Turkey, roasted beef, glazed ham, Christmas pudding. This classic quartet makes up the menu of many Christmas dinners. On one hand, we can resort to choosing a versatile pair of red and white wines to enjoy them with. Alternatively, especially for wine enthusiasts, it can be a stimulating experience seeking the best pairings with these Christmas classics. Here are our thoughts on pairings to try this Christmas:
Honey glazed gammon and medium-sweet Chenin Blanc
Available on WWX: Huet Vouvray ‘Le Haut Lieu’ Moelleux 2008 – 6 x 75cl; GBP209 (UK Stock)
The key element to consider here is the intensity of sweetness of the glaze. The glaze is a common combination of honey and brown sugar, sometimes with a touch of mustard. A medium-sweet Chenin Blanc delivers sufficient sweetness and weight to stand up to the richness of the glaze. Huet generally leaves around 30 – 50g/L residual sugar in its Moelleux bottlings. We also particularly like Huet’s Le Haut Lieu for its deep clay-limestone soil that gives these wines good flesh and texture. Huet’s Chenin Blanc is also well known for its precise, almost edgy acidity. Let that cut through those delicious fat of your gammon.
Roasted turkey with cornbread stuffing and Champagne with extended autolysis
Available on WWX: Krug Vintage 2000 – 6 x 75cl; HKD 12,121 (HK Stock)
Turkey and bubbly – two essentials of Christmas. Not many have put them together but if you give it some thoughts, your best champagne can be the perfect pairing with your Grandma’s recipe turkey. Undeniably an abundant dish, Christmas turkey can use the palate-cleansing effervescence and laser focus acidity of champagne to balance. Going for Krug Vintage 2000 may be a tad lavish, but this top vintage champagne has all the elements essential to enhance your turkey experience. More than 10 years of extended autolysis exposure accentuates the bready, leesy characters, complementing the savoury aspect of the turkey. The sheer flavour intensity of a Krug Vintage will add definition and frame to this classic sumptuous dish.
Roasted beef with caramelized shallots and Amarone della Valpolicella
Available on WWX: Allegrini Amarone della Valpolicella 1997 – 6 x 75cl; GBP 491 (UK Stock)
Christmas dishes commonly come with an element of sweetness in their flavor profile. That alone makes it more a darling with wines with a touch of residual sugar; or expressive, forward fruit. This is how Amarone comes in as an all-rounder for your Christmas beef roast. Its brooding, full-bodied profile stands up well against the weight of roasted beef; whilst passito-induced raisin, dried fruit characters complement well with caramelized glaze. The rustic core and time-tamed Allegrini Amarone della Valpolicella 1997 is our best call. With 5g/L residual sugar, this evolving Amarone has the right amount of fruit intensity and developing characters to complement the dish, and delight the drinker.
Christmas Pudding and artisanal fruit liqueur
Available on WWX: NV Roulot Liqueur d’Abricot – 6 x 75cl; GBP 224 (UK Stock)
This all-time favourite festive dessert is a living embodiment of Christmas. The combination of treacle, sometimes molasses with Christmas spices, raisins and sometimes a dash of brandy make it a very robust, wholesome eat. It is very tempting to pair it with a good ol’ bottle of Port. However, it is always exciting to wander down the road less taken. Along that line we’d like to bring you to Burgundy. Apart from being the holy grail of varietal wines, the Burgundians also make great liqueurs. Try Roulot’s Liqueur d’Abricot with your Christmas Pudding.