Posted: Dec 24, 2018
The rigours of Christmas day demand a sustaining breakfast that whets the appetite for the feast to come. Scrambled eggs with smoked salmon is a classic, but quite tricky to pair with wine.
Eggs create a film over your taste buds and smoked salmon is oily (which clashes with certain wines) and very strongly flavoured – so a light, soft Prosecco would be destroyed.
I find the best pairing for smoked fish is Fino sherry, but that may not be everyone’s cup of tea – especially in the morning.
Sparkling wines will work as long as they are fresh (no mature vintage champagne), full-flavoured and high in acidity. This could be a case where a cheaper sparkling wine works better, but if you do insist on champagne go for a non-vintage rosé.
Good mulled wine is the cornerstone of any successful Christmas.
Get it right and it has the power to transform the most miserable granny or irksome neighbour into the life and soul of the party.
Contrary to popular belief, the quality of the wine does matter and warming, spicy wines are naturally suited to mulling. Southern France, Spain and southern Italy offer excellent value for money reds, oozing with bottled sunshine, which are soft and fruity and enjoyable mulled or straight from the bottle.
Good with turkey
Turkey (white meat and darker leg meat) with all the trimmings (chipolatas, sprouts, roast potatoes, parsnips, cranberry sauce, spiced red cabbage) is such a clash of strong flavours and multiple proteins and carbohydrates that a perfect wine match is virtually impossible.
White wine is probably a slightly better match that red, but ripe Pinot Noir from New Zealand and California or juicy Gamay from Beaujolais are a good choice.
Whites should be rich and full-bodied – think Semillon from the Hunter Valley (Australia) and Bordeaux or oaked Chardonnay from Margaret River (Australia) or Burgundy or white Rioja.
Good with Goose
Goose definitely needs a white wine rather than a red wine. Its richness can be countered beautifully by an off-dry white such as Riesling, a rich Pinot Gris from Alsace or a Chenin Blanc from the Loire.
Good with Nut Roast
Nut roast is a rich and savoury dish that works well with savoury, earthy reds or full-bodied oaky whites. Grenache based wines from the Rhone are a great choice and nutty, oaky white Rioja works extremely well.
Christmas pudding is one of the most forgiving desserts and can be paired with many different styles of sweet wine. Nutty sweet Sherry or Madeira is a perfect match to the dried fruit and nuts of the pudding, but botrytised white wines like Sauternes or Tokaji are a classic and delicious choice.
By Chloe Morgan
December 24, 2018
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