This time of year gives a welcome opportunity to indulge in some festive fare accompanied by good wines, hopefully with enough time to thoroughly enjoy and appreciate them.
Fortunately for all of us at Rose-wine.com, Rosé is increasingly accepted as an “all year” wine, but even so, I’m often asked about its ability to pair with, and to complement, traditional Christmas Dinner and seasonal dishes. I’m delighted to say that Rosé can provide a super festive experience, not only does it look beautifully festive in the glass, it is stunningly good with most traditional meals.
Certainly, this it is a time of year when some red wines come in to their own, especially with the heavier meat dishes such as roast beef or peppered steaks, and I will always have a Chateauneuf, a Hermitage or a delicious Shiraz available to compliment these, along with a good Rivesaltes or an old Maury to go with desert. However, for everything else, such as turkey or chicken, light meats and many other dishes, for me, everything comes up Rosé!
I generally choose either a Sparkling Rosé or a fairly light Rosé as an aperitif to welcome guests on arrival. I’d suggest our Method Traditionnelle Sparkling Rosé and, either Cuvée Domaine de La Rouillère Rosé or Chateau D’Esclans Whispering Angel as non-sparkling alternatives. These could, of course, also accompany the starters and main course, but I’d be tempted to offer a different wine not just for variety, but because changing to a new wine often adds to the sense of occasion whilst allowing you to match exactly to the food.
All of our Rosés are good with food. Poultry and white meats work tremendously well with them. You and your guests will notice that it has the effect of refreshing the palate with every sip. In my experience this brings out every nuance of taste from poultry, white meats and sauces. It can make a wonderful meal even better and is also a fitting accompaniment to fish dishes such as a smoked salmon starter and to most vegetarian dishes, sharpening the taste. Between courses it can provide a welcome pause and helps prepare and refresh for each new tasting experience.
The wines I would suggest with the meal are Chateau Routas Wild Boar and the Vignerons de St Tropez Carte Noire as being great crowd pleasing all rounder’s. Those preferring a more French country food style find that our single grape Cinsault Rosé from Domaine de La Roque works well. If I'm entertaining friends with an in depth wine knowledge I'll have an odd bottle of Rouillère Grand Reserve, Domaines Ott or Garrus on hand to make it an extra special occasion.
Opinions are divided regarding desert wines, some finding the traditional ones a bit too sweet and syrupy. These certainly have their place, but Rosé can be useful here as well having such a clean fresh taste that is lovely with ices or sorbets. Where possible though, I would avoid apple dishes with most non desert wines.
Finally, I cannot speak too highly of our Methode Traditionnelle Sparkling Rosé. It is suitable for the New Year, for Weddings or for any celebration. In terms of value it would be difficult to match except perhaps by very good Champagne costing four or five times more. The superbly presented frosted bottle allows the colour to be appreciated and looks wonderful when serving.
Everyone's taste differs though, so if you are unsure, I would suggest trying one of our mixed cases to experience the variety in our wines and discover what will suit you best for any occasion. The mixed case includes the sparkling wine. Often, we see a pattern to orders where a mixed case is ordered and then, later on, orders follow for individual wines.
I hope this helps and very best wishes from us all for the festive season!