Published on: December 24, 2011 – 02:17
By Mini Ribeiro
Christmas lunch promises to be an elaborate affair with a delicious spread. And wines almost always are an intrinsic part of such an occasion. So the right wines must complement the meal if you want to do justice to both.
Red and white, you may have a mix of both, but remember to team it with the correct meats or seafood. Only then the palate is ready to be delighted even more
Surely most of us are set to enjoy your Christmas lunch with some great wines today. I too have selected my wines already. What is an elaborate Christmas family lunch without the right kind of wines to go along? Food and wine get along famously as they complement and contrast each other. We Goans love our Port wines and I am no exception, but trust me, try some other wines this afternoon and your Christmas will be memorable.
Since roast turkey is must on every Christmas lunch menu, try a Bordeaux red. It goes well with turkey, which is a delicate meat. This red, maybe powerful but does not overshadow the flavour of Turkey. Even Pinot Noir is a good choice. Many feel a light red such as Zinfandel too would work well with Turkey. But I think this dark and intense, fruity Zinfandel is best enjoyed with mince pies. Some relish this with dark chocolate too. To each his own I guess.
If you are eating roast beef, lamb or duck, include the powerful Cabernet Sauvignon, as it brings out the taste of these. Delicately flavoured wines like Italian whites and Muscadet, pair well with shellfish and seafood. A useful tip, as most Goans may want to eat seafood today apart from sorpotel of course. Gobelsburger Riesling Urgestein, with its mineral, floral, fruity aromas, coupled with intense acidity on the palate, will complement the sweet preparations, such as the braised apple, that accompany pork chops. If you’re into continental fare, opt for a Gobelsburger Zweigelt. This wine should be sipped with a Cannelloni of Trio mushroom with saffron sauce and asparagus nibs, tomato confit. The elegance of this wine with its dense flavour of cherries and spices combines perfectly with the mushroom cannelloni and Zweigelt being lighter, the tomato confit’s sweetness will get enhanced, offering a contrast to the palate.
Moët and Chandon Rosé Impérial, with the rich, harmonious diversity of three grape varietals, is distinguished by its radiant colour and flamboyant flavour. If an Indian meal is what you are planning to enjoy today, then make sure you have this. Tandoori cuisine using red meat or meaty fish can nicely pair with this wine. Also Braised Lamb Leg, Goan Pork and Liver, Kerala lamb curry, lamb kebabs, Hyderabadi mutton biryani/nizami pulao and spicy meatballs can be relished with this.
Finish your meal with a Chenin Blanc or a Schloss Gobelsburg Eiswein as you bite into the sinful Christmas pudding. There couldn’t be a better way to celebrate Christmas. And if you’re not celebrating Christmas at home but going to a hotel for lunch. Well then too, the choices are many.
All it takes is a little initiation or knowledge to enter the seemingly complex world of wines. It’s almost like getting into any other acquired taste, like music. So take the plunge today on Christmas with your new-found interest and you will soon be a connoisseur yourself.
(Writer is a food Columnist)