Pairing the Right Wines with Christmas Dinner

Brought to you by JJ's Wine Bar

wine pairing christmas

Christmas 2020… here’s to an unforgettable end to an unforgettable year! While it has been challenging in more ways than one, there are still many things to celebrate. So, raise your glass to your health, to loved ones (even from a distance), to the tireless efforts of medical workers and scientists, to peace, joy, hope and love this Christmas season.

But as you raise your glass, what’s in it?

JJs Wine Bar is happy to help you discern the right wine to pair with your perfect Christmas dinner!

Drink What You Enjoy

When you sit down with a glass of wine, you appreciate the notes, the nuances and the subtleties that make it unique. And you like what you like! Some like oaky, some prefer sweet. That’s fine. It doesn’t matter if the bottle costs $20, $200 or $2,000 if you don’t actually enjoy it.

Red, white, blush, sparkling or still… choose the wine you and your guests want to drink.

That being said, there are a few things to consider as you select your Christmas wine.

Consider the Protein

While Thanksgiving has a stereotypical protein, Christmas tends to be a bit more flexible. And the protein you choose drives the wine selection. Keep in mind the beautiful cycle of food and wine… the flavor profile of the meal affects the taste of the wine. Likewise, the wine, including its tannin levels, acidity etc. impact the way the food tastes.


If you opt for a turkey Christmas dinner, keep the tannins low and the acidity on the higher side. This will help you avoid overpowering the light, delicate flavors of the meat and bring balance to the food. Choose a medium-body red or a full-bodied white. Great options include:

  • Pinot Noir
  • Sparkling Shiraz
  • Chardonnay
  • White Burgundy


Ham is another Christmas classic, and it’s hard to go wrong with a delicious Christmas ham! But the way you flavor the ham will direct your wine selection. Are you opting for a sweet, glazed ham featuring cherries or citrus like orange? You’ll probably want to reach for a delicious, bright wine with high acidity such as Grenache, Riesling or Shiraz. If you like your ham more on the spicy or savory side, seasoned with mustard, chili or cinnamon, a slightly sweet wine will harmonize well and stand up to the spice. A zinfandel would be an excellent option.

Roast Beef

If you prefer a well-prepared roast beef to be the star of your Christmas dinner, the cut of meat and doneness may impact your wine selection. Leaner cuts of beef such as sirloin will benefit from lower tannin, higher acid wines like a nice merlot.

Fattier cuts such as a rump roast need more tannins to cut through the fat and bring out the aromas. A cabernet sauvignon, malbec or a scrumptious mulled wine pair beautifully. You can even up the wine game by preparing your beef dish with red wine.

For more ideas or to stock up for your accompaniments to your feast, visit JJs Wine Bar at 206 E Main St in downtown Franklin. Come by or call us at 615-942-5033. JJs Wine Bar wants to help your Christmas dinner be everything you hope for!