Christmas day is slightly different in every house. However, hopefully some of you will find my Blog today useful when it comes to selecting some wines. I’m going to base this on what tends to go down on my Christmas day and I have picked out some other wines to sit alongside.
Personally, opening up and giving out the gifts is an amazing way to start the day and a glass of something sparkly will only add to the palpable excitement. There’s a whole host of sparkling wine fit for the purpose, so without further ado here’s a few from our range that will do the job admirably.
This is a frizzante Prosecco which literally translates to lightly sparkling. It possesses smaller, less intense bubbles than Champagne but is one of the most refreshing styles of fizz out there. Ombra has been a firm favourite with our customers for the last decade; its lovely light effervescence and crisp tangerine freshness are incredibly easy going and very drinkable.
I absolutely love this Moscato and at 5%abv it’s really easy to drink yet packed with personality. It is a sweet, lightly sparkling white wine with delicate aromas of honey, flowers and fresh grapes. On the palate the wine reveals aromatic apricot, stone fruit and grape notes. The finish is clean with refreshing acidity. This is thanks largely to the high altitude vineyards in the Monferrato hills which help retain freshness in the grapes, to balance the sweetness and leave your palate cleansed rather than sticky.
This is a lovely Chardonnay Pinot Noir blend put together for us by our man Down Under, Steve Grimley. We managed to convince him to send us a small parcel a few years ago now and it went down a storm earning a permanent position within our range. It’s crafted in a dry style, however it is enriched by the glorious rays of the South Australian sun, adding an extra smack of fruitiness to the palate.
After all the excitement of ‘gift time’ you’ll probably want to fill up on a spot of fodder. You should have a spot of fizz left for this so whether you’re having bacon and eggs or a selection of pastries, the fizz will do the job.
Once your breakfast has settled, well a little, it’s time to get the cured meats, olives, breads and soft cheese out. For this I am only going to suggest one option.
This bone dry sherry is bottled to give you the experience of tasting a Sherry straight from the barrel, as if you were actually in the bodega. It is incredibly fresh with lovely nutty notes, a salty tang and an intense citrus finish. It is the ultimate aperitif wine.
Obviously the wine selection here depends on what’s being served as a starter. We tend to have two options available – a soup and a pate. Soup this year is leek, bacon and potato and the pate is always chicken liver! Here’s a wine to go with each dish.
Leek, Bacon and potato soup
This traditional soup needs a wine with a bit of zing about it and the ideal partner, Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc. We work very closely with Forrest Estate in Marlborough and our exclusive Belmonte Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc is our all time top-selling Kiwi white and we’ve just moved onto the strikingly good 2013 vintage. Amazingly fresh, packed with gooseberry fruit and a wine with a steely core and beautifully textured palate.
Chicken Liver Pate
You have a number, of what might be considered more classical partners for this pate, a sweet offering from Bordeaux, rose Champagne or a Madeira but I love to pair this dish with Riesling. I’ve picked out our Moonlake Clare Valley Riesling 2010. Clare Valley is a boutique Aussie Riesling hotspot, widely regarded as the finest region in the world for great value dry Riesling. This vastly aromatic, pin bright citrusy white is a testimony to that. Now with a few years bottle age to it’s all the better for it. Mellow and very quaffable!
This has to be the focal point of the day and you should push the wine budget as far as you can, making it even more special. It tends to take a good amount of time to actually get through your ‘eyes bigger than your belly’ plateful so I highly recommend a white and a red be opened.
Super-slick, crystalline, beautifully oaked white Burgundy, exactly as it should be. New oak is used sparingly and the finished wine shouts about the soil it came from. A wonderfully balanced Burgundy, displaying deft fruit, amazing purity and a vibrant mineral streak. It really is a wicked partner for the Christmas Turkey.
Independent lifelong dreams for the two winemakers behind this wine became a reality when they set up a new estate in Nuits Saint Georges in Burgundy. A wine offering up ripe black fruits, truffles and spice and is the personification of power and elegance.
Is this the only dessert that is confined to a single outing a year? The classic Christmas pudding, served with white sauce, really is one of those love-hate desserts but I love it! To set off any pudding a good bottle of dessert wine really does add that bit of class and makes it ultimately all that more delicious. I’ve selected a few different options for you below.
You’d be hard pressed to find a better value for money dessert wine than this, honestly. Beautifully fragrant with aromas of honey and papaya followed by a delicious palate of sweet melon and orange peel. There’s enough freshness held within this sweet Muscat nectar to cut through the richness of all that dried fruit. Yum!
The Cerons appellation of Bordeaux is tiny, with only 19 producers making wine. The release from our favourite Bordeaux Chateaux is truly exceptional. Organically produced this dessert wine is luscious, apricot sweet, and balanced by crisp lemon acidity. A Classic Bordeaux sticky with an air of class.
Cloudy Bay is New Zealand’s most iconic winery growing from humble roots to stand tall, with their Sauvignon Blanc revered the world over. However, there’s more to Cloudy Bay than just their Sauvignon Blanc highlighted by this amazing dessert offering. A deeply concentrated wine with aromas of peach, hints of citrus and a dried fruit quality. The palate is breathtaking with a rich, long finish.
You’ve made it! Well almost. Now it’s time for the final course of this epic meal there’s no better way to finish than with a selection of your favourite cheeses, chutneys, crackers and a glass of something to induce that late afternoon snooze. For this purpose I’ve selected an exceptional vintage Port.
Croft is undoubtedly one of the leading Port Houses and their 2002 release is stunning. Vintage Port really is a perfect match to a cheese board. Quinta de Roeda has lovely dense black fruit characters, perfectly balanced sweetness and the delicious spicy chocolaty finish works in harmony with the variety of flavours found in the cheeses of the world.
Now you really have made it so it’s time to get under a blanket, put Elf on the telly and chill. Snooze anyone?