Wine and Christmas: Which wine fits to which Christmas dinner?

Interview with Jean-Claude Mas – Paul Mas Winery

Even if there are 2 weeks left until Christmas we have already started to ask ourselves about how to make that special day even more special. Next to the big question about what presents we will give to our loved ones another question comes up, inquiring which savory feast we will prepare this year. And then another question arises, burdening us with something we often forget: Which wine fits to which meal? Don’t panic, the French wine expert Jean-Claude Mas gives you the right answers and perfect advice for the right tasty match to goose, duck and co.
Image of article: Interview with Jean-Claude Mas – Paul Mas Winery
Copyright: Domaines Paul Mas

Christmas is around the corner and brings along the annual tradition of luscious Christmas dinners, which need to be planned ahead. When preparing that special event we usually start with thoughts about what we want to eat, its ingredients and the personal preferences of our guests. These circumstances make up the basis of the question which wine to choose. Is this the right order or is it wiser to arrange Christmas dinner according to our wine preferences?

I would say yes but considering the diversity of wines we produce in the Languedoc, more than 40 grape varieties, still or sparkling wines, red, white and rosé, sweets or fortified, it would be quite difficult not to find a dish which you like that does not match the wine which you like.

In Germany there is a clear culinary preference of roast meals like goose, duck, turkey etc. on Christmas. Is it correct to assume that only either red or white wine fits best to roast meals, or which criteria do we need to follow for choosing the best wine?

Roasted meat like goose, duck, turkey offer a large variety of matches but if it is a which it has to be rich and powerful, ideally with oak ageing like a Limoux Chardonnay or a Chardonnay Viognier Vigne de Nicole (available at JWD) or a white Hermitage. Knowing that Germans are not that keen on oak aged white wines I would rather recommend a great new world Pinot Noir from New Zealand for example or a Grenache blend (Grenache Syrah Mourvédre or Grenache Syrah) from our region (Cote Mas Grenache Syrah) or a Grenache from the Priorat region in Spain: what we shall be looking for is silky soft tannins, velvety wine with cherry jam character.

Carp as Christmas meal is typical for Middle and Eastern Europe. It is an old Christian custom to keep one carp scale until New Years Eve as a wish for money for the New Year. Which wine do you recommend for such an exclusive Christmas dinner like carp? 

Let's bubble, a vintage champagne Deutz or Drappier would have my favor and if plan for a long Christmas dinner a good Cremant de Limoux 2012 Château Martinolles will surprise your guest a make a smaller hole in your wallet. 

How can we imagine a typical and traditional French Christmas dinner and which wine usually accompanies it? And how will your Christmas dinner look like and what are you going to serve for food and drinks this year?

My favorite Christmas dinner: raw and broiled oysters, Noirmoutier potatoes , Cèpes and foie gras on a brochette, juicy turkey from my local farm, Roquefort and Stilton, Tarte tatin shape like a "Buche", to start a glass of Drappier Nature following by my Prima Perla Blanquette de Limoux for the raw oysters, a Viognier Paul Mas 2014 for the broiled oysters, Château Teramas Astruc Limoux white 2013 and Byron Napa Valley Pinot Noir 2012 for the Turkey, Château Paul Mas Clos des Mûres 2013 for the Roquefort and Château Crés Ricard Stecia 2012 for the Stilton and to finish an Iced Sparkling Cider from Quebec if not a good German Riesling spatlese(rare but exceptional or good German Riesling spatlese 2010.

Is there an obligation to only drink French wine as a Frenchman, or can you also make exceptions and enjoy its German alternatives? Being honest, what are the most obvious differences between French and German wines?

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Germany produces beautiful Riesling, I am quite addicted to them, I have also tasted exceptional Muller Turgau and Grune Vetlinger. When it comes to red it is a bit more difficult and I will stick to some Pinot Noir. The world of wine offer exceptional emotions and you have to look for it not only in France, like in fashion, cars, music, literature some countries might have a reputation but exceptional products or artists exist around the world. In a dinner I would be happy to split 50% French and 50% non French wines with some Sauvignon from New Zealand, Australia Shiraz, Californian Zinfandel, Argentinan Malbec…. Next to some beautiful Hermitage, Cote Rotie, Sancerre, South of France Viognier or Grenache, great Pessac Leognan or Mourvèdre from Bandol.

Jean-Claude Mas

Jean-Claude Mas is the fourth generation of "wine-grower" but the 1st generation of VIGNERON. He was born in the South of France, he came to the wine business by passion. He studied in Lyon, Nancy and England, worked in Miami, Paris and Bordeaux in the sport car industry and in the wine business In 2000, he took over the 35 hectares family vineyard and created Les Domaines Paul Mas. In 15 years, Domaines Paul Mas has become a reference for South of France wine. Old World wines with New World attitude is the essence of our character. Jean-Claude Mas is the owner and winemaker of Domaines Paul Mas. The 11 Estates cover over 600 hectares of vineyards, 40 varieties, spread across the Crus of the Languedoc: Pézenas, Grés de Montpellier, Terrasses du Larzac, Limoux and Boutenac. Our branded wines are made with grapes coming from our partners-vintners, which represent 1312 ha of vineyards. This is how we can produce authentic and affordable great wines, what we claim to be an "every-day luxury"!

11.12.2015 · 22:52 · Author: Nadine Mittag · Source: · Category: Food and Drink
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