Christmas Food and Wine Pairings with Stoneleigh Organic Wines

With the festive season well and truly in full swing, Verve caught up with Pernod Ricard's Wine Ambassador Jess Bell for advice on Christmas food and wine pairings.

Faced with seemingly endless shelves of wine, it can be stressful trying to decipher the most appropriate bottle to bring to a dinner party or Christmas function. What would be your most basic guidelines?

Wine can certainly be overwhelming sometimes, but it really shouldn’t be. When catching up with friends or colleagues at a Christmas function, challenge  each  other  to bring something interesting or different. That way you are all set up for an evening of curiosity rather than anxiety! The Stoneleigh Organic range is an easy choice as it is 100% certified  organic and  vegan  and   comes in a range of varietals – meaning there is something for everyone.

What other considerations as well as flavours are important to consider?

A simple rule to follow is ‘what grows together, goes together,’ meaning that foods and delicacies will typically pair better with wines grown and crafted in the same environment. As an island nation, we are so fortunate to have a variety of seafood on our shores, so if you’re out on the water and catch something fresh, cook or serve with a squeeze of fresh lemon and a glass of our most iconic white wine, sauvignon blanc!

What wine pairing would you recommend for a traditional Christmas lunch?

There are so many options out there, but for me, I can’t look past the Stoneleigh Organic Pinot Noir. A young Pinot Noir adds a vibrancy to the turkey, which is sometimes required as it can be susceptible to dryness. Pinot Noir is an excellent choice because it is also easy- going enough not to cause major clashes with the side dishes you have on the day.

What food pairings do the fresh, fruit- forward flavours of Stoneleigh Organics work well with?

As New Zealand’s number one wine brand, Stoneleigh’s new Organic range is incredibly dynamic and pairs great with a range of dishes, including:

Sauvignon blanc: This wine has a big personality and will work well alongside  loads of flavoursome dishes. Try with fresh salads with citrus vinaigrette and green herb accents.

Pinot gris: Try with fresh, simple dishes. Salty aperitifs, olives and shellfish, or summer picnic food will be a great match.

Rosé: Pair this wine with a warm goats cheese salad, or a feast of fresh crab served with lemon butter and sourdough. This versatile wine will be at home with Chinese food such as hoisin pork and crunchy Asian slaw.

Pinot noir: This wine will match well with many meals, being supple enough to pair with a smoked salmon pasta, but rich enough to enhance slow-cooked beef cheeks.

Is there any wine that goes with the quintessentially Kiwi pavlova?!

Look for a wine with a little bit of sweetness, that’s not overwhelming  but  is  balanced  out with some juicy fruit characters. The Stoneleigh Organic Pinot Gris is a great choice as it is brimming with juicier orchard fruits, and hints of spice. It is a cheerful, fruit- forward wine that will be perfect served well chilled with the classic Kiwi dessert that’s topped with plenty of fresh summer fruits!