If you poll 3 people on what they serve for Christmas dinner, you will probably get 3 different answers. Everyone has favorite foods and special traditions for their meals, so we decided to make our Christmas dinner wine recommendations on 3 of the most popular main dishes: prime rib, turkey, and Chinese food.
Prime Rib and Pinot Noir
Prime rib is the star of many dinner tables on Christmas Day for a good reason. It is a highly tender, juicy, and flavorful cut of meat that makes the meal feel special. The go-to wine for a nice meal with red meat is often Cabernet Sauvignon, but we recommend trying a more delicate red wine, like Pinot Noir with your prime rib. Cabernets and other high tannin wines tend to be too intense structurally for the prime rib, which can easily overwhelm it. Pinot Noir’s high acid, baking spice notes, and earthiness will help the prime rib shine and make your meal one for the books.
Turkey and Chardonnay
Turkey is a classic main dish for Christmas and it deserves a classic white wine to accompany it. A well-balanced Chardonnay with high acidity and light spice notes from oak pairs beautifully with a roasted turkey. The creaminess of a good Chardonnay will also help you out if your turkey is a little on the dry side, and it will work well with many traditional sides. Just don’t go with a Chardonnay with too much oak or it will overwhelm the turkey.
Chinese and Riesling
Chinese food on Christmas Day is a special tradition in its own right, with families coming together over takeout or in restaurants. There are so many different flavors and textures in Chinese food that it takes a very special wine to pair with it: Riesling. Riesling, although it seems delicate and unassuming, is a wine powerhouse. Its high acid, floral notes, and touch of sweetness make it a great food wine.
What does your Christmas Day meal look like? Do you go traditional or do you like to mix things up a little?