Wine experts have unwrapped the perfect pairings for your Christmas dinner

Wine experts have unwrapped the perfect pairings and come up with some crackers – for your Christmas dinner.

The traditional Christmas turkey, according to wine connoisseurs, should be eaten alongside a cool Chardonnay.

But if beef is your go-to meat, a deep Shiraz (or Syrah) should be served – while vegetarians should pair a nut roast with a hearty Pinot Noir.

Traditionally, Christmas pudding should be enjoyed with a dessert wine or a "wee" sherry – they go down well with equally sweet foods as the palate adapts to the level of sugar.

Similarly, if yule log is your go-to dessert, sherry is still best as the dried fruit, caramel and nutty flavours of the drink complement the sweetness of the food.

Virgin Wines experts also advised milk chocolates – such as coins – should be devoured with a glass of port, while dark chocolate goes best with Shiraz.

Sophie Lord, from Virgin Wines, which compiled the festive pairings to mark the launch of its advent calendar, said: "It's difficult to know what flavours go with what, particularly at Christmas when there are so many options.

"The traditional turkey with all the trimmings should be paired with something rich, which is why a Chardonnay with its buttery, toasty flavours match wonderfully with roasted meat and potatoes.

"If you don't like Chardonnay, try Pinot Noir or Red Zinfandel, which have lots of ripe, berry fruits to pair nicely with turkey in the same way cranberry sauce does.

"Beef is often an alternative main and Shiraz goes beautifully as the well-seasoned meat makes the big red taste softer and fruitier."

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When it comes to festive nibbles, a classic cheese board should be served with a range of drinks, with experts advising the saltiness of cheese makes wines taste fruitier and less tannic.

Port goes best with strong cheese such as mature cheddar or stilton, while Rioja complements hard cheeses, including Manchego.

Other bites throughout the day including cranberry and brie filo pastries and smoked salmon canapes should be enjoyed with champagne, as the high acidity cuts through the creaminess and cleanses the palate.

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Leftovers can still be complemented with a festive tipple, with a bubble and squeak going well with white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc, due to its flavours of cut grass and green peppers mimicking the green vegetable notes in the dish.

And the classic Boxing Day sandwich and buffet should be partnered with Pinot Noir due to its soft red berry fruits mixing with the turkey and cranberry sauce.

Besides wine, beers such as IPA or lager also work well with salty snacks and cold meat cuts, and beer should also be the go-to when eating festive Bratwurst sausages.

The insights come after a One Poll survey of 2,000 adults found the most popular drinks to enjoy on Christmas day include prosecco (45%) and white (45%) and red wine (42%).

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