The festive season has arrived! While 2020 has been a tough one for many, that means we need to eat, drink and be merry in each other’s company all the more! A great wine and food pairing is the perfect icebreaker to keep the festive fun flowing. That’s why Louisvale Winery is here with the tips and tricks you need to make sure your dishes pop with just the right wine this Christmas
What is the superstar of the dish?
The first step to the perfect pairing is knowing what you want to highlight most about your dish. For most traditional festive meals, that’s going to be the meat or fish. If you’re serving a vegetarian dish, hone in on the showstopper or focal point of the dish. This is what you’re going to want to match your wine too. Hopefully, the rest of the dish is also constructed around matching well with the central ingredient- ensuring you’ll have a seamless blend of tastes and flavours from food to wine.
The perfect ham
Most festive ham dishes have a touch of sweetness to them- smoked, baked or honeyed- so you want your wine to match. A touch of sugar, but light enough not to be overwhelming, is called for. A nice German-style Riesling, Pinot Noir, or Tempranillo is ideal, giving an easy-going profile with enough subtle tannins to cut through the fatty meat Or try one of Louisvale’s famous Unwooded or Lightly Wooded Chardonnay’s that will compliment the smoky and fattiness of the ham perfectly.
Piquing the turkey (or chicken)
Turkey itself has a subtle flavour profile, but the way we cook it for the Festive season brings some rich, herby goodness to the table. So there’s really no single perfect match for turkey- it’s a case of considering your sides and sauces. If you’re looking for a scintillating but safe combo, Sauvignon Blanc will save the day every time. Its unique herbal tones will amp up any poultry dish. For red wines, look to a Pinot Noir, Shiraz or even Beaujolais Nouveau.
Duck is a little more fatty and gamey than most poultry, so needs a unique touch when you’re pairing it with wines. Louisvale Boris will all bring out the best in this unique meat. If you’d prefer a white wine try our Louisvale Dominique, wooded Chardonnay (white)
If you’re doing Christmas a little differently, then a juicy set of braaied ribs may be taking centre stage. Don’t be afraid to go bold with this one! A nice big Cabernet Sauvignon or Bordeaux will help bring out the subtle flavour profile. This isn’t the best pairing for a white, but a nice bold Louisvale Chardonnay can keep up with the rich tastes if you’d like it.
I’m being a little different
Whether it’s fusion food like Asian-inspired dishes, a bold dessert, or a veggie main, you like to stand out from the crowd. How do you pair your wine, though? Anything that’s got warm dessert spices like ginger, cinnamon and cardamom will love heavier, fortified reds- even a Port or Madeira. Fresher spices like Asian lemongrass need the same peppy perk, and pair well with lighter whites or a delicate rosé. Herbier meals will do well with a Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay. Unique pairings are open to you across the board with a little imagination- just consider the protein and fat content of your dish, how rich it is, and what sauces/spices you’ve decided to add. You’ll soon find the perfect match!
While pairing is something of an art, and experienced wine aficionados delight in finding unusual pairings to delight the senses, there are some tried-and-true combinations that will win every time. The Festive Season is the perfect time to have a little fun with your wine, so why not try any of these fabulous Louisvale Winery offerings with your festive fare today?