Wines to pair with duck and goose for Christmas

Wines to pair with duck and goose for Christmas

Rich, fatty meats such as duck and goose demand more from a wine than the traditional turkey. See our recommendations and tips for a perfect pairing…

Updated in 2018 with fresh wine recommendations. Scroll down to see them.

In brief: Pairing wines with Christmas duck and goose:

  • Chardonnay with at least some oak ageing
  • White Bordeaux
  • Chenin Blanc, such as Vouvray
  • Off-dry Riesling
  • Mature Châteauneuf-du-Pape 
  • Pinot Noir 
  • Fuller styles of Beaujolais, such as Morgon Cru

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If you’re planning to serve either goose or duck for Christmas, then it’s worth considering that both are richer, fattier alternatives to turkey.

Goose is the traditional English bird for Christmas dinner, although it began to lose out to turkey in the UK during the Victorian era of the 19th Century.

Serving duck, on the other hand, can combine heaps of flavour while also suiting a smaller gathering around the Christmas dinner table.

White wines

When looking for wines to pair with these rich, fatty birds, you should focus on complex whites that can ‘cut through’ with their acidity.

This could be a white Burgundy with some bottle age or a Chardonnay from California or Australia with a relatively restrained amount of oak. A Loire Chenin should also stand up to the flavours.

For something a bit difference, an off-dry style of Riesling has the slight sweetness balanced by a backbone of acidity that could match the rich textures of the meat.

Red wines

Most medium-bodied reds with a good concentration of fruit and relatively high acidity should work well here. This is heartland Pinot Noir territory.

Be careful about going for a bold red with too much tannin, which is likely to overpower the flavours in the meat. There is of course a degree of subjectivity in all of this, but if you like bold, spicy reds then have you considered the idea of beef this Christmas?

If you go decide to go for a rosé, pick something with bolder, juicy fruit flavours. The delicacy of a Provence rosé could be overpowered here.

Christmas duck & goose wine picks:

Wines updated December 2018

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