Wine suggestions to help your Christmas day go with a swing.
Do we start with breakfast? I’m sure we’re not the only ones that like a bit of fizz to brighten the smoked salmon! But we save the Champagne for a little later and wake the palate up with some Burgundian bubbles from the Domaine du Bicheron. A Blanc de Blancs from Chardonnay grapes grown in the mineral soils of the Macon region, this is a superb way to break your fast and to get the day off to a wonderful start. Fresh, lively and delicious.
For lunch, maybe a bit later than normal, Champagne is the way to go. No matter whether it’s the Veuve Doussot or Guy Charlemagne (or indeed any of the big houses, if you can find some) they will both get you ready for a feast. The Veuve Doussot has a richer style but still brings elegance and freshness to bear, whereas the Guy Charlemagne is something very special and despite the fact that you’ve probably never heard of it, you certainly won’t forget it. The Brut Classic’s 50% Chardonnay and 50% Pinot Noir. Gorgeous!
Moving on to the main event, depending on what you’ll be enjoying, both white and red could be required so here’s a selection of our favourites that we have with the seasonal foods. To open up, Sauvignon Blanc always proves popular with our clients so we have selected one from the Rustenberg Estate in Stellenbosch, South Africa. This is so very typical of Sauvignon Blanc with plenty of tropical fruit aromas and flavours, balanced by a crisp and refreshing acidity. As with everything from Rustenberg, it really over delivers in terms of quality/price.
For Chardonnay lovers, have a look at the Macon Peronne Vieille Vignes from Domaine de Bicheron. The more straightforward cuvee is the most popular white wine on our website but the extra few pounds for the old vines cuvee is definitely worth paying. Again, it is unoaked and with the vines being over 50 years of age they are providing sensational fruit. Peach, pear and some more exotic notes will balance wonderfully against both fish and poultry.
A really good all-rounder is the Rioja Blanco from Sierra Cantabria where the complex blend of Viura, Malvasia and Sauvignon Blanc gives not only freshness and vitality, but also depth and length. It is very much at home with seafood and shellfish but works very well too with cured and smoked meats.
Anyone for Rosé?! Well Domaine Horgelus in Gascogny produces a stunning little rosé that won’t break the bank. It’s a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Tannat and Merlot that just sings with notes of blackcurrant and wild herbs. Ideal with fish such as salmon but also excellent with poultry.
For an extra few pounds, it is worth considering the Unexpected Rosé from Chateau Montaud in Provence which gives more complexity to the whole thing. It has both great elegance and freshness as the underlying mineral notes make it a wonderful food partner. As with the Gascogne Rosé it is built for salmon and poultry but it will also cope with the stronger flavours of smoked salmon.
Turning to red wines, we have always favoured Burgundy as our go to red and we have a parcel of Saint Romain from Pascal Prunier. As with all good things, it's not cheap, but it certainly justifies the price. Expressive Pinot Noir with plenty of red fruit aromas and flavours together with good structure and ripe, fine-grained tannins. This is a great wine but as with all Burgundy these days, there isn’t much of it. So first come, first served.
If you’re craving something that requires bolder flavours, have a look at the By Clinet, Pomerol made by Ronan Laborde. This is just the thing for red meat dishes or games such as venison. It is complex and bold with flavours of prunes and truffle in the bouquet, well endowed on the palate with notes of plum and hazelnut. Long in the finish, this is top quality Pomerol, as you would expect from Ronan Laborde and will grace any table.
Rather than these classical French offerings, you may wish to consider something from the Southern Hemisphere and a recent addition to our portfolio is the Lahuen Cabernet Sauvignon blend from Terranoble in Chile. This is a big, brooding red from the Colchagua Valley. Intense yet elegant with bold ripe fruit flavours. Educated and from a country that is more renowned for cheap and cheerful.
Onwards to cheese, why not consider Amarone from Corte Adami where the luscious cherry flavours combined with spices make for a perfect accompaniment to the savoury flavours of cheese. This is a Vino di Meditazione that not only can be enjoyed with cheese but also can be sipped and savoured as the day or evening wears on.
As for dessert, we have purchased a small parcel of a delicious Sauternes - Les Jardins de la Tour Blanche - that will be just the ticket for the whole spectrum of desserts except for Chocolate. The wine is notoriously sweet but not cloying and the fresh acidity makes it great fun to drink. And if chocolate is your thing, keep on with the Amarone!
Whatever your meal choices for the Christmas period, we are sure that with these suggestions there is something that will be ideal for you. Have a great season and remember, life is too short to drink bad wine!The wines: