Your Holiday Guide to Pairing Wines with Festive Foods

1 more sleep to go till the big day. You’re probably reading this because you’ve bought all the ingredients for your Christmas dishes and haven’t had time to think about what wines you’re going to pair with them. Well, I’ve got you covered. I’ve made a quick guide for the best wine pairings with your favourite festive dishes to help you make your holidays merrier. Let's go!


1. Turkey with Bordeaux or Bordeaux-style Blend

If you don’t know already, a Bordeaux or Bordeaux-style blend contains bold red varietals like Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, and Cabernet Franc. Bordeaux are fancy, luscious wines at a high-price point or if you want something at a lower price point, get a locally-made Bordeaux-style blend. The best part about having a Bordeaux now is that since we can’t have gatherings, you’ll be able to have your expensive wine all to yourself.


2. Mashed Potatoes with Chardonnay

I find that the dry, slightly oaked characteristics of Chardonnay mesh really well on the palate with the buttery, soft texture of mashed potatoes. Chardonnays tend to be light to medium-bodied as well, matching well with the light to medium flavour intensity of potatoes.


3. Brussel Sprouts with Syrah or Sauvignon Blanc

You’ll find that brussel sprouts are actually one of the hardest foods to pair with wine because of its bitter, hardy, sulfur-driven characteristics that clash with many wines. If you’d like to give a wine pairing a go, I’d recommend Syrah because it’s very dry and has medium tannins which will combat the characteristics of brussel sprouts. My second choice would be a Sauvignon Blanc because of its dry, herbaceous characteristics.


4. Brunch with Champagne or Sparkling Wine

Bubbly with brunch makes every morning merrier, it’s a no brainer. For this holiday, I’d go with the Champagne because I like to be more bougie, but any sparkling wine will do. If you like cocktails, you can mix your sparkling wine with cranberry juice and add in some fresh cranberries for garnish to make a Christmas mimosa.


5. Chocolate Yule Log with Port

Satisfy your sweet tooth with a sweet dessert and an even sweeter wine. Port is definitely one of those wines to save for special occasions. If you have one that’s been aging in your cellar for years, this is a good time to enjoy it. It’s high in alcohol and it’s not like you’re having to drive home anyway. Seize the opportunity!


6. Shortbread Cookies with Chardonnay

Shortbread cookies are always a holiday tradition in my family as I’m sure it is for many of you as well. Grab a dry, low acidity white wine like Chardonnay to compliment the buttery, melt-in-your-mouth goodness of fresh, homemade shortbread.


As I’ve mentioned a couple of times (and will reiterate again), since we can’t gather with friends and family this Christmas, I encourage you to treat yourself this holiday season and get a fancier, more expensive wine. We've all been through a tough year, so you deserve it! Comment below if this blog has helped you find some great wines for your delicious festive dishes.


Thanks for reading! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!


Cheers,

Deanna Lowe

Wineisseur

Website | Instagram | Medium | Pinterest