The Wine World’s Favourite Christmas Recipes

What’s the recipe for a Christmas feast?

’Tis the season and no one knows how to celebrate it quite like the wine world - foodies by default. We’d say start off with a bottle of homegrown sparkling wine, but we’re biased. So, this year, allow some of our peers to inspire your festive menu. Go grab a bottle, gently twist it open, and try these recipes out for yourself!

WineGB's Christmas Breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day - especially on hectic Christmas mornings.
There is nothing wrong with sticking to traditional and we applaud scrambled eggs and smoked salmon for being every bit as quick as it is hearty!

Pair with: Classic Method Blanc de Noirs or Sparkling Rosé can often take a slightly fuller pairing, largely because of the richness added by the higher proportion of Pinot Noir used to produce them.

Susie Barrie MW's Rosemary & Anchovy Cheese Straws

“There’s nothing more decadent than a warm cheese straw and a glass of English fizz to whet your appetite before a hearty Autumn supper. This is our favourite version thanks to its combination of rich melted cheese, earthy rosemary and salty anchovies.”

Ingredients: Plan flour for dusting • 500g ‘all butter’ puff pastry sheet • 1 egg, beaten • 20g pack of rosemary (leaves picked and chopped) • 50g Gruyère, grated • 50g Strong Cheddar, grated • 50g salted anchovy fillets

Method: Preheat the oven to 220°C, gas mark 7. On a lightly floured surface roll the pastry sheet out until it measures approximately 25cm x 50cm. Brush the pastry with the beaten egg. Spread the anchovy paste and 25g of each cheese over half the pastry, leaving a 1cm border around the edge. Scatter half of the chopped rosemary over the cheese. Season with black pepper. Fold the other half of the pastry over to cover and lightly roll to seal and create a rectangle approximately 20cm x 40cm. Brush the surface with the beaten egg and scatter with the remaining cheese. Trim the edges of the rectangle and cut into 16 x 2cm wide strips, then twist the strips and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet (or two sheets if necessary). Scatter over the remaining rosemary and bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes until puffed up and golden. Allow to cool slightly before serving.

Pair with: Homegrown Classic MethodBlanc de Blancs. It stands out through its citrus led palate, as well as fresh, zesty flavours and mineral character. Compared to Classic Method Cuvées and Blanc de Noirs, Blanc de Blancs will typically be drier, feel slightly lighter in body and have sharper, brighter acidity, supporting seamlessly the acidity of the anchovies. Expect exquisite notes of toast, butter and pastry, that will compliment the the richness of the dairy.

Author and Broadcaster Susie Barrie MW is Co-Chair of the WineGB Awards

ELISHA RAI’S TANDOORI TURKEY

“We serve a traditional Christmas dinner on the big day but make a tandoori turkey, rather than your 'usual' style turkey. The spices remind us of the Indian food that we would ordinarily eat but also allows us to get into the festive spirit on the day.”

Ingredients: 2-3 tsp salt or to taste • Juice of 1 lemon • 15 fl oz plain yoghurt • 1 tbsp ground cumin seeds • 1 tsp red chili powder • 1 tbsp ground turmeric • 2 tsp garam masala • 1 tbsp ground coriander • 2-3 cloves garlic, peeled and mashed to a pulp • 1 inch cube of fresh ginger, peeled and quartered • 2 kg turkey • A few knobs of butter

Method: Step 1 - make carvings all over the turkey under its skin. Sprinkle half the salt and squeeze the lemon juice over the turkey. Lightly rub salt and lemon juice into the carvings. Set aside for 20 mins at room temperature. Step 2 - combine the yoghurt with the remaining ingredients in a food processor. Blend until you have a smooth paste. Step 3 - Brush the turkey on all sides under its skin. Ensure all the marinade goes into the carvings in the turkey. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours. Step 4 - Preheat the oven. Brush the tops of the turkey with the butter, cover with foil and cook according to instructions. Keep basting the turkey with the accumulated juices during cooking.

Pair with: Sparkling red. It may sound unusual, but there is a handful of English wine producers who have adventured into Lambrusco style reds. The crunchy and tart red fruit characters of the wine compliment the white meat and vegetable dish. If you’re looking for a more traditional approach go for a ripe, un-oaked but weighty, Chardonnay with tropical fruit flavours, like pineapple, green mango and lemon.

