Food & Wine forChristmas - Starters

So what is the most popular Christmas Starter? A quick impromptu survey of Berrys’ staff revealed that smoked salmon was by far and away the most popular. Smoked salmon is a medium-bodied food with unique smoked fish flavours and an oily texture. Matching the weight is easy, but matching the flavour is much harder as there are no wines that taste like smoked fish! Plus there is the oily texture to consider. 

To deal with oil and fat in food you need a wine with a good amount of acidity to cleanse the palate, which is exactly what a squeeze of lemon does too. Champagne, and Chablis (preferably lightly oaked to match the smokiness of the fish), are high in acidity and would do this job admirably; both are medium-bodied and so match the salmon’s weight. 

Alternatively, instead of balancing the oiliness you might choose to match it: Alsace Gewurztraminer has an ‘oily’ texture which complements smoked salmon very well. These are medium-bodied wines so the weight matches too, plus its typical lychee characteristic complements the salmon’s flavour.

Other starters:

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