‘Tis the season to be merry, and we all know that good wine is a pivotal part of the perfect Christmas table.
“When you pair the right wine with your menu, it really heightens the flavours of both the food and the wine itself,” explains Christine Ricketts, Cellar Director at Australia’s leading direct to consumer wine retailer Cellarmasters.
Here, Christine shares her top tips for getting your festive flavours right.
Pair your lamb with Cabernet Sauvignon
The mint and herb flavours of a Cabernet Sauvignon, particularly from the Limestone Coast region in South Australia, make the red wine the ultimate pairing with lamb - especially if you’re serving the meat with a traditional mint sauce.
Try a Tolley Regional Selection Padthaway Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 with a Moroccan spiced lamb shoulder.
Pair your ham with a Sauvignon Blanc
The traditional Christmas ham tends to be a mix of salty and sweet flavours - possibly some heat if English Mustard is used.
A Sauvignon Blanc is the ultimate pairing, as the acid of the wine will offset the saltiness in the meat. Sauvignon Blanc’s fruit-driven flavours will also enhance the meat’s sweetness while the medium alcohol of this wine style balances the heat from the mustard.
Try a Ribbon Hills Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2017 with Julie Goodwin's Pineapple glazed ham.
Pair your turkey with a Sparkling Shiraz
Starting as a French invention (of course) sparkling red wine is up there with the most unusual sparkling wines in the world.
A sparkling Barossa Shiraz with rich, ripe fruit flavours enhances the saltiness of the turkey while the sweetness of the cranberry sauce complements the wine’s fruitiness.
Try a Dorrien Estate Lockwood Smith Cuvée Shiraz NV paired with a herbed butter roast turkey with prosciutto and pear stuffing.
Pair your seafood with Riesling or Pinot Gris
If you are serving a meaty fish such as salmon, pair it with Pinot Gris, as the wine’s acidity balances the oily richness of the fish.When it comes to prawns or calamari, you can’t go wrong with a crisp, Australian Riesling. The wine’s zingy and crisp citrus flavours will balance the delicate meat.
Try a Mockingbird Hill Slate Lane Polish Clare Valley Riesling 2017 with baked snapper served with peppercorn and dill butter.
Pair your roast pork with Pinot Noir
Salty, flavourful roast pork has its perfect match in Pinot Noir, as the delicate red wine with its characteristically mushroomy, dark berry and smoky flavours elevate the essences of the meat.
Try a Riversdale Estate Grown Tasmania Pinot Noir 2015 with a roast pork loin recipe with rosemary gravy.
Pair your BBQ with Rose
BBQ meats, including sausages, are best enjoyed with a dry Rosé, as the acidity will balance the meaty, fatty flavours. If you prefer a red wine, a medium-bodied Merlot is the ultimate choice, as the flavour won’t be too overpowering.
Try Krondorf Growers Barossa Grenache Rosé 2017 with chilli and honey barbecued steak with coleslaw.
Pair your cheese with Champagne
Champagne and sparkling wine are of course fabulous to enjoy on their own throughout the silly season, but they are also the ultimate wines to enjoy with a cheese platter.
Champagne’s ample acidity and toasty, nutty flavours complement most cheeses, ranging from fresh to aged.
Pair your mince pies with Tawny
The pastry of the mince pies will offset the richness of the tawny port, while the fruitiness of the wine goes beautifully with the dried fruit flavours of this traditional dessert.
Try a Dorrien Estate "old Contemptibles" Barossa Valley Tawny 500ml NV.