Choosing wines at Christmas is one of those things that you can do early so it is one less thing to think about, particularly Christmas drinks get togethers. Remember though Christmas is not just about Christmas dinner, there are parties and unplanned guests to think of as well. Not to mention giving wines for gifts! What is great though, is that what you don’t end up drinking at dinner, you can enjoy over the New Year period as well. However, to make your life a litte easier here are a few tips that can take the hassle out of choosing wines this year.
Christmas drinks & hosting gifts are probably the first wines to consider and to get organised. Here it is best to go for versatility and easy drinking options that will suit many guest’s tastes. One thing to remember though is that traditionally made sparkling wine, such as Champagne, Cava and many Sparkling wines from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, are more versatile than people think. Prosecco is not quite as versatile as it often has a large dollop of residual sugar that makes it certainly gluggable, but not so well matched with savoury foods.
Fizz also is a great universal choice for a gift as it is often considered a treat for many people as they would not normally purchase it for themselves. So too is Port, yet some people will shy away from Port because they don’t know how or when to drink it. Hence a Champagne can be a safer choice.
Christmas drinks & hosting gifts
As with all drinks events, having a selection of wines available is important. Even just a small selection of 2 or 3 wines. A sparkling, a white and a red wine would work if you are unsure of what your guest’s preferences were. Conveniently, this will also cover most of your appetiser choices.
Of course, the pop of Champagne and sparkling wine corks will certainly bring that sense of celebration to your event. These wines are such good accompaniments to tasty appetisers and finger food. For appetisers though, I would suggest any sparkling wine that has a designated sweetness level of ‘Brut’ on the label. These are dry in style and suit most people’s tastes (you can find out more about sweetness levels in the wines of Champagne by clicking here). And if you have not been introduced to the fabulous English Sparkling wines, there is no better time than this year to change that. (Click here to see some English Sparkling wines that you need to taste!)
And sparkling wine makes a very good hosting gift for when you don’t know what the host prefers.
Here are some recommendations:
Jansz Sparkling Australian wine
Versatile White Wines
O’Leary Walker Organic Riesling
Paul Jaboulet Aine Viognier
Easy Drinking Red Wines
Strofilia Mountain Fish Agriorgitiko
Cune Crianza Rioja or Reserva Rioja
Don’t forget, you could also give an Australian Sparkling red, such as the d’Arenberg The Peppermint Paddock, for that unique twist! Why? To answer that, I recommend that you read “Sparkling reds & why you should be drinking them!” for inspiration.
When it comes to dinners, it is perhaps a little more complicated. Because there are a few rules of thumb here that you might like to consider. However, there really are no hard and fast rules. It all depends on what you are going to serve and what you or your guest’s personal taste preference is see The Main Event – Christmas Dinner for those suggestions.
For more about Champagne, please visit the official Champagne site.