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Best wines to pair with your Christmas dinner, from Pinot Noir to Riesling

Pair your Christmas dinner perfectly with a range of different wines. (Getty)
Pair your Christmas dinner perfectly with a range of different wines. (Getty)

Gifts, chocolate and novelty decorations aside, if there's one thing come Christmas time that requires a little more thinking on our part, it's what wine to pair with our turkey dinner (arguably one of the most important elements of Christmas Day). From crisp bottles of white to plump reds and a fortified number or two, we've tracked down the most complementary bottles of wine you can pick up now from Waitrose ready for Christmas, with prices ranging from as little as £9 to £30.

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It's hard to go wrong with a glass of fizz at Christmas, and when it comes to canapés, Prosecco is the obvious choice.

Got a range of bite-sized salty nibbles lined up? Reach for an English Sparkling variation, this pairing will no-doubt get your guests appetite going.

If your canapés are drizzled in honey, sweet fruit makes an appearance or anything like BBQ sauce is involved, try something like a Gewürztraminer or Riesling. Typically, if your food contains sugar, it's a good idea to opt for a wine that's a little sweeter, too. This is because any sweetness in a dish will make a drier wine seem less fruity, a lot more acidic and less pleasant to drink.

Described as the "King of Proseccos" by one shopper, this pick from Waitrose has the perfect balance of aromatic flavours with a fruity, apple intensity and soft finish. 

£8 at Waitrose

Creamy and brioche-like on the nose, with flavours of citrus, peach and honey. 

£25 at Waitrose


Shellfish is a popular choice of starter during the festive season. For anything involving prawns, scallops, mussels or lobster, a crisp bottle of Viognier would go perfectly as the ripe stone fruit flavours bring out the suggested sweetness from the shellfish, making for a delicious serve.

There's also the option of a Chablis — one that's preferably lighty oaked to balance the food's smokiness.

A crisp and refreshing white with rich flavours of peach and notes of orange blossom. One shopper even said, "My wife and I are so pleased with this we are ordering in bulk."

£10 at Waitrose

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Mains: Turkey

Pinot Noir pairs perfectly with turkey. Usually pale to medium in colour, light to medium bodied and bursting with red fruit flavours (strawberry, raspberry, red cherry), it makes a great match for a heaving portion of roast turkey as it doesn't interfere with the meats flavour, complementing it rather than overpowering it.

For something a little different, a Californian Zinfandel is delicious. Typically beaming with aromas of dark fruits like blackberry and plum, along with touches of oak, it's an ideal match for the turkey's rich flavouring.

If it's a bottle of white you're after, Chardonnay is a safe bet. Fuller in body and well-rounded in flavour, it pairs seamlessly with turkey.

On the pricier side, this plump bottle of Pinot Noir washes down very easily, and features layers of ripe black fruit, with earthy notes and a hint of spice. One shopper even said, "I’m not a Pinot Noir fan but I was blown over by this delectable wine."

£29 at Waitrose

Not overly oaky and with just the right amount of ripe stone fruit, this bottle is both zesty and creamy. 

£13 at Waitrose

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Mains: Gammon

Gammon is a popular choice over Christmas, and goes great with a young, juicy, fruity wine like Grenache. Fruit-forward, expect flavours of strawberry, red plum and red cherry, complete with some herby spiced notes, too.

Described by one shopper as "super smooth and not as heavy as other variants", this characterful red is ripe with red fruit flavours with an added touch of spice for a savoury layer that pairs well with gammon. 

£28 at Waitrose

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For dessert, it's better to reach for something that's equally as sweet, if not sweeter. Otherwise your pudding might end up tasting a little flat, and your wine could taste unpleasantly bitter and acidic. A charming glass of Sauternes would go down a treat, with its pronounced honeyed flavours, notes of stone fruit, and nuances of dried fruit and nuts.

Made from a blend of Sémillon and Sauvignon Blanc, this wine is great served with your favourites of sticky toffee pudding, apple crumble and more. 

£18 at Waitrose

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Last but not least, the classic cheeseboard — perfect with a glass of Tawny Port. Rich and mellow in flavour, it pairs brilliantly with a range of cheeses, specifically picks like Cheddar or Blue Cheese. Warm and fruity, how else would you want to end your Christmas dinner?

Expect flavours of ripe figs, raisins butterscotch and toasted nuts upon sipping this bottle of Tawny Port. Simple, fruity, and low in tannins. Great with Christmas pudding, too. 

£13 at Waitrose

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Always drink responsibly. Visit Drink Aware for advice.