Planning what to drink on Christmas Day can be quite daunting, especially if one of you loves an ice-cold beer, and the other red wine.

But when you’re piling up the plate with so many sweet and savoury flavours, the great news is there’s no wrong or right with accompanying drinks.

"The traditional Christmas meal is one of the most important of the year," says a spokesperson from Debrett’s Guide to Beer Etiquette.

"Preparation is key and a good host will ensure that their guests are kept amply hydrated with their selection of drinks. A guest may help themselves to water, but other drinks should be offered only by the host - unless they specify otherwise.”

At the end of the day, it’s simply a matter of taste and a great excuse to treat yourself to some old favourites, or try some new styles.

“The festive season is a great time to experiment with new flavours and truly experience the versatility of beer,” says Steve Livens, beer sommelier.

“With such a variety of styles available, from a light and refreshing ale to a dark creamy stout, there is a beer perfectly suited to every dish served up this Christmas period.”

[Read more: How much do you know about beer? Take our quiz and test your knowledge]

Indeed, whether you’re fond of a malty beer with your turkey or a vintage ale with the cheeseboard, There’s A Beer For That’s website has some interesting matches.

A feast of ideas can also be found in Lidl, with the chance to drink well-made wines from famous regions at reasonable prices.

“Christmas is the perfect time of year to try new wines and deviate from the old favourites,” says Ben Hulme, head of beers and wines, Lidl. “Although not traditional for every course, you can find reds to suit every plate and every palate.”

To help you pick the best, follow our experts’ guide to what to drink with traditional Christmas fare:

Party nibbles and cheeses

Beer: Fuller’s Vintage Ale (£4.99, 8.5% abv) The malt in the ale, combined with the cinnamon, pineapple and marmalade notes, rests easily against a fuller-flavoured mature cheddar, making it a delicious combination.

Wine: Vigneti del Sole Veneto Rosso IGT 2013 (Lidl) A fascinating style of Italian red, with rich, plummy fruit. Off-dry, with a pleasing note of oak, it is even more refreshing served lightly chilled.

[Related story: Bake your Christmas cake and eat it]

Turkey, stuffing & all the trimmings

Beer: Sharp’s Doom Bar (£1.79, 4.3% abv) Amber in colour, this British-born beer infuses the flavours of orange and caramel to create a lasting taste sensation. The malts used offer a subtle sweetness and the roasted notes make the flavours a perfect balance to enjoy with turkey.

Wine: Cimarosa Pinot Noir Limited Edition, 2013 (£6.99, Lidl) Chile is gaining an increasingly good reputation for its pinot noir. This has the pale colour, strawberry fruit and freshness of flavour that are the signatures of this wonderful grape. A classy wine and well worth a try.


Beer: Grimbergen Double Belgian Beer (£2.49, 6.5% abv) The rich, earthy flavours of the bird require a beer with some heft. The bold, roasted flavours complement those of the meat. With sweetness balanced by pepper, it will lift any seasoning, and cleanse the palate.

Wine: Cimarosa Malbec Reserva Privada, 2013 (£4.99, Lidl) Malbec’s success in Argentina means it’s now planted in Chile too. Deep and youthful, with rich toasty oak notes, this is a pleasing, flavoursome style that will benefit if served from a carafe.

Mince pies and Christmas pudding

Beer: St Peter’s Brewery Cream Stout (£2.78, 6% abv) This beer boasts a bittersweet taste created by the dried fruit and chocolate notes, while the creaminess brings all the flavours together.

Wine: Tenuta Pule Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2011 (£16.99, Lidl) Amarone is a distinctive, traditional style of Italian red - rich, warming, and not too dry, with complex flavours of dried fruit, cherry, spice and clove. 

What’s your favourite red wine with turkey? Tell us in the Comments section.