Thursday, December 17, 2009

Wines for Christmas Dinner

by Liam Carrier

"Which wine should I take to Christmas dinner?" "What pairs with turkey?" You may find yourself asking these questions over the next week as you get ready to either attend a Christmas dinner, host one or attend a similarly festive event. I have created two wine lists as suggestions to help you answer these questions: one with international wines and one with wines from BC.

Pairing Guidelines:

With Christmas Present Opening: You'll want a nice sipper that can stand on its own without food as you may be waiting a while for dinner with all of the presents to open.

Pre-Dinner: Something lively and crisp is needed here to wake-up those taste-buds and get them ready for the second-best dinner of the year (Thanksgiving being the best).

With Salad: You will want to continue the crisp theme with this pairing while adding a touch of complexity. Pick a versatile white to go with a wide-range of salads.

With Turkey (White Meat): If you were to pick one wine to go with all turkey meets, it would be the most recent vintage of Beaujolais. For fun I have broken it down into white and dark meat suggestions. For the white meat, go for an oaked, non-Chardonnay white wine. Something with character, but not too much.

With Turkey (Dark Meat) : I love Beaujolais and BC Gamay Noir with the dark meat. A subtle and medium-bodied Pinot Noir is a good substitute.

With Ham: Personally, I prefer ham at Easter, but for the Christmas-Ham folks out there I suggest a slightly off-dry white with orchard fruit flavours to match the apple-sauce.

With Roast Beef: For the roast-lovers I recommend making a splash and getting a great Bordeaux-style red or a nice Cabernet Sauvignon.

With Tofurky: A simple and refreshing white would work for the gamut of veggie side-dishes that may accompany the tofurky.

With Dessert: You will want a wine that is not as sweet as your dessert.

Post-Dinner: Finish off the meal with something sparkling. It's fun, it's sophisticated and it doesn't have to be expensive.

Night-Cap: Break-out your Port or Port-style wine and pour just an ounce or two into your glass to sip the night away with this powerful and complex wine. You'll need something strong on your palate after all the different tastes you will have had that day.


With Christmas Present Opening: Duck Pond 2006 Pinot Noir Full Review
Pre-Dinner: Saxenburg 2007 Guinea Fowl White Full Review
With Salad: Mionetto Il Prosecco Full Review
With Turkey (White Meat): Robert Mondavi 2007 Fume Blanc
With Turkey (Dark Meat): Georges DuBoeuf 2009 Beaujolais
With Ham: Pfaffenheim 2007 Pinot Gris Full Review
With Roast Beef: Heartland 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon Full Review
With Tofurkey: Bollini 2007 Pinot Grigio
With Dessert: c Batasiolo 2008 Moscato D'Asti Full Review
Post-Dinner: Yellowglen Pink (Sparkling) Full Review
Night-Cap: 2006 Chateau Rieussec (Sauternes) Full Review

British Columbia

With Christmas Present Opening: La Frenz 2006 Pinot Noir Full Review
Pre-Dinner: Road 13 2008 Honeest John's White Full Review
With Salad: Fairview Cellars 2008 Sauvignon Blanc Full Review
With Turkey (White Meat): Burrowing Owl 2007 Pinot Gris
With Turkey (Dark Meat): Desert Hills 2008 Gamay Noir Full Review
With Ham: Lake Breeze 2007 Gewurztraminer Full Review
With Roast Beef: Laughing Stock 2007 Blind Trust Red Full Review
With Tofurkey: Averill Creek 2008 Pinot Grigio Full Review
With Dessert: Jackson-Triggs Sparkling Riesling Icewine or Elephant Island 2008 Apricot Dessert Wine
Post-Dinner: Sumac Ridge NV Tribute Brut
Night-Cap: La Frenz NV Tawny Port

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!

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