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How to plan the perfect Christmas dinner and drinks menu

Christmas is a time to celebrate with family and friends, and to serve a glass of something special. From that first sip of champagne with festive nibbles to the best wine for Christmas dinner, plan the perfect menu with Clos19.

Pop the champagne!

Start with a classic pairing of oysters and champagne – Krug is exceptional with shellfish, and Krug Grand Cuvée 167ème Édition goes particularly well with the umami of the oysters. Blinis are always popular, so serve manuka smoked salmon and caviar canapés alongside a glass of Moët & Chandon Impérial Brut. If you’re going low-key with your nibbles, try these homemade pineapple, mango and beetroot crisps with a glass of Ruinart Rosé – a magnum will ensure you don’t run out.

Choosing the best wine for Christmas dinner

When choosing a Christmas dinner wine pairing, consider what you’ll serve for the main course. Will it be white or red meat? Or vegetarian? Chicken, turkey, pork and most nut roasts suit a white wine – try Cloudy Bay Te Koko 2016 or Cloudy Bay Chardonnay 2019 and keep it chilled at the centre of the table. If you’d rather serve a Christmas red wine with white meat, pick an aromatic, fruit-forward red with flavours of winter berries such as Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir 2019. Beef, roast ham and vegetarian mushroom wellingtons fair better with a robust red wine such as Terrazas de los Andes Grand Cabernet Sauvignon 2017. Decant an hour before serving.

Which wine to serve with dessert

Unless it’s as sweet as your dessert it’s best to avoid serving wine with Christmas pudding, trifle or fruit cake, as sugar in food makes wine taste bitter. Intensely rich and sweet, but also fresh, racy and with a long finish, Château d’Yquem 2011 is a dessert wine to save for festive celebrations.

Drinks to serve with your cheese board

It’s Christmas Day, so of course there’s a cheese board. While red wine and cheese is a classic pairing, why not serve whisky or cognac instead? Perfect as after-dinner drinks, Glenmorangie, Ardbeg and Hennessy offer fabulous whisky and cognac suggestions for all types of cheese.

Don’t forget the table presents!

Finally, why not skip the crackers and replace them with a table gift for each guest? These limited-edition Campbell Rey glass straws certainly beat a throwaway keyring.