The festive period is one of the busiest in the on- and off-trade calendars, as businesses look to enhance the guest’s experience and create a memorable visit that will encourage return visits.
In a recent survey from guest experience management experts, HGEM, they discovered that during the Christmas period, 40% of guests like to try somewhere new that offers a unique menu. To help set yourself apart from the crowd we have come up with suggestions on what to pair with traditional festive dishes, from both the New and Old World wine producing regions.
As an aperitif:
Berton Vineyard, Metal Label, Moscato Firzzante 2018
This wine is fresh, light and sweet with a subtle spritz that tickles the palate and aromas of fresh grapes and orange blossom.
Low in alcohol and perfect as an aperitif to ease guests into a festive banquet.
Champagne Collet Brut 1er Cru, Art Déco NV
A more traditional aperitif to serve guests, this is a broad style of Champagne with developed biscuit notes from extended ageing on the lees and a lovely long and salty finish.
Any leftover is also a perfect partner for a light game starter.
With a warming starter:
Larry Cherubino ‘Ad Hoc Hen and Chicken’ Chardonnay 2017
A complex wine with green apple, melon and citrus aromas enhanced by buttered brioche and a toasty nuttiness.
If you are serving a seafood starter, this is the ideal accompaniment.
Castello Pomino, Frescobaldi, Benefizio Bianco Riserva 2017
This barrique aged white wine is elegant and distinctive with a rich array of aromas and flavours such as apple, pineapple, citrus and honey.
Serve chilled to accompany meat starters, such as guinea fowl, chicken or wild mushrooms and white truffle.
To pair with a festive main course:
Doña Paula ‘Selección de Bodega’, Malbec 2015
Awarded 95 points by Tim Atkin, in his Argentina Special Report. This wine is big with balanced flavours of spicy blackberries, dark chocolate and wild herbs with an opulent and mouthfilling texture – elegant, rich and long.
Best alongside a piece of prime beef fillet, with a bit left over for the hard cheeses in the cheese course.
Château de Cîteaux, Philippe Bouzereau, Auxey-Duresses 1er Cru Les Duresses 2015
Beautiful Pinot Noir expression of ripe black fruits, peppery hints and a touch of violet on the nose. Silky, with rich but delicate fruit and a long finish.
When it comes to a traditional festive turkey dish, you don’t need to look beyond Pinot Noir from Burgundy, and this Premier Cur showcases a premium expression of the grape and the region.
To finish off the event:
Saint Clair, ‘Godfrey’s Creek’ Noble Riesling, Marlborough 2016
A deliciously complex dessert wine, with a bouquet of poached apricot, candied citrus and white clover honey. Opulent and silky on the palate with rich orange, lemon and cocoa notes leading to a long, smooth finish.
This botrytised Riesling is ideally suited to a fruit-based dessert or blue cheese.
Barros 10 Year Old Tawny Port, Douro
Dried fruit aromas complemented by delicate vanilla and chocolate notes
This is the multi-award winning fortified wine is the perfect partner to go with your Christmas pudding, its soft and silky texture and subtle nuances of wood are balanced by a refreshing palate which culminates with a long and elegant finish.