Who’s got time to wander through bottleshop aisles? Simply use this guide to take the guess work out of food-and-wine pairing. Wine and cuisine specialist
Jenny Tan, Corner House sommelier Benedict Lee and wine expert Renny Heng recommend their choice picks to partner your Christmas favourites.
WITH HORS D’OEUVRES
Renny: Guy Charlemagne Reserve Brut NV
The Guy Charlemagne Reserve Brut nonvintage is a champagne that has notes of citrus fruits, minerals and flowers. On the palate, it’s well-balanced, energetic and has a lengthy mineral finish. This would match well with smoked salmon blini and guacomole dip with corn chips.
Jenny: Cristalino Brut Cava NV
If you are on a budget for bubblies, this cava is a good alternative. Made using the same method that goes into making Champagne, it’s a drystyle Champagne with white peaches and green apple flavours. Serve with sliced Spanish jamon and Manchego cheese.
Jenny: Kanta Riesling 2012
Australia has been producing great Riesling, and this is by Egon Muller, one of the top producers of Riesling in Germany. It’s slightly sweet, so if you are serving up local spicy dishes, such as chilli crab, for Christmas, this is a good wine to consider.
Renny: Maison Lucien Le Moine Meursault 1er Cru Perrieres 2008
Maison Lucien Le Moine buys top quality juice and does the tendering process in Burgundy. This wine has notes of citrus fruits and white flowers and pairs well with oysters, prawn cocktails, and pan-fried or salt-crusted fish.
Benedict: Jean Noel Gagnard Chassagne
This wine’s bouquet combines the freshness of citrus fruits with the richness of cream, together with hints of nuttiness. On the palate, it starts off lush, slightly viscous, and is smooth in texture. This transits into a crisp and refreshing finish, leaving the drinker ready for more. Pair this with roast turkey, complete with bread, liver and chestnut stuffing.
WITH ROAST BEEF/LAMB/HAM
Jenny: E Guigal Cote Du Rhone Rouge 2011
From one of the stars in the Rhone Valley, the entry-level wine from the famous family owned Guigal family over-delivers on quality. This medium-bodied wine with black cherries, olives and a hint of earthiness will go well with roast baby lamb and potatoes.
Benedict: Chateau Branaire Ducru, St Julien 2007
This red has notes of mulberries, cassis and a sense of freshness. With ample tannins, moderate acidity and a medium body, it will go best with roast beef and Christmas ham.
Renny: Pauillac De Latour 2009
This ripe and rich wine has a nose of earth, blackberries and spices. On the palate, it is dense, fleshy and full-bodied, making it ideal for pairing with roast beef or roast leg of lamb.
Jenny: Lustau Pedro Ximenez “San Emilio” Solera Reserva
Pedro Ximenez is one of the most underrated sweet, fortified wines from Spain. Serve a shot of this poured over a scoop of vanilla ice-cream.
Benedict: Moscato: Michele Chiarlo Nivole Moscato d’Asti 2012
This is a light, sweet and refreshing frizzante that’s great to have around for Christmas, as it is highly quaffable and lower in alcohol (usually 5 per cent). This style of wine appeals to non-drinkers or guests who usually do not like the taste of wine. The Moscato pairs well with Panettone or any citrus-based desserts, but it is not recommended with chocolate desserts.
Renny: Doisy Daene 2010
This wine has notes of white peaches, pears, apples and white flowers. On the palate it is dense, well-balanced and mineral infused. This would go well with creme brulee, Christmas pudding with vanilla brandy sauce, and vanilla ice-cream with berries.
Text: Barbara Koh