October 10, 2022

Christmas Wine & Food Pairing

If you’re looking for specific food and wine pairing this Christmas, the team here at New Zealand Wine Navigator has put together their favorite pairings to add that ‘something special’ to your celebrations.

We’ve also curated some gorgeous mixed cases of Christmas wines just for you! These fine New Zealand wines will truly be the talk of the table.

We hope you have a magical Christmas, however, it may be enjoyed.

Wines for Christmas ham

Wines best for succulent sweet-and-salty rich Christmas ham are light, fruity, easy-drinking wines with a touch of bold acidity.

We’d recommend the 2020 Butterworth Layline Pinot Gris. There is a concentration and core of this wine that forms an impressive backbone, but the palate has excellent poise from lively acidity, carrying wonderful tension through its line and length. We’d also suggest our 2020 Little Darling Pinot Noir, which has A beautifully textural palate displaying classic layering of brambly fruit, exotic spice, and seriously ripe, powdery tannins balanced by a good acid spine.

Wines for duck

Ah yes, duck, with that irresistible tender, fatty profile with the gaminess of meat it retains. For roasted, smoked or braised duck the wines we’d recommend for this dish are our 2016 Clearview Reserve Chardonnay or one of our Big Pinot’s – the 2013 Wooing Tree Pinot Noir

Wines for prime rib

Let’s play with the big reds.

White ones could be left behind with this dish, they may not keep up with the protein and fat weightings of the beefy prime rib. Instead, let our delightful New Zealand reds shine the way. We’ve got the 2016 Clearview Cape Kidnappers Syrah featuring vibrant violet and aniseed spice with an underlying complexity, or the 2020 Squawking Magpie The Chatterer Syrah displaying lovely ripe fruit with pepper and licorice tones and a firm, smooth and spicy finish.

Wines for turkey

Pinot Noir is the classic accompaniment for your Christmas turkey. Our Christmas special, the 2018 Mondillo Pinot Noir has a youthful and bouquet with ripe aromas of dark cherry, black currant, and plum.

If you’re looking for something a little different, Pinot Gris is the unsung hero of Turkey wine – it’s our top choice if you prefer a white wine.

Pies & Dessert

For that something sweet at the end of the meal, a Riesling makes for a great pairing with spicy, sweet cookies like gingerbread. A fruity, creamy, champagne-style sparkling wine will complement any creamy dessert or trifle. We recommend the No 1 Cuvée Methode Traditionelle and the 2010 Ostler Blue House Vines Riesling.