12 drinks of Christmas
12 drinks of Christmas

The 12 Drinks of Christmas

Whether you’re looking for the perfect fizz to get 25 December off to the best start, or a bottle of something special to serve with the turkey, our experts share their personal recommendations for the big day

OUR EXPERTS

Image of Joanna Simon

Joanna Simon

Award-winning wine writer and editor of Waitrose Drinks magazine

 

Image of Pierpaolo Petrassi MW

Pierpaolo Petrassi MW

Partner and head of drinks buying 

 

Image of Pierpaolo Petrassi MW

BECKY Hull MW

Partner and wine buyer 

 


Image of Philip schofield

Victoria Mason

Partner and wine buyer 

 

Image of Jamie Matthewson

Jamie Matthewson

Partner and buying manager for wines

 

Festival of flavour

Christmas morning

Pol Roger Brut Réserve NV

Pol Roger Brut Réserve NV

Pierpaolo: This fizz from the historic Champagne house spends at least three years in its cellar beneath Epernay. Beautifully balanced, in a rich, full style, it is ideal for very special occasions.

 

Canapés & starters

Starters
Starters
Starters
Image of Nicolas Feuillatte Blanc de Blancs
Image of Nicolas Feuillatte Blanc de Blancs

Champagne

Nicolas Feuillatte Blanc de Blancs 2014

Joanna: Kicking off the festive meal with Champagne takes some beating. With smoked salmon, and canapés generally, the style that works best is Blanc de Blancs (pure Chardonnay). And all the more so if, like this fruity, fine-textured patisserie-edged fizz, it has extra age.

 

Prince Alexandre Crémant de Loire
Prince Alexandre Crémant de Loire

Sparkling Wine

Prince Alexandre Crémant de Loire

Becky: More famous for its Sauvignon Blanc, the Loire Valley is actually the second-largest producer of sparkling wine in France after Champagne. Crémants from this area, such as this Chenin Blanc blend, are crisp and delicately fruity, making a lovely aperitif.

 

Erdinger Weissbräu Alkohol Frei
Erdinger Weissbräu Alkohol Frei

ALCOHOL-FREE BEER

Erdinger Weissbräu Alkohol Frei

Joanna: The refreshment factor and spectrum of flavours in wheat beers and Czech and German pilsners make them a great match for smoked salmon. And the best non-alcoholic versions have the body to take on the mantle just as confidently.

 

mAIN COURSE

Turkey
Turkey
Turkey
No.1 Foundation Cederberg Chenin Blanc
No.1 Foundation Cederberg Chenin Blanc

turkey

No.1 Foundation Cederberg Chenin Blanc

Victoria: A beautiful Chenin Blanc, which is produced exclusively for Waitrose & Partners. Hints of melon, grapefruit and juicy white peach combine superbly to create a bright, elegant wine that matches well with roast poultry.

 

Torres Celeste Crianza Ribera del Duero
Torres Celeste Crianza Ribera del Duero

TURKEY / TRIMMINGS

Torres Celeste Crianza Ribera del Duero

Joanna: Avoid tannic heavyweights and the lightweights that would be overwhelmed by the festoon of flavours, and there’s an array of friendly reds for turkey, from Argentine Malbec to Châteauneuf-du-Pape to this sandalwood-scented, plummy, oak-matured silky Tempranillo.

 

Kilikanoon Grenache Shiraz Mataro
Kilikanoon Grenache Shiraz Mataro

meat-free DISHES

Kilikanoon Grenache Shiraz Mataro

Pierpaolo: If you are cooking meat-free fare, this red is a brilliant match for full-flavoured dishes such as this nutty vegan pithivier or this indulgent mushroom and chestnut Wellington. It offers ripe berry flavours and a little smoke.

 

"Trying different wines that have much in common with ones you already love may well lead to new favourites for years to come."

Joanna Simon

Dessert

Desserts
Desserts
Desserts
Torres Floralis Moscatel Oro
Torres Floralis Moscatel Oro

Torres Floralis Moscatel Oro

Joanna: With its streak of orange zest, this floral-perfumed Muscat of Alexandria will counterbalance a magisterial Christmas pudding (or mince pies).

 

Image of Disznoko Tokaji Aszu
Image of Disznoko Tokaji Aszu

Disznoko Tokaji Aszu 5 Puttonyos

Jamie: Hungary’s legendary wines are very sweet and concentrated but cut by racy acidity which gives Tokaji Aszu its signature freshness. This is versatile enough to drink with fruit- or chocolate-based puddings, including this Bûche de Noël.

 

Cheese

Cheese
Cheese
Cheese
Galipette Brut Cider France
Galipette Brut Cider France

Galipette Brut Cider

Joanna: Apple-based drinks are good with cheese. They’re often made in the same regions – Camembert and cider in Normandy, Cheddar and cider in Somerset. This sparkling, dry Breton cider with bittersweet apple flavours and hints of lime and spice will work well with most cheeses. 

 

Jansz Premium Cuvée NV
No.1 Sauternes Château Suduiraut

Jansz Premium Cuvée NV

Joanna: We don’t always think of sparkling with cheese, but the fizz can cut the richness and refresh the palate. Made from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, this Tasmanian sparkling wine is creamy, nutty and crisp. A perfect accompaniment for the closing stages of your festive feast.

 

Leftovers

Toast

Toast Pale Ale

Pierpaolo: A sustainable choice, this ale is brewed using surplus fresh bread and British hops, with all profits going to charities including anti-food-waste organisation Feedback. Balancing bitter and rich flavours, it pairs well with many foods and can cope with spicy fare such as this turkey ramen.

View more turkey leftover recipes

"Keep some interesting craft beers and cider on hand; even if you generally prefer wine, they make a fantastic accompaniment to that all-important cheeseboard."

Pierpaolo Petrassi MW