For the holidays it is best to go with crowd pleasing wines rather than focusing on one dish on the table
When choosing wines for Christmas should we buy considering the flavours on the festive table or simply consider guest preferences? It is a tricky task, but the easiest solution is to go for crowd-pleasing wines. Less stress! The list may include sparkling, red, white and rosé wines. They all should have one thing in common, the distinctly festive feel.
N/V Champagne Gosset Extra Brut, Champagne, France, Abv 12%
Founded in Aÿ in 1584 by Pierre Gosset, Champagne Gosset is the oldest wine house in Champagne. For more than four centuries, the family has preserved its house style, a true reflection of the terroir; a textured wine that shows purity, precision and persistence. Gosset Extra Brut is an incredibly open and expressive Champagne. This cuvée is a blend of Chardonnay 32%, Pinot Noir 45% and Pinot Meunier 23%. It smells of white flowers, such as acacia and hawthorn unleashed by succulent aromas of pear, replicated on the palate along with peaches, mirabelles and plums. This Extra Brut is of great purity with fresh and lively acidity, ideal to welcome the New Year. (€59.50, Attikouris Enterprises – Wines & More by French Depot)
2017 Bodegas Salentein Numina, Chardonnay, Uco Valley Mendoza, Argentina, Abv 13.5%
Located in Mendoza’s famed Uco Valley, Salentein produces a remarkable collection of wines from vineyards planted in some of the highest elevations on the planet
The 2017 Numina Chardonnay has a light lemon colour. The nose exudes lovely aromas of fresh citrus fruits, pineapple, tropical mix in general hazelnut, and toast with hints of coconut and dried herbs. The aromas draw you into this very balanced medium bodied Chardonnay, a generous palate with round flavours of green apple and lemon complemented by subtle tropical fruit and refreshing acidity. It has a long finish, both creamy and zesty. Excellent with smoked salmon, grilled Dover Sole, stuffed roast turkey and vegetables, chicken with cream and mushroom sauce, and roast pork. (€28, My Vine Merchants)
2010 Château la Fleur Gazin, Grand Vin, Pomerol, Bordeaux, France, Abv 13%
This lovely property is located between Château Lafleur and Château Gazin. Pomerol is renowned for producing wines of lush richness, with the fleshiness of the Merlot grape balanced by the firm acidity of the Cabernet Franc to produce wines which, while easy to enjoy young, nevertheless have the capacity to age. And this is what Château Lafleur-Gazin offers. The vintage presents a beautiful appearance, a velvety texture and complex aromas of fruit. It has a deep colour. Blackberries and dark plums, tangy raspberry, lightly peppery dark berries as well as fresh, earthy nuances and violets. Rich, powerful and admirably endowed on the palate, with serious tannins. It has a finish which grows in intensity and is flavoursome. Christmas food and wine pairing: roast turkey or goose, any roast meat or beef fillet with ceps or porcini mushrooms. (€68, La Maison du Vin)
2017 Rubert and Rothschild Vignerons Classique Bordeaux Blend Paarl, South Africa, Abv 14%
At the foot of the spectacular Simonsberg mountain in the Franschhoek valley lies the historic French Huguenot farm Fredericksburg, established in 1690 and now home to Rupert & Rothschild Vignerons. The cultivar for this wine is approximately 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 50% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot – a typical Bordeaux blend.
Crimson red colour, this wine is immensely fruity and upfront. Its aromas and flavours of ripe fruit, blackcurrant, smoke spice, coffee, tobacco and oak accents of earth and just a hint of tannins makes it smooth, approachable and ready for a juicy ribeye or succulent lamb Souvla for Christmas. The palate builds to a structured, dense finish with good length. (€24.40, Bottles)
2013 Alain Brumont, Château Bouscasse Grand Vin de Madiran, Abv 14%
Offering the perfect balance of quality and value, southwest France is a recognised appellation that encompasses all wine regions in France’s southwestern corner (except for Bordeaux and Cognac which merit their very own). Two of the more famous subregions here are Cahors, known for its Malbec, and Madiran, home of the robust Tannat grape.
The blend of this wine is approximate 50% Tannat with almost equal parts of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. An almost opaque purple in the glass. A powerful and spicy nose of earthy black fruits. Full-bodied yet smooth in texture with further expressive flavours of cassis and black plums. A lengthy finish and pronounced acidity make this a great food wine. Try with rib of beef with a shallot and red wine sauce, oxtail braised in red wine or medallions of venison served with apples and blackcurrants. (€55, Wines & More by French Depot)
2016 Stags Leap Merlot Napa Valley, USA, Abv 14%
A fashionable country resort in the mid-twentieth century, popular with Hollywood due to its historic gardens, legends of bootleggers and gangsters, ghosts and gypsies, Stags Leap has been home to three major family groups up through the modern revitalization of the winery that began in the 1970s.
Here, expressive Merlot showcases the varietal’s ability to excel in the Napa Valley. Dark red colour, lots of boysenberries and blackberries with hints of flowers, red licorice with intriguing baking spice notes and polished structure. Incredibly pleasurable and complex on the palate with cherry, cranberry, pomegranate and plum flavours and notes of caramel and cinnamon. Full body and round, firm tannins, beautiful finish with spice and berries flavours. For your Christmas baked pasta, braised short ribs, roast turkey of course and hard cheeses at the end. (€35, distributed by Photiades Distributors)