Christmas Pairings- Wine for Turkey


Often, the most classic of pairings, are so for a reason: They are simply brilliant together

Think, oysters & Chablis, port & Stilton, truffles & Barolo, steak & Cabernet Sauvignon

But these pairings have something notable; which is of course, that they come in pairs.

If the above can be compared to harmonious matrimony, the role of wine within Christmas lunch may be closer to playing mediator within a slightly chaotic family. When pairing beyond pairs, there is an inevitable balancing act; ensuring enough acidity for this, enough richness for this. And, ideally a little complimentary mirroring of flavours within key ingredients and the wine. 

Within some constructed dishes, e.g. a herby ceviche or venison with chestnuts and squash, it’s still possible to apply laser-sharp pairing precision by balancing the various elements with the wine. 

But, then try:

 Roast turkey, ham, chestnuts, sage, thyme, nuts, dried fruit, gravy potatoes, parsnips, honey, mustard, red cabbage, apple, carrots, cauliflower, cheese, cranberry, butter, bread sauce. And, on and on it goes. 

In this instance, such precision needs instead, to make way for a pleasing balancing act…. 


And, yes, this post will now go on to talk about richer whites and pinot-noir-esque wines, because these are not at all without merit, but for those looking for something different, do keep reading for some alternative options, for the daring amongst you!

So, lets firstly cover those most common recommendations:

For those who prefer white...

It’s necessary to choose a white that has a reasonable amount of richness and a good amount of body, to hold up against the heavier elements of the dish, while retaining enough acidity to cut through those fattier elements. At the same time enough fruit and roundness to complement the sweeter and more creamy elements of the meal, is desirable.

And here are a few we recommend that tick each of these boxes- many of which are open and available to taste at our upcoming Christmas tasting, this weekend (Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th November!)

And, the reds

Pinot Noir is oft-quoted as the best Christmas turkey pairing, the wisdom being that the bright acidity cuts through the fattier elements, while the flavour and body are gentle enough so as not to overpower the delicate meat. The character of the wine, with it’s berry fruit notes, pairs well with cranberry sauce and fruity stuffings, while the mushroom-y, forest floor notes sit nicely with the umami-rich elements within roasted veg. However, despite all of this working in theory, it can sometimes be too delicate a wine to handle what are really quite an array of sometimes weighty flavours. So here are a few options that provide all of the complementary elements, while having just a touch more robustness.

And some curve ball options!

It's a big world of wine out there and it's more than possible to think outside the box! So, do also consider the following for your roast Christmas bottle!

Yep, that’s a fizzy red, and one of the best we have tasted! 

This wine actually has everything when it comes to Christmas lunch. Bright red fruit notes great for fruity cranberry sauce, a lightness and brightness that is not overpowering, bright acidity and that pleasing sparkle to cut through fat and cleanse the palate, while having enough tannic structure to hold up against some of the bigger elements. Try it, you won’t be disappointed! 

A big rose can do everything that a light red can! A good amount of body without too much tannin, and great flavour concentration while retaining a lightness. This particular wine has bright berry fruit, but a deep, volcanic mineral undertone.

There is no need to head to Champagne to find complex, rich sparkling wines, full of brioche, honey, toast and nuts. In fact, look no further than Domaine Veilloux ‘Et Vie Danse’. Made from 100% of the rare grape Menu Pineau, this is a gloriously concentrated sparkling that while being at the lower end of acidity, provides palate-cleansing freshness in the form of its fine mousse. Lots of the flavours within the wine are complimentary with roasted vegetables, stuffing and even the meat itself!

Join us at our huge annual tasting, this coming weekend (25th and 26th November) to taste most of these wines and make your perfect Christmas selections!