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Christmas is fast approaching! We all love a good spread of festive food and obviously, we want a sackful of wine to go with it all. And so, we've pulled together a list of our favourite festive dishes that we'll be enjoying over our Christmas brunches, lunches, and any other munches we find ourselves at - all with ideal wine pairing ideas that you are most welcome to steal from us!


Christmas-tableIt's Christmas time again! - Photo Credit: mspmag.com

Starters

Classic Prawn Cocktail

This classic retro starter packed with juicy prawns will never go out of fashion. Plus, who can say no to Marie Rose sauce? We certainly can’t, and recommend to serve this seafood starter in unadulterated fashion.

Wine Pairing: Bubbles, bubbles, bubbles!! Did you get it? Bubbles. Sparkling wine, the ultimate palate cleanser, will wash down any hint of tart cocktail sauce from your last bite.

 

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Smoked Salmon with Horseradish Crème Fraîche & Beetroot

Keeping things light before the onslaught of roast dinner with all the trimmings? Then stocking up with smoked salmon in your fridge is a wise choice at Christmas. This smoked salmon with horseradish crème fraîche & beetroot is a speedy salad that can be whipped up as an impressive starter - the fish will also be completely lifted by the contrasting flavours.

Wine Pairing: A young, unoaked Chablis has the freshness and clean, crisp acidity to counteract the slight oiliness of smoked salmon. The tanginess of the crème fraîche will also add a lovely tingle with the acidity in the wine.

Prwan CocktailA classic Christmas starter of Prawn Cocktail - Photo Credit: New Idea Food

Main Course

Pancetta & Roasted Shallot-Stuffed Turkey

For some, there’ll never be any other centerpiece that can replace a turkey. We have done some research and the recipe of the year is a pancetta & roasted shallot-stuffed turkey. The turkey is stuffed with flavoursome shallots, lemon and thyme, with the addition of pancetta placed under the skin to keep the meat beautifully succulent and juicy. 

Wine Pairing: Sauvignon Blanc is hands-down one of the top white wine picks for turkey and savoury sides, as it tends to bring its own herbal tones to the table.

Lemon & Herb Roast Chicken

It is quite evident from the name of the dish that it will be a lip-smacking one and will need a lip-smacking wine to go with it. Once it is garnished and presented on the table, your guests will be kept longing for more. The best thing about the dish is that it is quite simple, and extremely delicious.

Wine Pairing: If you’re serving the chicken at room temperature with a salad, seasoned with the lemon and herb, a good Beaujolais Villages or cru Beaujolais is a good choice for Christmas drinking.

Traditional Honey-Glazed Christmas Gammon

If you’re craving Christmas ham, then a succulent, sweet, honey-glazed roasted gammon makes for the perfect family dish. Simple and effective with a festive, sticky and zesty glaze accompanied with a sharp cranberry sauce = bliss!

Wine Pairing: You’ll want to pair something that cuts through the fatty sweetness of the meat and glaze, a wine that has good acidity but also good amounts of fruit. The simple answer, Sangiovese!

Roast Lamb with Pomegranate Glaze

Take your roast lamb game to the next level. It doesn’t get much better than slow-cooked lamb with a fresh and flavourful pomegranate glaze. You will have your friends and family drooling with this one.

Wine Pairing: Pinot Noir and lamb are a perfect match because the acidity and bright fruit notes in Pinot Noir act as a nice foil for the earthy richness in lamb. Because lamb has such a distinct weight on the palate, you need a wine that lightens the dish. Pinot Noir is perfect because it has the fruit, the earthiness, and the acidity that adds a lot of vibrancy to the meal and it is exactly what you are looking for in a gamey dish like lamb. 

Beef Wellington

When we think of Christmas, prime rib is often the traditional fare. But the delicate puff pastries of Beef Wellington, filled with beef tenderloin, mushrooms, butter, breadcrumbs, horseradish and dijon mustard, make an excellent standalone meal for your guests. 

Wine Pairing: Matching Beef Wellington with wine certainly requires matching with the beef but we must also consider the pâté and duxelles. The short answer to matching Beef Wellington with wine is to use a medium to full-bodied dry red wine. A classic Bordeaux Blend from either the Old or New World will be bang on the money!

TurkeyNothing beats a roasted turkey at Christmas - Photo Credit: AlphaMega

Dessert

Mince Pies

One has to keep the traditions of Christmas alive with these classic fruit pies because you simply can’t have Christmas without mince pies. It is as simple as that!

Wine Pairing: A glass of Port is perfect with a mince pie. You have options here – a bottle of fruity    Ruby or a glass of Tawny will do nicely. The dried fruit and nuttiness of a Tawny is particularly tasty with a mince pie, especially if your pies have nuts in them.

Christmas Cake

Love it or hate it, a fruity raisin pudding embodies the spirit of Christmas. With a vanilla and brandy butter, you seriously can’t go wrong. Make sure the cake is drenched in brandy as well!

Wine Pairing: By the time the Christmas Cake comes out, that is when everybody is taking a slice home to enjoy at midnight once the feast has settled. At this stage just bring out the Brandy!

The Good ‘Ol Fruity Trifle

Layers of custard, cream, jelly, and sponge… this retro treat comes in a rainbow spectrum of guises, but at Christmas we prefer ours to be mixed with loads of berries and sherry.

Wine Pairing: There’s no doubt about it, trifle is tricky. If it includes booze already, do you serve more on the side? And what kind of booze should that be? Some trifles are light - custardy and creamy - others much richer and more intense in flavour. Most Trifles contain loads of berries, so nothing screams drink me more than a dry, juicy, salivating rosé

Christmas-Trifle-3-500x375Berrylicious Christmas Trifle - Photo Credit: recipetineats.com


After writing all of this, it sure has made me very hungry, but more importantly, extremely thirsty. I can't wait for Christmas to come around as I'm most definitely going to be eating a lot of these tasty dishes and swallowing even more of these delicious wines, which I can guarantee will make your Christmas even more of a delight!

A very early "Merry Christmas" to everyone!

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Kyle Oosterberg

Written by Kyle Oosterberg

Kyle is our Wine Director, which means he’s our go-to wine guy when Eddie isn’t around. At The Flying Winemaker we aim to make wine accessible to everyone in a way as far away from textbook learning as possible, and Kyle always keeps this in mind, combining fun and education when he hosts wine tastings.

At the tender age of 16 Kyle began his journey at the prestigious and award-winning Spier Wine Farm in Stellenbosch, South Africa. There he gained experience in all aspects of wine production, including working vines during harvest, marketing, representing wineries at trade events and educating visitors in the tasting room.

When away from work Kyle moonlights as Batman after a few beers, but he can also be found near any large body of water pursuing his other passion, surfing. He has only one weakness: working with computers and any technology made after 1990.

Favourite wines: Chenin Blanc for white wines and Pinot Noir for red

 

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