Christmas Wine Pairing

So, you have your grilled holiday dinner planned and all you need are your Christmas menu wine pairings. During the holidays, the wine should be plenty so the guests feel merry. But wine isn’t only for a feel-good time, it is also the perfect complement of each dinner dish flavor. This is your guide to easily choosing your Christmas menu wine pairings for every dish from appetizers to desserts. And better yet, chose some wonderful German and Austrian wines that Otto and the Wilde Grilling Team are very familiar with.

Christmas Menu Wine Pairings with appetizers

Your guests will be amazed with your Christmas dinner, undoubtably. But, to kick things off right, serve them a nice little treat paired with wine. Whet their appetites with the perfect appetizer dish. And for any wine pairing, Otto’s homemade dry-aged beef is the perfect finger food — a way to surely impress your guests. Prepare early, as dry-aged beef needs some time before it can be served — check out Otto’s guide for dry-aging beef at home.

Lobster tails + Sekt

Start your holiday menu right! With grilled lobster tails, you can’t make a better decision. Lobster from the grill topped with a garlic butter sauce starts any dinner party with a pleasant surprise. This delicious dish only deserves the best pairing and a dry yet fruity sparkling wine (or Sekt trocken) will only do. If you really want to impress your guests, a sparkling rose not only looks attractive in a glass flute but tastes just as prosperous. Serve them some succulent lobster tails with the celebratory wine to match.

Lamb fillet + Merlot

Not your typical cut of meat, lamb fillet, especially mouflon lamb, brings a unique flavor to whet the appetites of your guests. A classic, rich, full-bodied and fruity yet peppery wine like Merlot cuts through the identifiable gamey flavors of lamb and bring out its juicy tenderness. The ideal wine for making a bordelaise red-wine sauce, instead of serving a saucy starter, serve this tasty lamb fillet recipe hot off the grill with a nicely paired glass of Merlot. And, yes, Germany does grow Merlot – quite tasty, in fact.

 

grilling fennel on the Otto Grill

Festive sides or second courses paired with wine

Whether you will be plating your Christmas dinner for your guests or letting everyone serve themselves, a perfect wine pairing can bring out the hidden flavors of terroir in the food and the wine.

Fresh holiday salad with pomegranates and toasted pine nuts + Sylvaner

With a fresh holiday salad, both toasty and sweet, a white wine with a well-rounded body, not too sweet and not too tart, will meld the flavors together and cut through any vinaigrette dressing for a balanced finish upon the palate. That is why a German Sylvaner, quite like a French Alsace, will balance the many flavors of this fresh holiday mixed salad with pomegranates and toasted pine nuts.

Grilled fennel and pumpkin mash + Riesling

The earthy spiced flavors of fennel are caramelized with a bit of sweet glaze from being grilled – the Maillard reaction. And, served with a woody pumpkin mash, a beautiful and dry Pflaz Riesling helps to bring out the sweet and herbaceous flavors of this grilled fennel and pumpkin mash dish.

Chanterelles and potato dumplings + Spätburgunder

A holiday meal is always a bit more special with a side of mushrooms, and especially so with the favored and tender chanterelle mushrooms. Potato dumplings are always an easy way to ensure no one leaves hungry at your table, and a wonderous German wine to pair with the both of them is a regional Spätburgunder, a lighter yet fruity red wine full of red berry flavors and currants. This wine tastes just like the holidays and is just right for chanterelles and potato dumplings.

chateaubriand steak for holiday dinner and wine
Juicy chateaubriand steak filet

Christmas dinner wine pairings

Drum roll please…..The main meal – this is what everyone has been waiting for! Keep them impressed with a wonderful bouquet of reds and whites with your carefully thought out Christmas menu wine pairings. These German and Austrian wine picks are quitiscentially festive embodying holiday spices and thirst-quenching flavors.

Chateaubriand filet steaks + Beaujolais/ Zweigelt

Introducing a fancy French steak to the table? Bring along the perfectly paired wine to complement the tender flavors of steak. Typically, the French might like to have a newly released Beaujolais, bottled just in November, for its unparalleled softness. The Austrian favorite Zweigelt is also easy-drinking but offers a bit more of a tannin structure which is perfect for anything off the grill. It has lovely violets and baking spices in its punch-like profile and complements such a desired chateaubriand steak dish.

Seared Salmon + Grüner Vetliner

Having fish this year? A delicious seared salmon steak will water the mouths of any guest. Especially with the right Grüner Vetliner. This beautiful wine is full of tart apples, fennel spice and tropical fruits. With a grilled salmon steak recipe, the juicy tender meat is met with the slightly sweet and earthy flavors of this beloved wine.

Christmas goose & Red Cabbage + Blaufränkisch

If you’ve chosen the traditional Christmas goose and red cabbage, you might want to go for the traditional Christmas red. A big and complex Austrian/ German wine, the Blaufränkish, has a flavor of dark fruits such as cherry and currant as well as woody to pronounce a nice acidity and prominent tannins. A beautiful mouth-coating with the sweetness of red cabbage and the crispy tenderness of a Christmas goose leg recipe.


Chocolate Lava Cake: half-baked grilled chocolate cake

Holiday desserts and German wine

The finale of the dinner – the crème a la crème – the dessert. This is an important part of the holiday menu, this is the round-up of the whole night where the guests expect sweetness and satisfaction. Two of our favorite desserts from the grill are nicely paired with two well-loved German wines, one red and one white, to complete your Christmas menu wine pairings.

Xmas crème brûlée + Gewürztraminer

This dessert takes a creamy curd and sweetens it with the grilled caramelized sugar on top. With all the Christmas spices, it truly embodies the holiday. What other wine should be paired than a light but spicy white wine like Gewürztraminer. With a nose of lychee and under tones of ginger and rose, this is a bouquet beautifully light flavors with low acidity that creates a symphony to pair well with a Christmas spiced crème brûlée.

Chocolate lava cake + Pinot Noir

This chocolate treat is rich, dark and velvety which can only call for a complementary wine that cuts through the richness and finishes even more delightfully. A Pinot Noir offers a pleasant mouth feel – a wine that coats your taste buds with bright fruits and a tiny undertone of tobacco. After washing down this dessert with a splash of pinot noir, wait, and enjoy the dark chocolate recall as if you took a second bite of this ooey gooey chocolate lava cake.

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