Yes, it is that time of year ... Christmas is on our doorsteps and time has come to choose the best wines to drink and offer as gifts for Christmas. However, finding the most appropriate red, white or rosé is not the easiest undertaking considering the growing number of options.
If you need to give wine as a Christmas gift, you might want to take into consideration the personality of the person, and, obviously, their tastes and preferences. You could opt for a specific DO (Denomination de Origen), as your loved one could have a personal relationship with a region or as a way to remember a shared memory. It is also a possibility to let someone discover your own homeland through its terroir.
If you know the person well, don't hesitate to be daring and score wine cellars for unusual combinations, exotic locations or audacious looks. On the other hand, if you want to impress your family-in-law, you might want to invest in a classic from a traditional country.
Pairing Wines for Christmas Dinner
If in addition to wine as a gift, you need something that goes with dinner. Once you have a clear menu in mind, you can start looking for the appropriate wines to serve with the dishes. However, you may be wondering what type of wine to drink with fish dishes, or how to wine with lamb the best.
The key to pairing wine with dishes lies in the type of grape. The varietals will guide you through choosing one type of wine or another. The red wines are traditionally associated with the meat and the main dish. For instance, the Cabernet Sauvignon is ideal to accompany heavier dishes rich in fat and umami while the Merlot is softer and nicely complements traditional Italian cuisine like pasta or lasagna. You can also choose wines with several varietals to enjoy a richer and more complex experience.
On the other hand, sparklings and white wines are often drunk with seafood and fish. Indeed, Cavas and Proseccos have a light, cheerful and fruity character which are infallible. You can also choose mineral white wines, which tend to be fruity, fresh and with a good acidity. Here again, the varietals' features will help you make the best choice. For example, Chardonnay grapes are wide, versatile and refreshing whereas Riesling is aromatic, delicate, and expressive.
Terras de Alleu 2013, a red wine from the Douro Region that contains Tinta Roriz, Touriga Nacional and Touriga Franca.
José Pariente Verdejo 2016, a white wine with the best Verdejo grapes from the 2016 vintage.