Christmas Wines 2013
Seriously? It’s Christmas again? And what a Christmas this one looks like being with myself and the wife having a 2 month old baby to look after. Clearly I won’t be drinking much wine myself but it’s only right that I recommend what everyone else should be drinking. So in time honoured tradition (well, for the third year anyway) here’s my recommended Yuletide drinking list from readily accessible retailers:
The cheap as chips Turkey friendly red:
I love a drop of red wine with my Turkey and many piles of stuffing and usually I find that a Pinot Noir is just the ticket. The “Extra Special” Pinot Noir from Asda of all places is perfect for a big family meal. It has a lovely bright red fruit character typical of a Pinot from Marlborough in New Zealand and at only £9.50 a bottle it’s perfect for bulk purposes. An easy drinking red this made for Asda by the highly rated Wither Hills winery and deserving of its recent bronze medal in the Decanter Wine Awards. This’d go well with any festive bird (of the poultry kind) you cared to pair it with.
The flashy fizz:
Sometimes you just need to look a bit flash and produce something to leave people silently appreciating your impeccable taste. If you need to make such an impression then the Billecart Salmon Cuvee Brut Sous Bois Champagne is a pretty decent place to start. In such a predicament clearly you can’t rock up with a bottle of Lanson or Möet that you could have easily picked up from your local Esso garage on your way round. This is more of a thinking choice. It is sadly also a good deal more expensive, but then you did say you wanted to make a good impression didn’t you?! The wine is made up of all three of the Champagne grape varieties (Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier) and is vinified in oak, giving it a lovely toasty character. This has flavours of toast, toffee and cream and it comes across as being thoroughly decadent. Perfect for a festive aperitif! Available from corksout.com for £65.99. If you can look passed the psychedelic wood effect label this wine is a winner!…
The bulk fizz:
Obviously you’re not going to be drinking the above fizz if you have 20 relatives around so you may well need something impressive yet wallet friendly to appease the masses. The Taste the Difference Vintage Cava Brut 2011, which is £9.99 at Sainsbury’s is an excellent value fizz which recently won a medal in the International Wine Challenge. It tastes like a much more expensive wine and in my view good Cava is a better all rounder than Prosecco (and more of a thinking man’s choice too). You can’t have too many of these in your fridge!
The safe as houses white for your Turkey:
We’ve always had Chardonnay with Christmas dinner, it just seems to fit and works just as well with the turkey as it does with all the trimmings. The Blason de Bourgogne St Veran 2010 from Sainsbury’s impressed me when I tried it this month and the smoky character backed up with apple notes would work very well over Christmas Dinner The renegade white match for your Turkey: Bored of Chardonnay and in need of a change? Or just feeling a little rebellious this year? If so the Bellingham Bernard Series Roussanne 2013 from South Africa and available for only £7.99 in Sainsbury’s this month is a fantastic wine with all the right characteristics to become best buds with your turkey dinner.
The elegant red to mull things over with:
My reference to “mull” here is to that down time after the Christmas meal where everyone finds themselves in something of a comatose state. I like a hearty sipping red at this time on Christmas Day. I’m not suggesting for one minute that you attempt to mull this wine as that would really ruin it…. The Leyda Reserve Syrah 2011 from Chile (or Majestic if you don’t fancy the drive to Chile) is awesome and is thoroughly deserving of its Decanter Wine Awards gold medal. At present it’s down to £6.99 if you’re buying two Chilean wines and at that money you won’t find many tastier wines. Not half bad with cheese either…
The dessert wine to wow the masses:
We tend to have a mixture of desserts at Xmas, ranging from the usual gooey chocolate mess through fruit based desserts to the obligatory Christmas pudding. One wine they works brilliantly with all of them is the Andrew Quady Black Elyssium Muscat 2011 from Majestic. At only £9.99 right now if you buy two American wines (and why wouldn’t you?!). It’s a great price for this lovely wine and it always seems to be a talking point. It goes with chocolate based desserts particularly well…
Wines you absolutely should not drink. Ever:
Earlier in the year I was sent some wines by Gallo to change my perception of their budget wines. They did not. Please see here for further details. These may be good for de-icing the drive I suppose…. http://thegrapedcrusader.tumblr.com/post/63164286114/gallo-family-summer-white-and-summer-red
So that’s it. Happy Christmas to everyone and see you all in the New Year…..