Christmas is approaching and, in the midst of the preparations, every year the same question arises: "Which wine to choose to accompany the Christmas cod? White or red?"

Don't worry. In this article we'll give you some tips to help you choose the most suitable wine to harmonise with this traditional dish. Take a look at our suggestions and make your Christmas dinner even more special.

Cod and wine: a challenging relationship

You've heard the rule that white wines go with fish and red wines with meat, right?
Forget it. At least when we're talking about cod, since this fish, due to its peculiar characteristics, challenges that paradigm.
The salting and curing process to which it is typically subjected in Portuguese gastronomy sets cod apart from other fish.
Its intense and persistent flavour, combined with its tender texture, gives it enormous versatility in the way it can be cooked. It's not for nothing that people talk about 1001 cod recipes, which in itself hints at the many opportunities for pairing this product.
Given this strong personality, it would be naive to think that choosing the best wine to accompany cod could be a straightforward matter.

Given its characteristic flavour, cod needs a wine that complements it and doesn't overpower it. The wine chosen has to have some presence and personality, which makes this pairing challenging!

The choice of wine for Christmas Eve

The versatile nature of cod allows us to play around with harmonisation, which means you'll have a wide range of options at your disposal.
Although it can be prepared in a variety of ways, the most popular recipe at this time of year is cod cooked with potatoes and cabbage, duly drizzled with olive oil. This presence of some fat ends up being the most striking feature of most cod dishes. As such, this is the first challenge you need to take into account when choosing a wine.

To help you with this task, we've left you with some basic guidelines that are worth bearing in mind.

For the white wine faithful

We can say that a good white wine is a safe choice to accompany cod.
Its refreshing acidity and fruity flavours help complement the striking taste of this fish, providing a lighter and fresher dining experience.

However, white wines with some body and firm acidity should be favoured, to stand up to the fat of the olive oil and the cod itself. Wines with controlled fruit, some minerality and plenty of freshness will be the most interesting choices. Out of the equation should be more delicate and floral white wines, as well as wines with exuberant flavours or prominent sweetness.

For those who can't do without red wine

Pairing with a red wine can add a different dimension to the cod dish, enhancing the flavours and offering a more surprising experience.
Here, the choice should fall on a light to medium-bodied wine with very soft tannins, good acidity to cut the fat and some balanced fruit to soften the saltiness of the cod.
Red wines with strong, astringent tannins should be avoided, as tannins, in the presence of salt, can bring an unpleasant metallic taste to the mouth. Red wines that are too full-bodied are also inadvisable, as they can easily overpower and mask the flavour of the dish.

In this type of pairing, it is therefore important to look for a greater subtlety of aromas and flavours in a red wine, rather than a strong presence.

White or red? And why not both?

By now you've realised that we can't give you a single answer to this question.
There is no specific type of wine to accompany cod. Not only because of the unique characteristics of this fish, but also because of the different ways it can be cooked.
White or red, the challenge is to find the best combination, taking into account how the cod is prepared and the other ingredients that make up the recipe.
Bearing in mind that the cod consumed in Portugal is mostly dry and salty, its flavour will always be intense. So keep this simple tip in mind: with cod, don't choose wines that are too soft or too strong. What you're looking for is balance and complementarity. Also bear in mind that wines, in the presence of salt, can seem sweeter than they really are. Therefore, drier wines with a pronounced acidity tend to be more interesting choices.

The scope for harmonising with cod is enormous and can even include other types of wine, apart from white and red. If you like to try different flavours, you should know that this fish can also go well with structured rosé wines that aren't too fruity, green wines and even some sparkling wines.

The final choice: your taste buds decide!

This Christmas, face the choice of wine to accompany the codfish for Christmas Eve as a good dilemma.
There are many options, as we've shown you, but there are no right or wrong choices.
This is because the only rule you need to take into account for perfect harmonisation is to respect your personal taste and the palate of your guests. Whether white or red, the best wine to accompany cod at Christmas dinner will be the one that gives you the most enjoyable experience.
Let us help you with this task and take a look at the selection of wines that harmonise well with cod that we have prepared for you in our Uva Wine Shop.

Merry Christmas!