Christmas, Food & Drink

What are the Best Christmas Food and Drink Pairings?

Christmas is a time to indulge, and sample the finer things in life, ideally in the company of those nearest and dearest to us. Whatever food and drinks you serve, they should really be paired nicely with one another. This will help to elevate both components, and ensure that the entire gastronomic experience is more than the sum of its parts.


Oceans of reds, whites and roses are consumed over the festive period every year. Matching these wines with an appropriate dish is critical. Generally, fattier and more flavoursome foods will tend to pair well with rich, tannin-heavy wines.

Sparkling wines tend to go nicely with smoked salmon, since they can cut through the fish’s natural oiliness. Similarly, if you’re having a fatty dish like goose on Christmas Day, then a drier white wine with good acidity will cut through. If you’re serving a fortified wine, like port, then a selection of cheeses will tend to work nicely.

Teas and Coffees

During the Christmas period, you might find yourself sampling a few Christmas teas and coffees. This is another opportunity to work in classic flavour combinations. Ginger-based teas, for example, have the spiciness required to offset lush desserts like vanilla ice cream.

Christmas pudding

When it comes to Christmas pudding, the conventional wisdom is that you’re going to be drinking the same brandy that the pudding itself is immersed in. You can expect brandy butter to work as a sweet foil to all of those complex fruit and nut notes. It works spectacularly every time.

What about desserts?

Whatever you’re serving for dessert, you’ll want a selection of dessert wines to hand. This is another area where fortified wines tend to excel. Rich, caramel-based desserts tend to go nicely with Tawnies, while rich dark chocolate dishes go nicely with more mature vintage ports.

What about non-alcoholic options

While we might think of Christmas as an agreeably booze-soaked affair, the truth is that many Brits are abandoning, or at least seeking to cut back on, their alcohol intake. This trend is particularly prevalent among younger people.

Noticing this, the drinks industry has been innovating like never before when it comes to alcohol-free options. Fortunately, we don’t need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to flavour combinations. The spiciness of ginger ale, for example, will work nicely with creamy vanilla desserts.

In many cases, there are low (or no) alcohol versions of the drinks we know and love, which can make it easy to find pairings. If you know what to pair a white wine with, then pairing the same thing with a non-alcohol white wine will tend to yield good results, too.

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