If, like me, you haven’t quite put the finishing touches on your Christmas Day menu (and by “finishing touches” I mean “haven’t started”) then keep reading.
In this, the final Somerled blog for the year, let’s have a look at a few Christmas-themed food and wine matching ideas…
The traditional Christmas ham usually has an element of sweetness to balance the saltiness of the meat. A Sauvignon Blanc is the ultimate pairing, as the acid of the wine will offset the saltiness in the meat. Sauvignon Blanc’s fruit-driven flavours (ham and pineapple? Yes, please! …but not on pizza!) will also enhance the meat’s sweetness. Fingers crossed you’ve all saved a bottle of our 2019 Sauvignon Blanc for the occasion!
If you’d prefer a red wine, a GSM (Grenache, Shiraz and Mourvedre) blend or a medium-bodied shiraz is complex enough to stand up to the flavours of this Christmas classic.
If you enjoy a traditional roast turkey at Christmas time, a sparkling Shiraz or Cabernet will bring out the richness of the Christmas turkey. The sweetness of the accompanying cranberry sauce will complement the wine’s fruitiness.
If you are more of a roast leg of lamb family, then you’re going to need some flavoursome reds to match the richness of the meat. Lamb is one of the friendliest meats when it comes to red wine, so pair the rich flavours of lamb with a robust Cabernet Sauvignon or a Shiraz.
If you’re serving your lamb with a traditional mint sauce (of course you are!), then a Cabernet Sauvignon from the Limestone Coast with those minty and herbaceous flavour will be a beautiful match.
More specifically… Chardonnay is a great choice for crab or oysters, a crisp Riesling or even a glass of Sparkling is perfect for prawns and a meaty fish like salmon goes well with Pinot Gris or even a light Pinot Noir for the red wine drinkers.
Salty, flavourful roast pork has its perfect match in Pinot Noir. The delicate red wine with its characteristically dark berry and smoky flavours elevate the essences of the meat.
A good dessert (or sticky) wine accentuates the flavours of your trifle, plum pudding, or pavlova. Alternatively, after your meal, you might like to kick back and relax with a cheese board and a glass of fortified wine.
And if you still can’t decide, just…
Do what the Moodys do!
Here is a run-down from Heather on what happens in the Moody house-hold on Christmas day…
“We traditionally start Christmas Day with a glass of sparkling red, Cabernet or Shiraz, and a mince pie or two.
Later in the day, a bottle of something very cold and fresh (unfortunately not sauvignon blanc this year) will accompany the crayfish kindly donated each year by our friends on Kangaroo Island. White bubbles and a nice red will make an appearance at some point too.
We have also developed an alcoholic-free refreshing cocktail, known as a Verandarita, to help us get safely through the day!”
That’s it from me for this year. As a thank you for tuning each week to read my ramblings, I pinned Heather down and somehow managed to get her to hand over the recipe for her prized mince pies.
Fruit mixture (can be prepared weeks ahead)
- 180g dried fruit – currants, sultanas, raisins
- 1 grated peeled granny smith apple
- 50g slivered almonds
- 50g unsalted butter, chilled, in tiny cubes
- 25g candied orange peel, finely chopped
- 1 lemon, grated rind and juice
- 150g muscovado or brown sugar
- 1/2 tspn each ground cloves and nutmeg
- 1/4 tspn each ground cinnamon and allspice
- 60ml rum or brandy
Pastry (my version of Maggie Beer’s sour cream pastry)
- 250g plain flour
- 150g unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small cubes
- 125g sour cream
Process flour and butter till breadcrumb-like. Add sour cream and process till mixture just comes together in a clump. Don’t over-process.
Turn out onto a floured surface and gently pat into two discs. Wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for at least half an hour.
Roll out thinly and cut discs to fit your pie tins – I use a 7cm cookie cutter.
Use one disc for the base of each pie, fill with one tablespoon of fruit mixture (don’t be tempted to overfill!) and place lid on top, using water or beaten egg white to glue edges together.
Bake at 180 degrees for about 10 minutes. The pies freeze well, cooked or uncooked.
Serve warm sprinkled with icing sugar.