Christmas. It’s always a special time for meeting up, sharing precious moments and reviving traditions, where wine and food play a central role because, after all, most of these memories are made around the table!
In Portugal, Christmas Eve has become the centre stage for our in-all-but-name national dish, bacalhau (salted cold). A symbol of our national culture and identity, Portuguese-style cured cod (named after the process of preserving it in salt) is also a great challenge for wine pairings. In fact, a never-ending debate surrounds this dish as to whether it should be accompanied by red or white.
Looking beyond Christmas Eve and the sacred bacalhau, Portuguese Christmas is a rich gastronomic journey, from fried sugary treats, past the ever-present bolo-rei (‘King’s Cake’) and chocolates, to the ‘Roupa Velha’ (an excellent way of cooking up leftovers with eggs) and meaty dishes of the 25th. And so, here are Kranemann Wine Estates’ suggestions for your wines this Christmas, for the perfect pairings:
Afternoon on the 24th | Anyone for an aperitif… and a glass of Hasso?
The first sweet fried pastries (sonhos, filhós and rabanadas) are doing the rounds. Who knows, maybe even some seafood – an increasingly popular appetiser before dinner. A fresh, uncomplicated white wine could be the ideal accompaniment, even while we catch up with those we love.
Christmas Eve Dinner | Christmas bacalhau just begs for a 2018 Quinta do Convento white reserve
And now, the bacalhau! Most probably following the traditional recipe, served with potato and cabbage, sometimes chickpeas, and always with an egg… with a good olive oil drizzled generously on top (which could well also be from our Quinta do Convento). As for the wine, the most suitable pairing would be a well-structured white reserve, which guarantees complexity, but also a freshness and acidity that balance the olive oil. The perfect dish for our 2018 Quinta do Convento white reserve, without a doubt!
Bolo-rei | Kranemann Tawny 20 years!
After dinner, the sweets make a return along with one of the icons of the Portuguese Christmas table: the bolo-rei! A Port would make a good pairing here, in particular a well-developed Tawny, one that is elegant, sweet and characteristic of this style of wines. And why not add a touch of freshness to balance out so much sugar on the table? How about some suggestions? Our 20-year-old Kranemann Tawny or, matching the same profile, our Colheita 1999.
Lunch on the 25th | Sunday roast? Quinta do Convento Tinto 2018!
Here we have two options. Have you opted for the lighter ‘Roupa Velha’ to recover from last night’s over-indulgence? Then let’s return to the 2018 white Hasso, because there’s still a long day ahead and you’ve probably got a full roast on the way. If you’ve gone straight for the roasted goat meat or turkey then, yes, bring out the red: a 2018 Quinta do Convento, with the typical red grape varieties of the Douro valley pairing perfectly with the fattiness of meat.
Afterwards it’s inevitable: the tables are laden with the sweet treats of the season and, who knows, maybe some chocolates, cheeses, or just a glass in hand… take a chance on something new, because the different varieties of Port, from Ruby to Vintage, can be a revelation!
Cheers! #DrinkDouro! #DrinkPort!
And a very Happy Christmas to you!