Top pairings | What wine to pair with goose

Top pairings

What wine to pair with goose

If you’ve decided to serve goose rather than turkey this Christmas you’ve already opted to be adventurous. So you could arguably be adventurous about your wine pairing for goose, too.

I say this arguably because family members often get a bit odd around the festive season, digging their heels in and insisting on having something they’ve had hundreds - or at least tens of times before.

Goose is, of course, stronger-flavoured than turkey - more like game but - crucially - quite a bit fattier which makes it essential in my book to look for a wine that has a fair level of acidity. It also tends to be accompanied by powerfully flavoured accompaniments such as chestnuts and red cabbage. Other traditional (and very good) accompaniments are potato or potato and apple stuffing, apples and prunes which can also affect your pairing:

Here are my suggested options...

Best wine pairings with goose

  • Top quality German or Alsace Grand Cru Riesling

Probably the best match of all if you’re planning an apple or apple and prune stuffing. A dry spätlese Riesling would be ideal, cutting through the fat and providing a subtle touch of sweetness. The drawback is that your guests may well expect a red - but there’s no reason why you can’t serve both. 

The best food pairings for riesling

  • Gewürztraminer

A bolder choice still for Christmas. Obviously it’s not to everyone’s taste but if you serve a slightly spicy stuffing, especially one that contains dried fruits and/or ginger it would make a great match. Again look for a top quality wine with some intensity from Alsace or New Zealand which is making some great examples.

The best food pairings for gewürztraminer

  • Barolo or Barbaresco

My preferred red wine with goose, Both have the structure and acidity to cope well with the rich flavour of the meat. They’re also impressive special occasion wines which is what you look for at Christmas. I wouldn’t be inclined to serve red cabbage with them though.

The best food pairings for Barolo and Barbaresco

  • Pinot Noir

Probably the most likely wine to please your guests and certainly the one to choose if you’re going for red cabbage, sweet potatoes or other richly flavoured veg. I’d choose an example with some sweet, silky fruit rather than big tannins otherwise you may suffer from palate overload.

The best food pairings for Pinot Noir 

  • Rioja gran reserva

A safe bet - just as good with goose as it is with game. Likely to be popular with older members of the party.

The best food pairings for Rioja 

Best beer pairings for goose

  • Strong Belgian trappist beers such as Chimay or beers made in that style

These are just as good a match for goose as wine is if truth be told but there are, admittedly, likely to be fewer takers. No harm in having one or two available though.

  • Oude gueuze

Probably the most off-the-wall choice on my list but for those who like it - and since writing my beer book An Appetite for Ale I now do - it’s a brilliant match.

  • A Goose Island beer

Well, why not? This Chicago-based bewery makes great beer and it would be a bit of a laugh to have a few bottles on the side. Wouldn’t go badly either. The most widely available one in the UK is the IPA (India Pale Ale).

You might also enjoy... 

Planning ahead: The best wines to pair with your Christmas dinner

20 Christmas wine pairings to learn by heart

Image credit: Liliya Kandrashevich at

If you found this post helpful and would like to support the website and keep it free for everyone to use it would be great if you could make a donation towards its running costs.

And for more hot tips and recommendations check out my Substack Eat This, Drink That, Live Well.

You may also enjoy …

Comments: 10

Angelika on December 23 2021 at 08:16

I would pair the goose with a first class heavy weight German Silvaner. It goes beautifully and is one of the traditional pairings back home. Alas might be tricky to get in the UK.

johndb on December 15 2020 at 18:02

Some Sicilian whites would do goose! A good Etna Bianco like Benantis Biancodicaselle that has riesling like qualities? Or maybe a more forward Planeta?

Fiona Beckett on December 19 2017 at 09:09

Good thought - there's so much good spatburgunder around these days!

EBGB on December 5 2017 at 18:52

German Pinot - spatburgunder - is my go-to for Christmas poultry. It's got the added spice for interest against the fat of either the bird or the trimmings.

Andy Arkell on December 23 2016 at 12:57

Thanks for this! I'm going to go for an Riesling I think. Very happy to avoid reds. I love them but do not recover well from them!

Matt Huntingford on December 23 2016 at 11:22

After several years of trying different reds with the Christmas goose, the most successful match to date was Chateau Musar. There's something about the slightly exotic spicynes that seems to work really well. We'll be having this again this year.

Clare Heal on November 25 2016 at 12:35

Thanks for these! Was thinking red but love the idea of a Gerwurtz.

Fiona Beckett on October 19 2016 at 14:52

That's a really nice idea!

GGarvey on October 19 2016 at 13:34

I always serve a local sparkling Perry with Goose - Hogans Vintage Perry.... it works very well

K Hof on December 5 2014 at 09:23

Thanks for this tip - just ordered Benoit Dreyer - Alsace Reisling 2012 from Naked Wines!

Recent posts …

About FionaAbout FionaEvents and appearancesEvents and appearancesWork with meWork with me