8Fographic: Christmas Wine Pairings
The first basic rule I learned about wine pairing is that red wine pairs well with meat, white wine goes well with seafood and fowl. Personally, I believe that a good food and wine partnership much like a marriage is a harmonious coexistence, wherein one doesn’t overpower the other. Paired together, each one must enhance the other. But after all is said and done there are really no hard and fast rules for wine and food pairings. Ultimately, it boils down to your own taste and your own preferred combinations. It is also no wonder that Pinoys find sweet wines more to their liking, owing to our preference for sweet food, note that sweet spaghetti is a hit in this side of the globe. That being said, here is a simple guide which may help you decide on your food and wine pairings during this joyous season.
Pink-Champagne-88Fographic: Christmas Wine Pairings
To start off your meal, pour that fizzing champagne on a sexy flute then take one bite of queso de bola and sip some bubbly while listening to a sentimental lilting Christmas love song. With your queso de bola, munch on some walnuts, hazelnuts and Brazilian nuts (which you can crack on your door) as you sip your nutty or fruity pink hued champagne. You can also try out this combo after dinner while merrily chatting with family members, it’s all up to you.
Chardonnay-78Fographic: Christmas Wine Pairings
Should you wish to skip the cheese and nuts, you might want to start off with some seafood appetizers instead. Swirl and sip a glass of Chardonnay while tickling your appetite with some Oyster Rockefeller (spinach and Parmesan-topped baked oysters) , New Zealand Baked Mussels topped with cheese and garlic, and Buttered Seared Scallops. Chardonnay, or Chard as it is nicknamed by wine enthusiasts, is a light wine with a buttery taste that goes well with creamy, cheesy dishes.
Sauvignon-Blanc-68Fographic: Christmas Wine Pairings
A glass of crisp Sauvignon Blanc complements a Caesar Salad topped with some slices of grilled chicken or a Roka Salata with a handful of crunchy candied walnuts or a Mango Kani Shrimp Tempura Salad with a Sweet Soy-Based Creamy Dressing. A serving of Creamy Truffle Pasta, Pasta with Alfredo Sauce or Pasta Carbonara paired with Sauvignon Blanc will also thrill your palate. The versatile Sauvignon Blanc also livens up a serving of Ceviche (Kinilaw na Tanigue).
Merlot-58Fographic: Christmas Wine Pairings
Merlot is a sweetish full-bodied red wine with hints of oak that will bring out the best in a robust flavored red meat dish like the festive Beef Mechado or the fancy Beef Morcon. Experts suggest that it is always best to decant (air) red wine before drinking. Likewise, reds are best when served at room temperature. The room temperature referred to in wine books of course is European cool not Philippine cool which is definitely warm in my book. Red wines when served in our side of the world must be refrigerated.
Cabernet-Sauvignon-48Fographic: Christmas Wine Pairings
The Cab, as it is fondly called by wine aficionados, is a lighter red wine than the Chard owing to its floral and herby hints. Cabernet Sauvignon and Arroz Valenciana will be a well-paired union of flavors. Roasted chestnuts and the Cab while chit chatting about life in general make a nice pair. The Cab will also be a good choice for an Italian Sausage Pasta or a Rich Tomato Basil Ziti. If you have Lechon de Leche as the centerpiece of the table, the Cab will be a sinfully delightful partner to the crispy lechon skin and tender lechon pork slices.
Zinfandel-38Fographic: Christmas Wine Pairings
Another favourite Christmas dish superstar is the Chicken Relleno. Partnered with a sweet glass of Zinfandel this pairing will be like matrimonial bliss. Embotido which is pretty much the stuffing of Chicken Relleno will definitely go well with Zinfandel too. A juicy Roasted Chicken stuffed with 40 cloves of garlic will also be great with Zinfandel. You can also sip some Zinfandel while munching on a fruit platter of sweet seedless grapes, crisp apple slices, crunchy persimmons and juicy pears.
Pinot-Noir-28Fographic: Christmas Wine Pairings
The hauntingly earthy Pinot Noir is a red wine that you will love with sweet salty ham which is ever present in a Christmas spread. Other cured meats that will have a smooth synergy with the mysterious Pinot Noir are Chorizo de Bilbao, Hungarian Cheese Sausage, Pepperoni or Kielbasa sautéed in olive oil with white onion and green bell pepper.
port-18Fographic: Christmas Wine Pairings
Port , known as a dessert wine, has a higher alcohol content than other wines. Port ideally partners well with a box of Dark Chocolate, Dark Chocolate Mints or an elegant array of Dark Chocolate truffles. Drool over the blending of flavors from the sugary Port with a slice of velvety New York Cheesecake or a hearty slice of Pecan Pie or a Salted Caramel Brownie.
What are your favorite Christmas pairings? Share them in the Comments Section below.