Christmas is the perfect time of the year to eat, drink, and be merry. Whether you’ll be eating British roast turkey with all the trimmings or prefer to indulge in traditional Spanish fare over the festive season you might be wondering what’s the best wine to serve with your dish.
There are no real rules about whether you should drink red or white wines with certain dishes anymore. If you want to drink red wine with fish then you should enjoy your meal without judgement! Many wine experts consider those rules to be archaic.
But there are certain wines that pair better with some dishes than with others. So what are the best Spanish wines to drink this Christmas? Here are our picks:
What Wine Should You Choose If You’re Eating Turkey?
If you’re indulging in a traditional British Christmas dinner then it’s likely you’ll be eating turkey whether you like it or not. But this advice applies to all white meats. White meats tend to be light and have lower fat than red meats, This means that they are best paired with wines that have less tannin, and too many tannins can overpower the delicate flavour of light meats.
If you want to try red wine with your meal then choose a medium bodied option rather than a full bodied wine. Newer wines with just a few months of barrel aging are also a great choice. If you prefer to drink white wine then you have a little more leeway with your choice. A slightly fuller-bodied Spanish white wine is a great choice for pairing with turkey and chicken. Look for a rich straw coloured wine that is a chardonnay or malvasia grape blend. Something rich and with a good level of acidity will blend the wide range of flavours on your Christmas plate.
What Wine Should You Choose If You’re Eating Beef?
Not everyone eats turkey on Christmas day. Some people find it to be a dry and flavourless meat and prefer to choose something richer like beef. If you’re thinking of serving roast beef or even steak on Christmas day then you may be wondering what you should pair with a red meat Christmas day option.
Typically full bodied red wines are the best choice for pairing with beef. Look for something packed with red fruit that has a sweet, Mediterranean feel if you’re going to be roasting your meat. If you’re having a richer, fattier cut then look for a rich, dark, full bodied red wine. Tempranillo and Garnacha are both great options.
Most people don’t pair white wine with beef, as the dish is traditionally served with stronger red wines because it has the fuller flavour to take the blend. But if you do want to drink white wine,then choose a rich straw coloured option with full bodied flavour.
What Wine Should You Choose If You’re Eating Pork?
If you’re enjoying a traditional Spanish Christmas then it’s likely that you’ll be eating a lot of pork. From a whole suckling pig to a leg of either jamon iberico or serrano rich pork dishes are the centerpiece of most Spanish tables during the Christmas period.
Pork is traditionally a tricky meat to pair with wine because it is neither a white meat nor a red meat. As we have already mentioned in reality the wine you choose is entirely up to you and your specific tastes. So if you favour white wine then enjoy this with your festive pork dish. But if you want advice from the experts then red wine is the more complimentary choice.
Look for grapes with good acidity like Mencía and Sousón grapes from DO Ribeira Sacra in Galicia, or choose a sweeter red wine. Rioja has a medium sweetness and is a great choice for pairing with pork.
What Wine Should You Choose If You’re Eating Seafood?
Fish and seafood are also incredibly popular choices for a traditional Spanish Christmas, particularly if you live in one of the country’s coastal regions. Fresh prawns and clams are a popular starter or tapas dish.
White wine is typically chosen as the best choice for pairing with fish and seafood. The fresh and floral taste of Albariño is a good option for drinking with fish and if you’re looking for an excuse to open a bottle of cava then serving a seafood dish is just the excuse you need. Cava pairs beautifully with seafood.
What Wine Should You Choose If You’re Eating Vegetarian?
There are not as many vegetarians in Spain as there are in other European countries. Just 4% of the Spanish population is vegetarian and a tiny 0.8% is vegan. When serving vegetarian food you really can take an anything goes approach. Like seafood dishes it is a great opportunity to pop a bottle of Cava, which is Spain’s favourite sparkling wine and is made using a traditional method that is similar to French champagne. But red and white wines also pair well with vegetarian dishes: if your dish is particularly flavoursome then it could handle a rich red, whilst lighter and more delicate dishes are best suited to a light white wine.
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