Best wine pairings for Christmas 2013

Although there is still quite a lot of time left until Christmas, today, we suggest you to go around the most common Christmas pairings. We hope that our recommendations will help you to find a great wine which pairs with your delicious Christmas recipes.

During Christmas holidays, gathering with friends and relatives around the table in order to enjoy exquisite food is one of the most repeated activities. Choosing a wine that perfectly pairs with the different dishes will be the key to the success of these meetings.


Therefore, what combination should we try? The answer is not easy, since there are plenty of options. However, simplifying it, we could bring together all our pairing options around two different concepts: finding the balance between the elements, or finding a pairing which creates contrasts in order to enhance flavours.

A clear example of these two philosophies of wine pairing is found paradigmatically in one of the Christmas star dishes: the Iberian ham. In order to pair Iberian ham, we can follow two very different ways.

On the one hand, if we want to create a balanced pairing in which different elements are put together with the same purpose, without discrepancies, helping and complementing each other, we recommend pairing ham with polished aged red wines that preserve their vigour and their fruit aromas. Just thinking about pairing a great Iberian ham with Muga Crianza 2009 makes our mouth water…

Nevertheless, another option would be pairing wine and Iberian ham with the purpose of creating a contrast that express the different particularities of each product, without losing the final harmony. If this is your choice, we recommend you to opt for powerful and sharp fine wines and manzanilla wines from Jerez and Sanlúcar, which will allow appreciating all the textures of ham. In this case, our recommendation is Manzanilla Papirusa 1992, by the winery Bodegas Lustau. You will love it!

After this introduction, we would like to recommend some examples of pairings that may please you for Christmas.

Let’s start with one of the Christmas star dishes: seafood. In order to pair wines and seafood, we will generally opt for dry white wines. If we had to choose a Designation of Origin, we would definitely go for a great Albariño white wine from Las Rías Baixas which, apart from the character of the grapes, will provide a mineral and Atlantic touch that will perfectly pair seafood. Our recommendations for Christmas are: Pazo de Señorans Selección de Añada 2006, a real luxury to be enjoyed in very special moments, and the excellent Terras Gauda 2012. They will not disappoint you.

We also have Christmas dishes based on fish. The pairing of wines and fish is very wide and the success of the choice will depend on the type of fish, the amount of fat it contains, how we cook it, the type of sauce… Anyway, in Spain, if there is a fish that can be considered as the Christmas’ king, this is sea bream.

The power and the personality of this fish will require a wine with character. Therefore, for the pairing of wines and sea bream, we recommend white wines aged in oak barrels. Wines full of nuances. We suggest you to surprise your guests with the expressiveness of Taleia Blanc 2012, a spectacular blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon produced at 1,000 metres altitude in the Catalan part of the Pyrenees, within the province of Lérida. A more conventional option, but not less recommendable, is to choose the greasiness of Marqués de Riscal Limousin 2011, an extraordinary Verdejo white wine from the D.O. Rueda.

If we opt for a white meat dish, such as roasted turkey, Baigorri 2006 or Luis Cañas Selección de la Familia will be the best choices. However, in order to pair red meat dishes, we should choose well-structured red wines. In this case, we recommend to surprise your guests with PSI 2010, the fifth vintage of one of the most wanted wines from Ribera del Duero.

Regarding the desserts, there is a great variety of possibilities, but generally, if you choose a great cava, you will get it right. Fruity desserts will be a fantastic pairing for cavas such as Gramona Imperial Gran Reserva or Agustí Torelló Mata Gran Reserva. We would also like to remark that although cava has traditionally been related to dessert time and toast, it is becoming more and more usual to enjoy a glass of cava during the whole meal. Actually, the majority of great cavas perfectly match all kind of dishes.

Coming back to desserts, if we opt for a pie or a chocolate dessert, the most conventional pairing is to choose a sherry wine. A top-quality option is Pedro Ximénez Murillo Centenario 1991. Simply amazing! Nonetheless, only if it is high-quality chocolate, we can surprise our guests by pairing chocolate with Syrah red wines. In this case, and from the D.O. Méntrida, we recommend Malpaso 2008, one of the revelation wines this year.

And finally, our recommendation for Christmas’ star dessert in Spanish houses: turrón. In order to pair turrón, we recommend enjoying a great Muscat. What about Moscatel Superior Emilín, by the winery Bodegas Lustau?

Go for it and enjoy all the wines that we have selected for you!

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