Christmas Wine Pairings Made Easy

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Starting Your Christmas Wine Selection

When choosing wines for Christmas dinner, consider the overall flavour profile of your meal. Are you serving rich, hearty dishes or lighter, herb-infused plates? The key is balance – your wine should complement, not overpower, the meal. Start with the main dish as your focal point, and select wines that enhance its flavours.


  1. Identify the Dominant Flavours: Is your main dish rich and savoury, or light and delicate? For instance, a roasted turkey might have subtle, earthy flavours, while a glazed ham could offer sweet and smoky notes.
  2. Match the Wine’s Intensity with the Dish: A heavy dish pairs well with a wine that has enough body and character to stand up to it. Conversely, a lighter dish would be overwhelmed by a full-bodied wine and pair better with something lighter.
  3. Consider the Preparation Method: The way the dish is cooked can also influence your wine choice. Grilled or smoked dishes can handle wines with a bit more smokiness or oak, while steamed or poached dishes might be better with something more delicate and fresh.

Christmas Wine and Meat Pairings


Turkey’s lean and delicate flavours are best enhanced by wines that balance their subtlety with their own character. Consider:

  • Pinot Noir: Bolney’s Pinot Noir, with its delicate red fruit notes and subtle earthiness, complements the turkey’s subtle flavours without overwhelming them.
  • Bacchus: Instead of Chardonnay, try Bolney’s Bacchus. This white wine, with its aromatic profile and hints of crisp, green notes, pairs wonderfully with turkey, especially when accompanied by herb-rich stuffing.



Ham, often rich and salty, benefits from wines that offer a counterbalance:

  • Lychgate Bacchus: The slight sweetness and refreshing acidity of Bolney’s Lychgate Bacchus cut through the saltiness of the ham while keeping the palate invigorated.
  • Lychgate Red: For a fruity red option, Bolney’s Lychgate Red, with its soft tannins and red fruit character, complements the smoky and sweet aspects of glazed ham.


Beef or Roast Lamb

Rich meats like beef or lamb need wines that can stand up to their robust flavours:

  • Pinot Noir: A full-bodied option like Bolney’s Estate Pinot Noir, with its deeper fruit flavours and earthy undertones, is excellent for red meats.
  • Lychgate Red: The complexity and fruitiness of this wine harmonise well with the subtle gaminess of lamb, making it a versatile choice for both meats.


Pairings for Duck and Game Birds

Duck and game birds offer unique flavours that can be beautifully complemented by certain wines:

  • Pinot Noir: This wine’s balance of fruit, acidity, and spice complements the richness of duck.
  • Lychgate Red: For game birds, Lychgate Red’s medium body and aromatic profile enhance the birds’ pronounced flavours without overpowering them.

Pairing Wines With Christmas Snacks

Christmas is also about the joy of snacking. Sparkling wines and Champagne are excellent choices for aperitifs and cheese boards, offering a refreshing palate cleanser between different flavours.


Sparkling Wines for Aperitifs

Begin your Christmas celebration with the elegance of sparkling wines:

  • Bolney Bubbly: Embrace the local Sussex flavours with Bolney Bubbly. Its bright acidity and fine bubbles are perfect for starting the festivities, offering a delightful opener with its floral and brioche notes combined with zesty citrus fruit.


Cheese Boards and Light Bites

A well-curated cheese board or selection of light bites is a Christmas staple. Here are wine pairings to enhance these delights:

  • Crisp White Wines: Bolney’s Pinot Gris, with its delicate blend of pear, apricot, and a hint of orange blossom, complements creamy cheeses and light canapés beautifully.
  • Fruity Red Wines: Bolney’s Lychgate Red, a rich and complex wine with flavours of ripe stone fruits and spice, offers a fruit-forward palate that pairs beautifully with a variety of cheeses and cold cuts.


Savoury Snacks

For savoury snacks like pigs in blankets or mini quiches:

  • Rosé Wines: Bolney’s Lychgate Rosé, with its expressive summer fruit pudding flavours and notes of raspberries and pomegranate, can complement the richness of savoury snacks.
  • Aromatic Whites: Bolney’s Pinot Gris, again, works well with spiced and herbed snacks, enhancing their flavours without overpowering


Sweet Treats

Christmas is also a time for sweet indulgences:

  • Dessert Wines: Bolney’s Cuvée Noir, a unique, traditional method, sweet sparkling red wine, can be a delightful pairing with Christmas puddings or mince pies, offering aromas of red fruits and a hint of sweet spice on the finish.
  • Rich Reds: Our Cuvée Noir or Lychgate Red can offer a warming, richer pairing for chocolate-based treats or fruitcakes, providing a unique English twist on classic pairings

Vegetarian Christmas Food and Wine Pairings

Light and Fresh Dishes

For dishes that are light and fresh, such as salads or vegetable tarts, consider:

  • Bacchus: Bolney’s Bacchus, with its zesty acidity and citrus notes, is perfect for enhancing the freshness of green vegetables.
  • Bolney Rosé: A dry and crisp Rosé from Bolney can pair nicely with light vegetarian starters, adding a touch of elegance.


Hearty and Earthy Dishes

Heavier vegetarian dishes like mushroom risotto or lentil loaf require wines that can match their depth:

  • Lychgate Red: A lighter option like Lychgate Red from Bolney can offer a balance of fruitiness and earthiness, ideal for mushroom-based dishes.
  • Pinot Gris: This rich white wine complements creamy sauces or rich cheese elements in vegetarian dishes.


Spiced and Flavourful Dishes

For dishes with more robust flavours or spices, such as curries or spiced roast vegetables:

  • Bolney Estate Pinot Gris: This aromatic white wine can complement spices in a dish like curry, offering a harmonious pairing.
  • Cuvée Noir: This unique, sweet sparkling red wine with aromas of red fruits and a hint of sweet spice on the finish pairs well with dishes that have sweet and spicy elements.


Nut Roasts and Grains

Nut roasts and grain-based dishes pair well with wines that offer both structure and fruitiness:

  • Pinot Gris: Its structured profile complements the richness of nuts and grains.
  • Lychgate Red: Its bright fruit and moderate acidity bring out the flavours in these dishes.

Discover the Ideal Wine for Festive Feasts at Bolney Wine Estate

While we have highlighted some classic combinations, the beauty of wine pairing lies in the discovery of that perfect match – one that resonates with your personal taste and the unique nuances of your meal.

We invite you to delve into the exquisite selection of wines at Bolney Wine Estate. Whether you seek a light and crisp white to accompany your starters, a rich and robust red for the main course, or a sparkling toast to conclude your feast, our collection offers a diverse range to suit every palate and dish.

Take a moment to browse our selection and find that special bottle, or perhaps a few, that will make your Christmas dinner a memorable celebration.