Gold Eiffel Tower Ornament on a Christmas Tree - Pairing French Wine with American Traditions

One of our previous blog posts explored the traditional food and drinks that are enjoyed in France for Christmas. Not prepared to indulge in a 6-hour long feast this year, or not so sure about trying your hand at typical French dishes like escargot this holiday season? Then keep reading because our experts at somMailier have great recommendations for pairing French wine with American traditions when it comes to food!

While Christmas feast traditions tend to vary from region to region and home to home in the United States, we have rounded up some of the most popular dishes to provide our recommendations for pairing French wine with American traditions.

Before you read any further, we must warn you that you might get a little bit hungry and thirsty while reading this post. We recommend curling up next to your Christmas tree with a glass of wine from your latest somMailier Wine Club shipment, and maybe a snack before you go any further!

Pairing French Wine with American Appetizers

Cranberry & Brie Bites - Pairing French Wine with American Traditions

To begin with, many American families choose to nibble on appetizers before their Christmas Eve and/or Christmas Day meal. While the French prefer to enjoy their cheese course towards the end of their feasts, in the U.S. it is more common to snack on cheese as an appetizer. Champagne is perfect alone as an aperitif or paired with creamier cheeses. This makes it a fantastic pairing for cranberry and brie bites or pastries that are becoming increasingly popular. Chardonnay or an elegant 1er Cru Pinot Noir from Burgundy also make excellent pairings for this creamy and tart appetizer.

A Focus on Side Dishes

Holiday Side Dishes - Pairing French Wine with American Traditions

Next, although main dishes tend to get the spotlight in wine pairings, side dishes are often people’s favorite part of special holiday meals. Green beans, potatoes in various forms, sweet potato casserole, macaroni and cheese, Brussels sprouts, and other greens cover dinner tables throughout homes across America on Christmas Eve and Christmas day.

If you are planning on filling up your plate with a specific side and are not big on the main dish, you can think about focusing your wine pairing on that specific side. In general, dry whites and dry reds tend to pair well with most of the typical American side dishes.

So, if green beans, Brussels sprouts, or other vegetable dishes are your go-to this holiday season, you can’t go wrong with a dry, fresh white like the always popular La Fleur des Pins white from Graves.

If you are in love with the cheesy goodness of macaroni and cheese, try a delicious Provençal red like the Via Caritatis Lux in Domino Red.

Additionally, mashed potatoes, potatoes au gratin, and sweet potato casserole taste fantastic with the Château Bonnange, a well-balanced yet intense red from Burgundy.

The Main Event

Holiday Main Dish - Pairing French Wine with American Traditions

The main dish of an American Christmas dinner is definitely something that can vary from family to family.

First, like the French, many Americans opt for a roast turkey, goose, or duck. The Domaine Deveney-Mars 2018 – Savigny les Beaunes 1er Cru that you might have tried in our Premium French Wine Packages is undeniably delicious with these traditional roasted birds.

If you usually prepare a delectable Christmas ham, try pairing it with a silky red like the Château de Portets Grand Vin.

On the East Coast, shellfish is a popular main dish during the holiday season. Pair lobster and crab with Champagne or a fresh, fruity white like the Domaine Petroni or the La Fleur des Pins white.

For Italian-American families, lasagna or another pasta dish is often the centerpiece of the Christmas meal. Skip the Chianti and instead try the Château Bonnange.

Traditional beef dishes like a roast or prime rib pair very well with a number of our Bordeaux wines. You can’t go wrong with the silky smooth, full-bodied red, and we’re currently offering the Margaux Denis Lurton at a special price! For a limited time, get the Margaux for as low as $38.20/bottle (usually $49/bottle).

A refreshing Sauvignon Blanc, like the La Fleur des Pins white, pairs well with fish for the holidays. If you prefer red, we recommend the Fleurie Domaine Montangeron 2018. This bright, floral, fruit-forward red is ideal for pairing with seared fish, like tuna and salmon. It will also go well with creamy cheese like brie or camembert if you plan on eating that earlier in the evening.

Something Sweet

Fruitcake Dessert - Pairing French Wine with American Traditions

Finally, we would be remiss to write a blog about pairing French wine with American traditions for the holidays without mentioning the infamous fruitcake, or gâteau aux fruits.

Britain is commonly credited as the origin of this controversial cake, but the earliest recipes can actually be traced back to ancient Rome. Fruitcake recipes spread across Europe and eventually made their way to the United States. In 1913, mail-order fruitcakes began in the United States. Soon, fruitcakes became mass-produced. Traditionally, this dessert is soaked in liqueurs or brandy, which helps to prevent mold. Like wine, some say fruitcake improves with age. In fact, in 2017, a fruitcake was found in Antarctica that was 106 years old and was described as “almost edible”.

Many might say that this dense, sweet dessert pairs best with the garbage bin; however, others love this traditional Christmas dessert. In the case that you are a fruitcake lover, try pairing it with the sweet, slightly acidic dessert wine L’Ilot de Haut Bergeron.

On the other hand, you can just skip the fruitcake and just sip on a glass of that delicious dessert wine or enjoy a glass of bubbly.

Pairing French Wines with American Traditions in 2021

Red Wine and Pizza - Pairing French Wine with American Traditions

Not planning anything elaborate this year? Pairing French wine with American traditions means you can still enjoy a nice bottle of wine even if you are not cooking any sort of fancy meal – French, American, or otherwise.

Ordering pizza in? Then pop open a bottle of Château Haut-Calens. This red from somMailier founder Laurent’s cousin not only pairs well with pizza but will make it taste even better.

Chinese take-out? Uncork a light red Brouilly Saint Lager or a dry Riesling like the Cuvee Engelgarden.

Planning a holiday meal is difficult work, but somMailier makes ordering amazing wine easy so that you don’t have to compromise on that.

The Spirit of Christmas; The Spirit of Giving

Pairing French Wines with American Traditions with Wine from somMailier

Whatever your holiday plans may be this year, a fantastic bottle of French wine will always pair well with the twinkle of Christmas lights. If you decide to try some of our recommendations for amazing somMailier French wine with American traditions, tag us on Instagram: @sommailierwineclub. With somMailier’s effortless delivery, you can join our club and have 3, 6, or 12 bottles of boutique French wine shipped to your front door quarterly or order some of your favorites, including the ones mentioned above. You can also gift wine to a loved one! Then, no matter how many miles apart you may be, you can say “Santé et Joyeux Noël” over Zoom while enjoying the same wine.

Looking for a last minute gift idea that will be sure to get there in time? Check out our digital gift cards. Your digital gift card can be sent out by email the day of your purchase! Alternatively, you can schedule the gift card to send whenever you want so that your gift arrives just in time. We have multiple themes to choose from for any occasion, and your recipient can shop online for French wine in our cellar or use the gift card to join the wine club and get quality wine delivered to their doorstep every quarter.

Want to learn more about French wine? We’re here to help! Why not check out our French wine club? Every three months we send direct to your door three, six, or twelve bottles of boutique French wines which have been carefully selected by wine experts in France along with detailed information about each wine and food pairing ideas to help you really discover French wine. And as if that wasn’t enough, we also have a wine club gift option for that special wine lover in your life! For the perfect last minute gift, send one of our digital gift cards.

We are also offering free shipping on 12-bottle orders within the continental US (including our 12-bottle Club Et Voila and Et Voila Gift options). We are also offering 50% off shipping of 12-bottle orders to Hawaii. Mix and match your favorites from our wine cellar, or stock up with 12 bottles of your favorite.

Julia is happy to help with any custom orders. Please reach out to her via email at julia@sommailier.com.

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