Choosing the right wines for Christmas should be pretty straightforward right? Well it would be if it wasn’t for that Big Bird in the middle of the table.
For me, Turkey is as problematic as curry when it comes to pairing food with wine. Too often the bird is dry and bland delivering little to the taste buds until it’s covered in gravy or cranberry sauce.
We should also remember that Turkey is only one part of the Christmas meal. By the time you’ve stacked your plate with crispy roast potatoes, sausages wrapped in bacon, various sauces, stuffing, edible vegetables (peas and carrots) and inedible vegetables (Brussels sprouts) then Turkey only retains a minority interest for your palette. So, you’re actually choosing a wine to accompany the collective taste assault that this unique festive fusion delivers.
On the dessert side of Christmas Day, I’m sure I’m not alone in declaring that I’ve not tasted a spoonful of Christmas Pudding since I was forced to as a child and will never willingly suffer the experience again until I’m interred in a home. Give me a chocolate Yuletide log anytime.
And finally, let’s not forget taste. All the guidance in the world won’t make a jot of difference if you don’t like the wines that the experts recommend. This is Christmas day for God’s sake (no pun intended), you must drink whatever makes you merry!
So, with all these things considered, our wine buyer Colin has come up with a selection of choices for the festivities each reflecting a different approach for your taste buds.
The Classic Dinner Party Pack (£47.95 for a case of 6 bottles)
This is the case that I’ve set aside for Boxing Day. It’s Christmas with a difference. For the Fizz we open up wit a Cremant d’Alsace from Edmond Rentz. Too often, people substitute Champagne with Spanish Cava but I often recommend that people try Cremant d’Alsace as a more interesting alternative – it tends to show more distinct character and originality.
The choice of white and red are a sauvingon blanc and cabernet sauvignon. The former is from South Africa where we’ve been sourcing the best value wines for you this year and the latter from is Argentina which, as far we’re concerned , continues to go from strength to strength (as our recent Taste of Argentina case proved).
We’re taking a sideways slant with our choice of dessert wine too. The Chateau du Juge Cadillac is a real alternative to Sauternes and is one of Colin’s top picks. Sweet without being ‘cloying’ and with a healthy dose of alcohol.
The Christmas Premium Dinner Party Kit (£67.95 for case of 6 bottles)
We’ve chosen the region of Burgundy for our choices of red and white for the premium case offer. This is the case that I’ll be opening up for the family meal on Christmas Day (well 2 cases actually!). The Bourgogne Aligote is a great alternative to chardonnay and the Macon Aze is an interesting blend of Gamay and Pinot Noir.
For Fizz, we’re putting in a great English wine from the award winning East Sussex vineyard at Ridgeview. Made from the same grape varieties used in Champagne, I’m looking forward to surprising my guests with this one. Finally in this case we’ve produced the big after dinner hitter – a sumptuous Port. Marvellous.
If you want to explore the full range of festive wines then take a look at our top Christmas picks. All cases are delivered directly to your door and please feel free to contact me personally if you’d like some more advice or further recommendations.