How to match your Christmas menu with wine

“When you pair the right wine with your menu, it really heightens the flavours of both the food and the wine itself,” explains Christine Ricketts, Cellar Director at Australia’s leading direct to consumer wine retailer Cellarmasters. Here, Christine shares her top tips for getting your festive flavours right.

  • Summer 2019
  • Lifestyle

​Lamb & Cabernet Sauvignon

The mint and herb flavours of a Cabernet Sauvignon, particularly from the Limestone Coast region in South Australia, make the red wine the ultimate pairing with lamb—especially if you’re serving the meat with a traditional mint sauce. 

Wine to try: Tolley Regional Selection Padthaway Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

Price: from $12.49 per bottle

Ham & Sauvignon Blanc

The traditional Christmas ham tends to be a mix of salty and sweet flavours, and possibly some heat if English Mustard is used. A Sauvignon Blanc is the ultimate pairing, as the acid of the wine will offset the saltiness in the meat. Sauvignon Blanc’s fruit-driven flavours will also enhance the meat’s sweetness whilst the medium alcohol of this wine style balances the heat from the mustard. 

Wine to try: Ribbon Hills Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2017

Price: From $12.99 per bottle

Sparkling Shiraz & Turkey

Sparkling red wine is one of the most unique sparkling styles in the world, originally a French invention but now championed by Australian winemakers. A sparkling Barossa Shiraz with rich, ripe fruit flavours enhances the saltiness of the turkey while the sweetness of the cranberry sauce complements the wine’s fruitiness.

Wine to try: Stonyfell Selection Shiraz Cuvee NV

Price: From $8.25 per bottle

Seafood & Riesling or Pinot Gris

If you are serving a meaty fish such as salmon, pair it with Pinot Gris, as the wine’s acidity balances the oily richness of the fish. When it comes to prawns or calamari, you can’t go wrong with a crisp, Australian Riesling. The wine’s zingy and crisp citrus flavours will balance the delicate meat. 

Wine to try: Dorrien Estate Bin 4 Riesling 201

Price: From $10.49 per bottle

Roast pork & Pinot Noir

Salty, flavourful roast pork has its perfect match in Pinot Noir, as the delicate red wine with its characteristically mushroomy, dark berry and smoky flavours elevate the essences of the meat. 

Wine to try: Yarra View Yarra Valley Pinot Noir 2015

Price: From $14.99 per bottle

Barbecue & Rose

Barbecued meats, including sausages, are best enjoyed with a dry Rosé, as the acidity will balance the meaty, fatty flavours. If you prefer a red wine, a medium bodied Merlot is the ultimate choice, as the flavour won’t be too overpowering. 

Wine to try: Krondorf Growers Barossa Grenache Rosé 2017

Price: From $14.99 per bottle

Prosecco & Cheese

Prosecco is, of course, fabulous to enjoy on its own throughout the silly season, but is the perfect wine to enjoy with a cheese platter. The carbonation helps break down the coating of butterfat that cheese leaves on the palate, reducing clashes and leaving a clean taste in the mouth. 

Wine to try: Wordsmith Bed of Roses Alpine Valley and King Valley Prosecco NV. 

Price: From $14.08 per bottle

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Our expert picks three tipples that pair perfectly with Pavlova.

Who doesn’t love a Pavlova? With its crisp meringue, rich cream and summery flavours of mango, berries, cherries and a squeeze of passionfruit, it’s the ultimate dessert to enjoy on a warm day. Here, Cellarmasters cellar director Christine Ricketts shares her top picks to pair with a pav.

Sauvignon Blanc 

The tropical flavours of a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc pair beautifully with the fruits and berries in a Pavlova, while the acidity of the wine cuts through the cream and meringue. Perfection! 

Try: Ribbon Hills Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2018


Moscato is an Italian style sweet, frizzante (which means lightly sparkling) style wine, made from the Muscat Blanc grape. Known for its high aromatics and sweetness, it’s still light enough not to overpower the Pavlova. 

Try: Zilzie Wines Gypsy Soul Moscato 2018


If you find Moscato too sweet, try Gewürztraminer. This aromatic white wine is often referred to as the adult version of a Moscato—not as sweet and with more complex tropical fruit and floral aromas. The wine’s fruit forward aromas and flavours balanced with its crisp acidity make it the perfect complement to Pavlova