It’s that time of year again. November has drawn to a close and we’re only a couple of weeks away from Christmas. We’re sure that everybody reading this is looking forward to getting together with their family and friends so that they can share in the fun times together. There’ll be great food, loads of presents, and plenty of wine consumed over the Christmas period.
Of course, being an Italian wine website, it’s the latter that we’re most excited about. In fact, there’s nothing better than enjoying a great Christmas meal with a glass of wine or two with your loved ones.
So what wines should you add to your festive shopping list? Here’s a list of the best wines for celebrating Christmas.
Perhaps the most famous Italian sparkling white wine, Prosecco has been a standard for any celebration for many years, particularly in the UK, where it’s one of the highest-selling wines.
There’s something light and airy about Prosecco that makes it an excellent choice as an aperitif to the huge Christmas meal. It won’t leave you feeling too full, so you can enjoy the huge amounts of food you’ll be eating during the Christmas feast.
It’s also a great wine for parties because of how easily it goes down. If you’re looking for an Italian wine that practically everybody will love, Prosecco may be the best choice. For that added Italian feel, try combining it with a Panettone cake.
Of course, where Prosecco works wonders, so too does Champagne. Another wine used the world over for celebrations, Champagne offers a similarly light and airy drink, though you could argue that it is a touch dryer and more complex than Prosecco.
Whatever the case may be, there’s very little to choose between these two wonderful examples of sparkling white wine. In the end, it’s really going to come down to personal taste.
Bear in mind that Champagne is usually a touch more expensive than Prosecco. However, there are also few wines quite like it for capping off an amazing evening with your nearest and dearest.
As the Christmas meal progresses, it’s likely that you’ll add a few rich meats into the mix. Beyond the traditional turkey, many people enjoy eating pheasant, goose, and an array of red meats. As a result, you need to get a nice wine that balances out the flavour of the meats, without overpowering them.
There are many red wines for you choose from, but we believe that a nice Pinot Noir is an excellent choice for the meal itself. While it may lack the complexity of some other red wines, Pinot Noir has a sort of lightness that makes it perfect for consuming alongside a huge meal. After all, the last thing that you want is to feel bloated halfway through the delicious food.
We also like this wine because of its versatility. It goes really well with most traditional Christmas meal selections, so we recommend picking up a few bottles. This is especially a good idea if you have a lot of people coming around for dinner and you’re not quite sure what each prefers when it comes to their wines.
Once one of the most popular wines in the world, Merlot experienced something of a decline following its boom period that it has only recently started to bounce back from. Nevertheless, it’s an excellent addition to practically any Christmas menu.
We particularly recommend it if you’ve decided to serve a lot of red meats as part of the Christmas feast. Merlot matches particularly well with pork belly, for example.
However, it does have a tendency to overpower white meats. We’re not so sure that we’d drink Merlot as part of a meal that’s heavy on turkey and less flavoursome vegetables. Regardless, it’s still an excellent choice, plus you shouldn’t have any problems stocking up for the festive period.
While not really a wine in the same sense as the other selections on this list, Port’s sweetness makes it a great choice for serving alongside dessert. Its flavours complement chocolate really well, plus it goes along great with a Christmas pudding.
Port is one of those wines that you can also enjoy as a standalone dessert after a heavy meal. This makes it a particularly good choice if you’re planning a huge Christmas feast and you’re not sure that you’re going to be able to manage a stodgy dessert afterwards.
Have a bottle or two handy. You won’t necessarily want to drink a lot of it in one go, due to its sweetness and the fact that you’ll have likely consumed a lot of food and wine before you get to the point when you’re ready to drink port. However, it’s a wonderful capper to a great meal.
Not everybody wants to drink Italian red wine with their Christmas meal, and the sparkling whites we’ve looked at don’t go particularly well with rich meats. As a result, you need a white wine that still has an edge to it. There are plenty to choose from, but we believe that Chardonnay may be the pick of the bunch for a Christmas meal.
A good Chardonnay has enough flavour and complexity to stack up well with a Christmas meal, particularly one that favours white meats over red. It’s also on the lighter side of things, making it a great choice for really heavy meals for which a red wine may be a little bit too much.
The Final Word
While we’ve offered some useful suggestions for people who are struggling to find the right wine for the Christmas period, the truth of the matter is that whichever wines you love the most are surely going to find their way onto your table this Christmas.
We hope that everybody here has a wonderful Christmas, and perhaps even considers purchasing one of these wines as a present for somebody they love. With all of the advice on the Xtrawine website at your disposal, you can’t go wrong when buying a wine for Christmas.