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Ultimate Christmas Wine and Food Pairings Guide

At any time of year, wine and food pairings are a serious business. And the perfect wine pairings can elevate a dish and transform a simple meal into something extravagant. And whether you’re a true wine connoisseur or just looking for something tasty to enjoy with your turkey, there’s nothing quite like striking the perfect balance between a meal and its accompanying tipple.

But if, like us, you’ve got a Christmas to-do list longer than a roll of wrapping paper, you’ll likely need to nudge in the right direction for the best wine for Christmas that’ll complement your dinner and leave your guests awed.

Best Wine for Christmas: The List

Handpicked by Philippa Carr – our ultra-knowledgeable Master of Wine – our list of the best festive wine and food pairings is in-depth and designed with all palates in mind. But even if you’ve never so much as uncorked a Chardonnay, you’ll be able to use our list to guide your wine and food pairings like a pro.

From scenario-specific Christmas wine suggestions (we’re looking at you, cosy Christmas Eve by the fire) to ideas on vegan wine for guests with dietary requirements, let our ultimate Christmas wine and food pairings guide serve as your go-to guide this season. 

Christmas Eve with Friends & Family

Chilean Classic Sauvignon Blanc

A perfect Christmas wine to pair with a fully stocked cheeseboard; especially if you’ve picked up some fresh Goat’s cheese for your seasonal smorgasbord.

Philippa’s tasting notes list the Chilean Classic Sauvignon Blanc as having a ‘bright floral style with fresh acidity’, making it a perfect Christmas wine pairing for fresh cheeses and savoury snacks alike.

Canapes and Nibbles

If, like us, you’ve always got one hand in the bowl of nibbles as you potter around on Christmas, and are seeking something to pair with said nibbles, then the Perlezza Prosecco is the festive wine for you.

Phillipa’s tasting notes identify this one as having ‘delicate citrus characters, hints of apple and a soft, creamy finish’, making it the best Christmas wine for cheesy canapes.

Christmas Day 

Champagne Marquis Belrive

If you’re fond of kicking off your Christmas with something sparkling – either as a Christmas wine cocktail or simple spritzer – the Champagne Marquis Belrive should be your go-to.

With, according to Philippa, notes of acadia blossom and grapefruit, our top wine and food pairings pick here is fresh, smoked salmon; either served on a lightly toasted bagel or atop plain crackers.

Seafood Starter

Smoothly aromatic and deliciously fresh, continue your day of pitch-perfect Christmas wine and food pairings with an easy drinking Gavi with notes of orange blossom and deliciously fresh; ideal for prawn cocktails and shrimp-based starters alike. Find our prawn cocktail recipe here.

Christmas Dinner: Turkey

An iconic Christmas meal requires an iconic Christmas wine, so if you’re serving turkey, Philippa suggests a simple-yet-elegant food and wine pairing right out of the top drawer – our deliciously fruity Bordeaux.

The height of elegance, this classic red wine is supple, with delicious red fruit flavours, making it an ideal accompaniment to Turkey and trimmings.

Christmas Dinner: Duck/Goose

If you’re feeling a little fancy & serving duck or goose, then you’ll need some fragrant, spicy and cherried fruit flavours. And our Chianti fits that bill to perfection.

A constant contender for the best wine for Christmas crown, Chianti is bold, versatile, and smooth; everything you need in a festive wine, really. And exactly how at least one of your guests would describe.

Vegan Mains

Phillipa’s for the perfect vegan Christmas wine is the Orbis Organic range; the white is a crisp, well-balanced white wine with aromas of ripe peaches and tropical fruit flavours. Our smooth & well-balanced Orbis Tempranillo Shiraz, is ideal for serving with a homemade nut roast.

Christmas Party Wine

As your Christmas celebrations migrate from the dining table to the dancefloor (or a cleared lounge), you’ll likely want to also switch up your Christmas wine choices, too. And so, whether you’re throwing shapes to a carefully curated festive playlist or attempting to thrown shapes (and getting increasingly competitive) for charades, the Wildflower Pinot Noir should be your festive wine of choice. 

Smooth, and full of chocolate flavours, it’s the ideal companion as the day winds to a close. Bliss.

Boxing Day Buffet Wines

Of late, the boxing day buffet has become an art form. And we love it. But with great buffet, comes great responsibility, so choosing the best food and wine pairings is essential; especially given the often… unpredictable nature of what finds its way to the buffet table. (Someone always brings pasta. For some reason.)

So, whether your buffet is a dressed up, dressed down, or curled up on the couch in pyjamas affair, Phillipa has you covered, highlighting Languedoc red or white as the right Christmas wine flavours for the task, the former full of hedgerow fruit flavours and vanilla oak, while the latter bursts with fresh apricot flavours.

New Year’s Eve Party

Sticking with the theme of variety for the final entry in our Christmas wine and food pairings guide. And while no two new year’s eve parties are quite the same – some prefer dinner parties, while other favour buffet-style events – you can plan for any wine and food pairing eventuality.

For example, the Letter Collection Chardonnay pairs delightfully with seafood and chicken dishes, with its elegant and lightly fruity notes, covering you for sit down meals, with the heartier Letter Collection Merlot, infused with lovely ripe fruit flavours pairs neatly with the type of savoury snack typically found on the buffet table.

So, there it is; SPAR’s ultimate Christmas wine and food pairings guide, with expert insight from our Master of Wine. Whatever your festive wine plans, we wish you the merriest of Christmases. Don’t forget to visit your local SPAR to pick you’re your festive wine selections.

And don’t forget, SPAR is there for you throughout the festive season, so be sure to visit our Christmas grotto for recipes, activities, and seasonal inspiration. And be sure to sign up to our E-newsletter for updates and the opportunity to win amazing prizes, every day from now until Christmas.