The Christmas holidays are the perfect time to explore the award-winning range of Beringer wines, so check out our guide to some of the illustrious Californian winery’s most appealing seasonal pairings.
A longside Beringer’s dedication to producing world-class Californian wines sits a passion for gastronomic exploration, understanding and excellence. And perhaps at no other time throughout the year is this commitment more important and visible than when pairing wines for Christmas and New Year’s events, parties and celebrations.
It’s always a good idea to keep the appetisers and nibbles light throughout the Christmas holidays to leave plenty of space for the indulgent feast that’s sure to follow. So why not set the festive scene by offering guests smoked salmon and creamed cheese and a glass of Founders Estate Chardonnay as they arrive? It’s a lightly oaked wine with the freshness and clean, crisp acidity that perfectly balance the oiliness of this classic combination.
For an extravagant alternative pass around bite-sized quenelle of crème fraiche topped with Sturia caviar served atop a blini with either the same chardonnay or light and fruity champagne.
Once seated, impress your guests with a selection of classic finger foods like liver pâté on toast fingers or baked camembert with bacon-wrapped breadsticks. This pair of succulent dishes is rich in fat so you need a wine with good acidity. Serve an oaked young Founders Estate Sauvignon Blanc, or for something different try the Beringer Waymaker, a light and approachable red with bright berry fruits, great acidity and fresh flavours.
Paired with Beringer Founders Estate Pinot Noir, traditional roast turkey is the star of any dinner party. A classic, 100% pinot noir with inviting fruit with bright flavours of cherry, currant and spicy cinnamon, it is approachable and yet sophisticated.
For roast goose or beef pour a glass or two of Beringer’s Founders Estate Merlot, a spectacular wine with alluring and lush flavours of blueberry, blackberry and plum complimented by dark chocolate and gentle spices. The generous fruit and bright acidity make this perfect for the fatty slices of goose and rich seasonal accompaniments.
For the ultimate centrepiece many turn to honey-glazed roast ham. To get the best out of this succulent dish you need to pair it with something that really cuts through the fatty sweetness of the meat and glaze, but which for balance has good fruit and a lingering taste. Try the Beringer Exclusive Zinfandel, a wine with notes of raspberry, blackberry, and spice tones unique to the Red Hills Lake County or with a little more spice and body, Beringer’s Founders Estate Merlot.
From Christmas puddings to mince pies and classic English trifle, seasonal desserts are rich and sweet and are traditionally served with tawny port, liqueurs and sweet dessert wines like the extremely rare Beringer Nightingale, a sweet blend of Semillon and sauvignon blanc grapes or the readily available Beringer Moscato from the Main & Vine collection.
To finish light up the cheese selection with Beringer’s superb 2016 Founders Estate Cabernet Sauvignon. With soft and silky tannins, this wine is open and approachable with dark fruit aromas and flavours alongside aromas of violets, liquorice and oak spice. Choose a selection of hard cheeses like cheddar or semi-hard cheese like gruyère or gouda served with nuts and a mild spiced apricot jam. If you prefer to end with the Beringer Chardonnay chose the creamy goat’s milk Garrotxa, camembert, Shropshire blue, a mature cheddar or tête de moine.