We know there is a lot to get prepped ahead of the festive season, especially for the big day itself, so we thought we would help where we can and share with you our dream line up of wines to ensure this Christmas is one to remember.
They say a meal without wine is called breakfast, but if there is ever a day to bend the rules a little, it’s Christmas. See in the morning with a bit of fizz and our brand-new Col Lecio Brut Reserva is our top pick to kick things off. This is next level Cava with ripe citrus fruit and some subtle toastiness, guaranteed to become your new favourite fizz. You can use it as part of an outstanding mimosa or luxury spritz cocktail, but really, it is best appreciated on its own.
To really spread the festive cheer and get the celebrations started, we suggest Taittinger’s finest Champagne – Comtes Blanc de Blancs, one of the standout wines of the 2011 vintage in Champagne. We only managed to get a handful of bottles, so waste no time in bagging one (or two) of these beauties. Take your canapés up a notch to match the luxury of this prestige cuvée. Why not a little caviar on-top of the salmon blinis or a swirl of truffle oil on the cheese straws. This bottle is everything you could hope for from top quality Champagne, bright with a generous intensity of lemon zest and ripe apple. It has layers of complex brioche and toast notes all with a chalky, mineral finish.
Traditional turkey throws up plenty of options for white or red wines. If you are looking for a white, then try Robert Oatley Signature Chardonnay. This delicious, rounded, and plump Chardonnay is generous enough to live up to the turkey with all its trimmings. But if red is more your thing, we have Chateau des Jacques Moulin Vent La Rochelle 2015. A Cru Beaujolais that gives a good Burgundy a run for its money and is sure to impress even the resident family wine expert. As a light to medium-bodied red there’s no risk of overpowering the turkey, or equally a nut roast or veggie wellington. Full of spice, cherry fruits and red berry flavours this pour will perfectly complement your plate, just like a dollop of cranberry sauce.
If you are after something special to go with beef, then we have a magnum of Rioja that is not only a perfect pairing but makes for an impressive centrepiece. Contino are a Riojan icon, and their Contino 17 Barricas Rioja Magnum is the stuff of legends. It was only produced in 2013 when a freak hailstorm decimated most of the estate’s grapes and winemaker, Jesús Madrazo, painstakingly salvaged the remaining healthy grapes producing just 17 barrels of wine. Seven years on and the wine is maturing very nicely. It’s a dense, rich Rioja with plenty of dark berry fruit, liquorice spice and chewy ripe tannins.
Christmas is pretty much an ‘in for a penny, in for a pound’ kind of day, so it is only right to have something equally special for pud. And for a great Christmas dessert all-rounder then try Ramos Pinto Collector Reserve Port. A full-bodied port with notes of rich, ripe dark fruits with undertones of blackberry and cherry. Perfect with fruity desserts or the compulsory cheese board. However, if cheese really is your thing then another front runner would be Cocchi Barolo Chinato. This is a rather extraordinary fortified wine, made with Nebbiolo grapes grown in the hills of Italy’s Piemonte. The infusion of herbs and spices adds a bittersweetness and tonnes of complexity, delicious to accompany anything with a high cocoa content.
When the belt has been loosened and the sofa is calling, but you’re not quite done sipping then Lustau Rojo Vermut is a lovely little tipple. Unlike other vermouths where wine is the base liquid before fortification, Lustau uses sherry and predominately the rich and sticky Pedro Ximenez. This gives this blend all of the Christmassy flavours of spice, dried fruit and nuts. Try it simply over a couple cubes of ice or as part of a festive negroni.