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Wine Pairings for Christmas Dinner


Sip one of these Canadian wines this holiday season

When deciding on a wine for turkey dinner, remember it’s not about matching wine to the bird, but matching it to the fixings. The fixings tend to be rich and flavourful, which means they benefit from wine with a little bit of acidity. Feel free to choose white wines with some sweetness for guests who only very occasionally drink wine. If you’re planning to serve red wine, it’s important to select one that isn’t heavy or tannic—a big cabernet or red blend will most likely overwhelm the food, so choose a lighter one like pinot noir or gamay.

Canada’s home-grown wines tend to be a perfect fit for the holidays, with the right amount of acidity and the right sort of flavours for your table. Here are six wines to serve.

Before the Meal

Henry of Pelham Cuvee Catharine Rosé Brut

As one of my favourite Canadian sparkling wines, rosé from Henry of Pelham restores the mind and awakens the palate with brioche aromas and subtle berry fruits. Enjoy with light appetizers, fresh fruit, chocolate or even on its own.

Gray Monk Chardonnay Unwooded

I’m continually impressed by the versatility of this unoaked chardonnay. Clean fruits, no buttery oakiness, and a nice bit of acidity help it shine with anything from poultry to a wide range of appetizers such as seafood or cheese.

During the Meal

JoieFarm A Noble Blend

An all-around delicious (if slightly sweet) white from the Naramata Bench in the Okanagan Valley. Based around gewürztraminer and Riesling, this tasty wine is bright and tropical, with spice and lychee characters.

Norman Hardie County Pinot Noir (Unfiltered)

An incredible pinot from Prince Edward County, this is one of the wines you want on your dinner table. Unfiltered wines may have a “cloudy” appearance, but they retain all sorts of extra layers of flavour, too. Ripe raspberry and black cherries dominate the wine but still allow mild herbal and spice notes to shine through.

After the Meal

Benjamin Bridge Brut Reserve

Unwind after the meal with another sparkling wine—this one from Nova Scotia. Sparkling wine is perfect with virtually any dish, but there is also something perfect about relaxing after the big dinner with a glass of sparkling wine. Enjoy the toasty notes with baked apple and a flinty finish.

Clos du Soleil Saturn Late Harvest

There’s nothing wrong with having a sweet tooth over the holidays. Personally, I love the balance of sweetness and acidity in late harvest wines, and the bright, citric flavours in this sauvignon blanc-based wine is perfect with desserts from shortbread to lemon pie.


By Tom Firth, West Jet Magazine