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Everything Your Christmas Dinner Needs to Have (And Some Italian Wine Pairings to go with the Meal)

The perfect Christmas meal…

Does it exist?

We’re not so sure. After all, every single country has its own traditions in terms of what should and shouldn’t be included in a Christmas meal. Every country has its delicacies that may seem crazy to other people but are the most normal things in the world for those who partake.

So, the perfect Christmas dinner can’t possibly exist because everybody has their own definition of perfect.

Still, that doesn’t mean that we can’t try to help you create an amazing Christmas meal, even if it isn’t a perfect one.

In this article, we’re going to hone in on the traditional British Christmas meal. We’re going to list all of the foods that have to be on the table if you’re going to enjoy a great dinner in Britain. And then, we’ll recommend some Italian wine pairings to go with each of those foods!

The Perfect British Christmas Meal – The List

A solid combination of meat and vegetables makes up the perfect British Christmas dinner. Here’s what you need to have on your plate.

Item #1 – The Turkey

The Christmas turkey has to be number one on the list as it is often the centrepiece of the entire meal. There is an art to cooking a turkey to ensure that it comes out tasting delicious without seeming too dry. Your turkey helps to make the meal. Plus, the bird is usually large enough to give you some leftovers that you can use for sandwiches for a few more days after Christmas.

Now, there are some who aren’t too keen on turkey at Christmas. They may opt for chicken or even pheasant, depending on how fancy they want to be. And that’s fine! However, the turkey is the most traditional Christmas bird so it has to make this list.

The Wine Pairing:

A light Pinot Noir is an excellent choice here, especially as you can expect your turkey to be coated in a fairly rich gravy. The Pinot Noir to not overshadow the dryer taste of the turkey, while still being able to add some interesting flavour dynamics.

Item #2 – Roast Potatoes

Potato will always find its way onto a British Christmas dinner in some shape or form. Mashed and boiled spuds are always popular. However, there’s nothing that a Brit loves more than a good roastie on their dinner.

Roast potatoes are crispy, tasty, and make a perfect accompaniment to your turkey. They’re also ideal for vegetarians who may not want to each any meat. Plus, roast potatoes are gorgeous when they’re soaked in gravy!

The Wine Pairing:

It has to be a juicy Chardonnay here, as a red wine will generally contain too many complex flavours to allow the potato to really stand out. A good roast potato is an accompaniment to the meal, rather than the main course. A nice Chardonnay gives you a refreshing and fruity kick that similarly does not overshadow the rest of the foods on your plate.

Item #3 – Pigs in Blankets

The rather grim name may be rooted firmly in the dark humour the British are known for. But there’s no denying that pigs in blankets taste divine, especially when they’re combined with turkey.

What are pigs in blankets?

For the uninitiated, pigs in blankets are sausages (the pig) wrapped in bacon (the blanket). So, it’s pig wrapped in more pig.

We told you it was a dark name!

But frankly, you won’t care after that first taste of the combined sausage and bacon.

The Wine Pairing:

Pork plus bacon covered in gravy leads to a lot of richness. Most white wines will get swallowed up by the flavour in your pigs in blankets, meaning you need a red if you’re going to stand any chance of complementing them.

However, you also don’t want to get too complex here. So, perhaps a nice Rosé will do the trick, as it offers the best of the red and white worlds.

Item #4 – Carrots

You can’t have a Christmas dinner without a bit of veg and it looks like Brits choose carrots ahead of everything but potatoes. It’s easy to see why too as carrots are healthy and easy to cook, in addition to offering just a little bit of sweetness to combat the more savoury aspects of the Christmas meal.

Of course, carrots aren’t the only veggie you’ll find on the Christmas plate. There’s one more that Brits will point to as *the* traditional Christmas veggie.

The Wine Pairing:

Anything made with the Muscat grape will work well here, as the sharp sweetness of the carrot needs to be combined with a crisp white wine that can cut through the flavour without destroying it. Muscat-based wines do this very well as the grape is known for having its own sharp and refreshing qualities.

Item #5 – Brussels Sprouts

They had to be here.

Some people love them. Some people loathe them. But practically everybody agrees that they have to be available for a proper British Christmas dinner. 

Even people who can’t stand sprouts will force a few down in the name of Christmas tradition. We must admit that most of the people on the Xtrawine team fall into this category!

The Wine Pairing:

If you hate brussels sprouts as much as we do, it’s tempting to look for an Italian wine that will completely overshadow the vegetable’s flavour.

Don’t do that.

Look for something that complements it instead.

A wine that has nutty notes is a good choice here, as the dryness of notes meshes well with the sharp taste of the sprouts.

The Final Word

There are plenty more foods that might find their way onto your Christmas dinner. However, the five we’ve highlighted here are the ones that we can guarantee will be on almost every single Brit’s plate once the 25th December arrives.

Hopefully, we’ve given you some ideas for the types of Italian wine you’ll want to have alongside the meal too. And remember, you can find thousands of stunning wines from all over the world in our online store.

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