Our favourite Christmas recipes and the perfect wine pairing

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… Almost Christmas, so you’ve probably started thinking about what to put on the dinner table. But do you know what type of wine you should be serving with your beloved Xmas delicacies? For those who can use some extra ideas, we’d like to share a selection of festive, mouthwatering recipes, created by fellow foodies. The wine selection has come about, thanks to our exciting collab with the Wine & Spirit Eduction Trust (WSET).

WSET Educator Joseph Hallam shares his tips to perfect wine pairings for Christmas. And we are happy to feature a couple of creations of the best Belgian food bloggers, combined with some good wine advice. Thanks to Cookameal, Hap en Tap, Roeckiesworld, Manon Macaron, Kris Kookt and Eliens Cuisine for inspiring us with your recipes.

Seafood (lobster, oysters): always a success

WSET Educator Joseph Hallam: “It’s Christmas and we’re celebrating so many of us will pop open the Champagne for seafood. And with good reason: it refreshes your palate beautifully, and the saltiness of shellfish will balance the wine’s racy acidity. The delicate flavours of the dish and wine won’t overpower each other. If you want to do something a bit different, then explore the world of sparkling wines with a Franciacorta or fizz from New Zealand. And if you prefer more fruity flavours and no bubbles, an Albariño could be perfect – winemakers in Galicia know how to produce wines for world-class seafood!”

Want to prepare some oysters yourself? Learn more on the blog of Cookameal or Kris Kookt.

Source: Cookameal: Oester in Gin Marinade

Source: Kris Kookt: Gemarineerde oester met koriander, appel en sesam

Good old classics: Christmas Turkey or roast chicken

WSET Educator Joseph Hallam: “The great thing about Christmas turkey is so many of your favourite wines will work with this dish. The classic Burgundy grapes of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are great partners because their complex and delicate flavours won’t be overpowered by turkey. To explore something else, look for Reservas or Gran Reservas from Rioja with their red fruit and savoury gamey character, or the high-quality toasty oaked Chenin Blancs from South Africa.”

Want to put turkey or chicken on your Christmas menu? Learn more on the blog of Eliens Cuisine or Manon Macaron.

Source: Eliens Cuisine: Kerstkip

Source: Manon Macaron: Kalkoenrollade met pistache, cranberries, champagnesaus en geroosterde wintergroenten

Always room for dessert: Christmas cake / ‘bûche de Noël’

WSET Educator Joseph Hallam: Our recommendation for desserts: make sure the wine is at least as sweet as the food. Take it to the extreme and pick a Pedro Ximenez from Jerez. Dark and syrupy, it’s full of dried fruit, coffee, and toffee aromas. If you need something lighter at the end of the meal, then Moscato d’Asti is great fun with a bit less sugar, fresh fruit, and a gentle fizz.

Your turn to bring the Christmas dessert? Try the recipes of Roeckiesworld, Kris Kookt and Hap en Tap.

Source: Hap en Tap: Kerststronk met 3 soorten chocolade

Source: Roeckiesworld: Christmas comes early: 3 festive desserts

Source: Kris Kookt: De lekkerste frangipanetaart met peer

Bites like cheese and meat

WSET Educator Joseph Hallam: “These extra bites at Christmas time are one of the best festive indulgences, and it’s a great chance to share some special wines. Salty snacks will enhance the fruity flavours of wine and – if you’re sensitive to acidity – will make them seem a bit less tart. Wines made from the Riesling grape have a wonderful fresh fruit and floral quality, and their zippy acidity make them great partners for salty meats and cheeses. You’ll always see the name Riesling on the label so they’re easy to find, and for those who enjoy combining savoury and sweet, look out for the lower alcohol Rieslings from Germany. Otherwise there are wonderful dry Rieslings from all over the world.”

Cheese on the menu? Get inspired by Eliens Cuisine.

Source: Eliens Cuisine: De perfecte kaasplank

Game dishes (venison, pheasant,..)

WSET Educator Joseph Hallam: “These meats are full of powerful flavour and risk overwhelming more delicate wines. Time for us to turn to the most opulent wines, like Amarone from Valpolicella or old vine Zinfandels from California. The salty meats will keep these wines’ high tannins in check and bring out those rich concentrated fruit and spice aromas. If you’re on a budget or want something with less alcohol and more freshness then Ripasso wines, from Valpolicella as well, could be just right for you.”

Get ‘wild’ in the kitchen with the recipes of Hap en Tap and Cookameal.

Source: Hap en Tap: Hert met vlierbessen en pomme anne

Source: Cookameal: Hindegebraad met pompoenpuree en witloof

More about food & wine pairing

The Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) offers beginner to expert qualifications in wine, spirits and sake through course providers across the region. To find a course near you, visit wsetglobal.com

Read more about our introduction of the WSET coursesour review of the WSET course level 2, and our tips & tricks on food & wine pairing.

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