Pacific Rim
December 7, 2021 | wine | Pacific Rim

11 Best Christmas Wine Pairings

The holidays are almost here!  During the holiday season, many people are going to be drinking wine, celebrating, and eating all types of foods. In order to maximize the flavors of the wine and enjoy the food to the fullest, it is important to ensure that the beverage pairs well with the food. 

christmas wine

What wine with Christmas dinner should you serve? What’s the best red wine for Christmas dinner?  Here are some tips for wine and food pairings for the holiday season.

Seared or smoked salmon pairs with several medium-to-full-bodied wines (both red and white) including Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, and White Rioja.

Oysters are best paired with white wines, like Champagne, Sauvignon Blanc, Fino Sherry, and Chardonnay. Red wines make the oysters taste pungent and acidic.

Roasted/barbecued chicken goes well with both red and white wines, including Viognier, White Burgundy, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Spanish Garnacha, and Champagne. The key is to select a wine with a touch of sweetness to balance the spices in the chicken.

Seafood can pair with both red and white wines, including Riesling, Chablis, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, and Chenin Blanc. In general, fish goes better with white wines. Pinot Noir is perhaps the best red wine for seafood.

Turkey pairs well with both red and white wines, including Pinot noir, Riesling, Sangiovese, Zinfandel, Champagne, and Beaujolais. Overall, you will not go wrong with Pinot Noir.

Ham goes best with Grenache, Merlot, Chardonnay, Riesling, and Zinfandel. If the ham has too much sweet glazing, you need to pick a dry wine to balance out the flavors.

Duck has a lot of fat and, therefore, you need to choose an acidic red wine to cut through the dripping oily glaze. Reds that go well with duck include Pinot Noir, Tempranillo, Gamay, Merlot, Beaujolais, and Tuscan reds.

Roast beef is very wine-friendly; great wines that will make the roast beef melt in your mouth include Cabernet Sauvignon, Rioja, Merlot, Shiraz, Chenin Blanc, and most Rhone reds.

Prime rib pairs better with red wines than white wines. Hence, you should select Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot, Rhone red, Zinfandel, etc.

Christmas pudding or Christmas fruit cakes go best with wines that have high alcohol by volume (ABV) content. Traditionally, brandy and rum have been used but you can also serve it with Sherry, Moscato, or Ruby Port.

Almost everyone will eat chocolates during the holiday season, but which wines enhance the taste best? In general, red wine does not go well with most chocolates unless you’re talking about dark chocolate.

White chocolate pairs best with Riesling and Moscato

Dark chocolate pairs best with Pinot Noir, Merlot, and Zinfandel.


It is not realistic to buy every type of wine with Christmas dinner so that it pairs with the food that you will be eating during the holiday season. What’s the best red wine for Christmas? 

If money is no object, then go ahead, buy them all, but if money is limited, then the two wine choices that will pair with most foods include Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Both these wines are inexpensive, easy to consume, and are preferred by the majority of wine drinkers. 

For answers to all your holiday questions, call Pacific Rim & Company at 1-503-863-5454 and speak to a member of their knowledgeable staff.


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