Elisha is co-founder of award-winning English Rosé brand Folc

JOSH DONAGHAY-SPIRE’S FOOD, WINE AND LOCATION PAIRING

“Whitstable oysters, served on the beach - paired with an ice cold Blanc de Blancs. This is a wine, food and location pairing. Eating oysters on the beach where they’re brought in and drinking this wine is something I recommend you all try. Just pick a sunny day!”

Pair with: In case it wasn’t obvious enough… Blanc de Blancs! Oysters are seen as a classic pairing for this sparkling style, made entirely from Chardonnay.

Josh Donaghay-Spire is Head Winemaker at Chapel Down

ANA ĐOGIĆ’S OCTOPUS SALAD

“At home in Croatia, we would celebrate Christmas eve with seafood supper. The starter would be scallops, oysters and octopus salad, baked fish with potatoes for the main course with dry Christmas biscuits at the end.”

Method: Octopus needs to be purchased frozen, otherwise it is too tough. After defrosting, it needs to be cooked in boiling water for a few hours. When the meat is soft, tentacles are cleaned and chopped into small pieces. Shallots, Istrian olive oil, salt, pepper are added to the bowl with octopus. “Simple and very tasty!”

Pair it with: A light English sparkling wine, like Non Vintage blends, with no more than 2 years on the lees. The pinpoint acidity with just enough yeasty character, pairs beautifully with the octopus salad because of its fresh citrus spectrum range of flavours.

Ana Dogic is Vineyard Manager and Sales Director at Sugrue South Downs

NATALIA PEZZONE’S VITEL TONÉ

“In Argentina, Christmas is in summer so we eat cold meals, and probably much less than Europeans! We also drink well chilled drinks - beer more so than wine. Having a strong Italian heritage Vitel toné is a classic Christmas Argentinian dish originally from Italy. It consists of veal slathered with an anchovy and tuna-based creamy sauce.”

Ingredients: 2 to 3 lb peceto , beef or veal round steak, roast eye of round 1 onion , quartered 1 carrot , diced 1 celery stalk , cut in 4-inch/10cm sections ½ bunch parsley , chopped 1 bay leaf 3 cloves garlic , crushed

Ingredients for the sauce: 8 hard-boiled eggs 1 cup olive oil 1 can anchovies (about 10 filets) 2 (5 oz.) cans tuna (natural or oil) Juice of ½ lemon 1 cup mayonnaise 2 tablespoons mustard 2 tablespoons capers Salt Pepper

Method: Clean meat of fat. In a large pot, sear meat for a couple minutes on each side. Add the onion, carrot, garlic, celery, parsley, bay leaf, and cover with water. Add salt to taste. Cook until just tender, about an hour and a half, or 30 minutes in a pressure cooker. Allow meat to cool in the liquid. Take meat out and cut into very thin slices with an electric knife or a sharp knife.

Sauce: In a blender, add yolks of 8 hard-boiled eggs and well drained tuna. Add olive oil gradually while blending and blend until obtaining a smooth and homogeneous sauce. Add about ½ cup (150ml) of the strained cooking broth and continue blending. Add the mustard, anchovies, mayonnaise, lemon juice and black pepper. Blend until well mixed. If the sauce is not liquid enough, add more broth. Arrange sliced meat on a large platter and cover with the sauce. Sprinkle capers on top. Grate the remaining whites of the hard-boiled eggs, and sprinkle around the meat on the edges of the platter. Leave the vitel tone a few hours in the refrigerator so the meat can absorb the flavors.

Serve cold or at room temperature.

Pair it with: Great British Pinot Noir, rich in bright ripe red fruits, wonderful black plum, and in the case of more complex examples, truffle, dried thyme, mint, dill seed and fennel. Light yet complex - in other words, a perfect pairing no matter the season. If you’re feeling adventurous, chill it a little before serving!

Natalia Pezzone is General Manager at Stanlake Park Wine Estate

The list is endless and we’d like to leave you a few more wine suggestions and challenge you to share your own pairings with us on social media using the #MyChristmasWineGB.

With that in mind, visit our WineGB Awards Winners catalogue, buy direct from the many stockists of English and Welsh wines or visit the many GB vineyards' own websites.

Merry Christmas!