At the start of the countdown to Christmas, an Australian wine connoisseur offered her ultimate guide to the perfect festive menu pairings.
Christine Ricketts, Endeavor Group’s winemaking specialist, said a great bottle of wine is a “central” part of the perfect Christmas spread, and it’s important to choose the perfect variety for each dish.
“When you pair the right wine with your menu, it enhances the flavor of both the food and the wine itself,” she explained.
At the start of the countdown to Christmas, a wine connoisseur offered her ultimate guide to the perfect festive menu pairings
Christine Ricketts (pictured) said a large bottle of wine is a “central” part of the perfect Christmas celebration
Drink dry rosé with ham
Christine, who teaches the BWS and Dan Murphy teams about everything to do with wine, said a Christmas ham goes perfectly with non-dry rosé, a sweeter variety.
“The traditional Christmas ham is usually a mix of salty and sweet flavors and possibly a little heat if English mustard is used,” she said.
“A non-dry rosé wine is the ultimate combination as the acidity of the wine cuts through the fat of the meat while the slight sweetness offsets the saltyness of the ham.”
Your wine of choice: La Planchelière Cabernet d’Anjou Rosé (USD 12.50)
Enjoy sparkling shiraz with turkey
If the turkey is one of your heroes on your festive table, then Shiraz is the right wine.
“Red wine is one of the most unique styles of foam in the world, originally a French invention that is now championed by Australian winemakers,” she said.
“A sparkling Coonawarra Shiraz with rich, ripe fruit flavors enhances the juiciness of the turkey, while the sweetness of the cranberry sauce complements the fruitiness of the wine.”
Your wine of choice: Riddoch Sparkling Shiraz ($ 19.99)
She recommends serving oysters with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc as a starter
The glass for every type of wine
Red wine: Larger glass with a fuller body
White wine: Thinner glass with a smaller body
Champagne / sparkling wine: flute
Sip Cabernet Sauvignon with Lamb
Red wine and lamb are a classic combination.
“The mint and herb flavors of a Cabernet Sauvignon make the red wine the ultimate combination with lamb – especially when you serve the meat with a traditional mint sauce,” she said.
Your wine of choice: Riddoch Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon ($ 20)
Dine on roast pork with dry rosé
The classic roast pork is best enjoyed with a glass of dry rosé.
“Salty, flavourful roast pork goes perfectly with a dry rosé because the acidity balances out the meaty, fatty flavors while the fruit flavors in the wine balance out the saltyness,” said Christine.
Your Wine of Choice: Noble Fellows Princess Petunia Marlborough Pinot Rosé ($ 15.99)
Try seafood with Riesling
When it comes to seafood like shrimp or calamari, Christine says you can’t go wrong with a glass of Riesling.
“The tangy and crispy citrus flavors of the wine balance the delicate meat,” she said.
Your wine of choice: Krondorf Winzer Eden Valley Riesling ($ 16.99)
In the meantime, she recommends serving oysters with Sauvignon Blanc as a starter.
When it comes to seafood like shrimp or calamari, she says you can’t go wrong with a glass of Riesling. She suggested ending her feast with Pavlova and Sauvignon Blanc (archive images)
Grill with Shiraz
Grilled meat goes well with Shiraz, she said.
“Grilled meat, including sausages, goes perfectly with the wine’s generous fruit flavors, which balance the saltiness and smoke of the food.
“In summer, remember to chill your red wines – even Shiraz – for about 10 to 15 minutes before serving them for optimal flavors.”
Your wine of choice: Cat among the pigeons Barossa Shiraz (14.60)
Treat yourself to a bite with Prosecco
If there’s a little something on your dessert menu, look no further than a glass of Prosecco.
“The fruitiness of a Prosecco makes it a good wine for desserts, and when it comes to a traditional snack, the Prosecco’s acidity cuts through the cream while the crispy fruit flavors make up for the sweetness,” she said.
Your Wine of Choice: Dean & Monroe Prosecco ($ 18)
Pair Pavlova with Sauvignon Blanc
End your festive celebration with Pavlova and Sauvignon Blanc.
The tropical flavors of a Sauvignon Blanc pair wonderfully with the fruits and berries of a Pavlova, while the acidity of the wine cuts through the cream and meringue. Perfection by Pavlova, ”she said.
Your Wine of Choice: Marlborough Sounds Organic Sauvignon Blanc ($ 17)