us with our Christmas vino and thank Gordon she does, because we’d be in a right pickle without her. And so, without any further ado, I give you Helen, Goddess of Wine and all-round top girl:
You know that advert, the one with the little boy who can’t wait to give his present rather than open the ones he’s been given? It makes me cry every time I watch it. Every. Single. Time. The message is simple: Christmas is about giving as well as receiving and so it is with great pleasure that I give you, via the shining star of gorgeousness that is Becky, the KMWC Christmas Survival Guide. You’re going to need it.
Last year we covered the classic and not-so-classic choices for the Christmas Day feast. This year, I thought it might be a good idea to share a few suggestions by food type to get you through it.
Oily fish needs a white wine with good acidity to cut through the flavours. Sometimes, only Champagne will do. On Christmas Day, this is one of those times. You are better off going for a good, trusty own label Brut NV Champagne than a never-seen-before half price deal. Take it from me, I’ve done the research.
You could go for a dry white with a bit more body, such as Chardonnay or Viognier with a bit of oak from France or an Australian Semillon. Or, if you prefer red try a Pinot Noir from France or New Zealand ,or a Merlot from Chile.
Bit more flavour here so we need more body in the wine. An Italian red will work wonderfully, such as a Chianti or Barbera.
Generally, red meats work well with red wines as the tannins in the wine break down the fats and protein in meat, so softening the tannins. An Argentinian Malbec on the table will bring out the juicy flavours in both the meat and wine.
Here, the weight of flavour is better matched with a red but the saltiness of the meat requires something not too tannic. Pinot Noir is the answer, from France, Chile or New Zealand.
Port is the traditional drink to hit the table when the cheese comes out but actually a sweet white Sauternes is a brilliant match and can be carried on over to the next course. Pudding…
The flavours here are so full and so sweet, you need something equally as unctuous to match it. Sauternes or the decadent Hungarian sweetie Tokaji are up to the task.
Some swear by red wine and chocolate as a great match but by the time I’ve got to the tin I’m usually on the Amaretto. Thank you, and goodnight.
You can find Helen’s fabulous wine blog, Knackered Mothers’ Wine Club, just here. Thanks H! xx