Christmas is approaching quickly and many French families have already started planning their menu for the réveillon. Delicious dishes will be served but what about the drinks to go with them? Here is our guide to ensure that you serve the right wine with the right food!
How many bottles should you prepare?
The number of bottles you should buy might of course depend of what your guests like most and what kind of drinker they are but here are some general guidelines so you can be sure to have enough for your Christmas feast.
– For the aperitif, you can count approximately one bottle for 4 people.
– For the starters and main course, it usually turns around one bottle of wine for 3 to 4 people.
– Finally, for dessert, it will come with no surprise that the general assumption is to plan 1 bottle for 5 people.
The « apéro »’s favourite : champagne
In many French households, champagne is considered to be the unconditional aperitif when it comes to any festive feast. It is sure to satisfy most of your guests, so you should definitely plan to serve some during the “apéro”.
In addition, it goes well with foie gras, oysters, canapés, puff pastries or crudites – which are classic French apero nibbly bits.
Although champagne is the favorite aperitif choice, you can also serve sparkling wines and crémants. Remember that for an equal budget, it is always better to choose a good quality sparkling wine than cheap champagne.
Starters and main course: which wine for which dish?
There are usually many options available and it is not always easy to pick the right wine to go with your menu. Here is our advice on the best option to go with your starters and main dishes.
– With foie gras, you cannot go wrong if you choose to server a sweet white wine. You can either opt for a Sauternes or a Côteaux du Layon.
– With seafood and crustacean, dry white wines are you best option. You should ideally pick it young and fresh for a perfect association.
– With fish, white wine is the obvious choice, but you can also go for a sweet red wine to surprise your guests. With salmon, you can either opt for a Savennières or a Vouvray.
– If you are serving turkey for the main dish, then white wine, rather fruity like a Bourgogne or a Sauternes, or a Pinot Noir (red wine) will do just fine.
– If you’ve gone slightly off piste and have chosen to serve game for your main dish try a red wine with a little bit of acidity like a Pomerol if it is a game bird, or any young red with more acidity (like a Vacqueyras) for any other type of game.
– Finally, to accompany the cheese platter, most of them mix well with white wine but you can’t go wrong with a nice red wine as well, the choice is yours.
And for the dessert?
Dessert really is according to your taste. You can pick champagne, red wine or white wine and all should work nicely. However, here is a little tip if you want to be extra sure of your choice:
– If you choose to serve a chocolate flavored dessert, a sweet red wine will do well.
– If you serve a non-chocolate dessert, white wine like a Côteux du Layon will probably be much better.
Here’s our top tip on how to serve your drinks – always serve lighter wines before stronger ones, young wines before older ones and sweet ones before dry ones – so that the tasting is at its best!
* Alcohol abuse is dangerous for your health, please consume and enjoy in moderation