Make your Christmas an unforgettable experience with only the best food and wine pairings. If you’re not sure what to serve up this festive season, have a look at our Food and Wine Pairing Guide that will help you decide on the most appropriate wine with your meal this year.
While Turkey is more traditional in the USA when it comes to Christmas lunch, South Africans are quickly growing fond of it too. Fortunately, it is a versatile dish that pairs with several different wines. Not only does it pair well with red wines but also white wines – making it the perfect option for all wine enthusiasts.
If you’re opting for red wine, ensure it is light red with low tannins. Since turkey isn’t red meat, full-bodied wines can overshadow the food’s flavour. Try subtle red varieties to complement the dish. Lighter wines like Pinot Noir, Grenache Noir, or Cinsault are all excellent options since they are able to stand on their own without taking over the dish's flavour.
When preparing turkey, especially with stuffing, it can be highly flavoursome and rich. So if you are pairing it with white wine, try wines that have higher levels of acidity to cut through that richness and cleanse your palate after each bite. Heavily oaked or buttery white wines that will add creaminess and richness aren’t ideal. This added richness of the wine could potentially overwhelm the dish. So, try dry styles of Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, or Pinot Gris. Fruity styles could work, but if you want to benefit fully, try wines from cooler climates with higher acidity.
If you have roasted beef at your Christmas table, there are many excellent wine options. Roasted beef, especially with gravy, needs some wine with weight, body, and complexity. Here, pair the food with heavier wines than you would with the turkey. So, if roast beef is on your menu, try these wines:
Bordeaux-style blends, which are either Merlot-based or Cabernet Sauvignon-based, are most commonly full-bodied, heavy red wines. This makes them perfect to pair with roast beef. Tannin goes exceptionally well with high protein, salty meals, so it is the ideal option.
Malbec is another excellent option that works just as well with a few beef dishes. This grape variety has the body and weight you want with roast beef. It also has juicy, dark fruit flavors, which creates an excellent experience with each sip.
The smoky, full-bodied styles of Shiraz would be another great option to pair with beef since they share very similar flavors. The traditional pepper, smoke, and clove aromas that these wines have mimic the smoky, peppery flavors in the dish.
Gammon is another great dish you can try this year, especially since it does so well with a few different red wines. If you’re pairing it with red wines, you would need to try the lighter, fruitier styles again to make sure there is no overshadowing. So, if you’re serving up gammon this year, try these wines:
Grenache is most famous for being the focus of the blends in Northern Rhone. What’s great about the grape is that it can make both light and heavy styles of wine with high natural acidity. This combination of acidity and fruitiness makes it great for gammon.
If you prefer white wines, there are a few options to go with Gammon. Chenin Blanc is a fantastic option since it is both fruity and high in acidity, and even the sweeter styles will work if the gammon is served with a sweet-sour sauce.
Whatever it is you’re serving up this year, there will always be wine available to serve up with your dish. From our Rosendal team, we wish you festive Christmas and a joyous new year.