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What wine with Christmas dinner?

A little help, please!

I'm making Christmas dinner here in France and rather than ask my French DH to pick out the wine, or ask him what I should pick up, I'd like to cover the details of the meal from start to finish myself. OK, myself, with a little assistance from my fellow Chowhounds.

Here's the menu:

hors d'oevres of caviar and crème fraîche on blinis

A starter of lobster thermidor

The main is capon stuffed with mushrooms and truffles, roasted potatoes and glazed carrots

cheese plate and salad

Christmas pudding with rum butter

Apart from Champagne or a Crément to start with the hors d'oevres, what to drink for the rest of the meal? We'll only be two adults, so a different bottle for each course may be a bit much. Can I spread the Champagne over into the lobster starter? What would you recommend with capon and truffles that could also make it over to the cheese course? As for dessert, I think a nice decaf will do.

Thanks in advance!

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  1. hors d'oeuvre & starter : Champagne.
    Capon : Bandol.
    Cheese : IMO, skip it, but it depends on the cheeses, try to get a cheese from the same region that the wine come from. , but the killer is the salad especially if the dressing is acidic.
    Christmas pudding : Champagne; or maybe, I can see that it could work : a sweet Oloroso (Xeres); with the nutty flavors, and it could be not too sweet.


    1. I'm a glutton most of the time and at Christmas there is no restraint, so I would say Champagne throughout, with a port for the cheeses and pudding.

      1. Cru Beaujolais or Burgundy for the capon.
        The 2009 Lapierre Morgon is still in its baby fat stage and drinkable.

        1. I would recommend something from burgundy and I would bet you could get a great white burgundy that would go fabulous with the lobster and hold up well to the capon as well. It sounds like a fabulous meal.

          1. I would drink the Champagne through the lobster course, then switch to a nice Beaujolais for the capon and salad.

            1. Yes, the Champagne/Cremant will be delightful with the lobster, as well.

              For the capon, you could go several ways. Depends upon how much of a splurge you feel like making Euro-wise. My first reaction to your flavor combination was: Meursault Les Genevrieres. On the other hand, "mushrooms and truffles" fairly scream for Bourgogne Rouge. A Savigny les Beaunes Les Serpentieres would be divine with the Capon as well.

              Cheese plate? finish the "Capon wine." and have a Cognac after the Christmas pudding. Joyeux Noel!

              1 Reply
              1. re: ChefJune

                I do agree that a Champagne could bridge the first two courses, but with the thermidor treatment, I am just drawn to a bigger Chard - guess that is personal tastes.

                Mushrooms whisper "Pinot Noir" to me, but can see many substitutions there.


              2. From my palate:

                hors d'oevres - bubbles, i.e Champagne

                lobster - Montrachet, or if a "squeeze of lemon" is required a Meursault

                capon w/ mushrooms - Pinot Noir and from Burgundy, second choice would be a Cru BJ, like a Morgon

                cheese plate - here, I am a big fan of a full-bodied white, like the Montrachet from above, but much will depend on the choice of cheese. In very general terms here, I like older Bdx, or Barolo with harder cheeses, and try to accommodate both a silky white and an older red, with my cheeses. It can be tough to get diners to either save some white, or go back to it, once the reds come out.

                Not sure what the Christmas Pudding is all about. The rum butter might be a problem, as I cannot get my head around a wine to accompany it. In general terms, I'd be thinking about a TBA Reisling, or similar.

                Enjoy, and happy holidays,


                [Edit] I did not peek, until after I posted. Seems that there might be some agreement on a few of the dishes.

                1. I'd try a series of Champagne going from something bone dry to something unctuous, like a Billecart rose or a Krug NV. I'd shift to a tawny or LBV port for dessert.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: tim irvine

                    The French drink port before, not after dinner. Cognac, Armagnac, or
                    fruit alcohols (Mirabelle, Poire Williams, etc..) after dinner.

                  2. A little late in posting my thanks, but I just wanted to say that I really appreciated all of your helpful suggestions and comments. In the end I did serve a Champagne with both the hors d'oevres and the lobster, then we moved on to a Médoc Cru Bourgeois (Château Tour Blanche 2005) that I thought was was rather good, though I my husband was less enthusiastic. We carried it over to the cheese course but ended up only having a few crumbly bits each since the pudding was looming on the buffet behind us! Finally a little Armagnac by the light of the Christmas tree. A perfect holiday meal. Thanks again!