Thursday 14 December 2017

Katherine Donnelly: Treat the bird to something silky

Katherine Donnelly

Katherine Donnelly

Christmas dinner wines earn their stars by playing a supporting role. There is enough competition from the turkey and all its trimmings, so the trick is to be subtle.

Red wines should be silky, sweet and spicy, but with enough structure to take on all the textures and flavours.

Best to avoid the tannic grapes, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, which can be too chewy for a white meat like turkey. Among the better choices are the Pinot Noir, Merlot and Tempranillo, the grape of Rioja, but take care that the latter is not overly oaky.

A spicy, fruity easy-drinker from the southern Rhône, usually based on Syrah and Grenache, or Shiraz/Syrah from the New World, can also work well.

More serious Shiraz/Syrah can also cross the line to goose, which needs extra bite to cut through the fat.

Or try the Italians: Barbera, Chianti, Barolo and the Valpolicella ripassos.

Irish Independent

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