What should you be drinking this Christmas?

 

 

Haven’t even had time to think about what to drink on the day itself. Things may have to be a bit more subdued this year but it does give you an excellent excuse to choose something a bit special for the festive feast. 

 

Drinks and Nibbles. 

Domaine la Croix Montjoie, Crémant de Bourgogne, Brut – £19.95

Crémants tend to be a little-known secret for affordable, delicious sparkling wine. Made all over France using the exact same method as the more famous Champagne region, they can be a bit fruitier and very easy to drink!

 

Champagne Pol Roger, Réserve, Brut – £35.20

Currently at a fantastic 20% off at Berry Bros. & Rudd, this champagne is one of the very best non-vintage Champagnes on the market. It’s refreshing, powerful and bursting with flavour. If it is good enough for Winston Churchill, it is good enough for me. 

 

2012 Berry Bros. & Rudd Champagne by Mailly, Grand Cru – £39

My go to for a superb vintage Champagne that won’t break the bank. Vintage Champagnes can feel more celebratory and tend to be rounder with aromas of brioche, vanilla and toast. Steering clear of the big-name brands often gives you better value for money and a more intensely flavoured wine as well. 

 

Starter 

2019 Riesling, Trocken, Eva Fricke, Rheingau, Germany – £22.95

If you are looking for a refreshing wine to go alongside a delicately flavoured starter this year, then look no further than this German wine. This dry Riesling has notes of apple, pear and jasmine and is perfect alongside any starter or as a great alternative aperitif as well.  

 

2017 Au Bon Climat, Wild Boy, Chardonnay, Santa Barbara County, California, USA – £25.95

Au Bon Climat’s winemaker Jim Clendenen is the self-titled ‘wild boy’ of Californian winemaking. He shows of his signature elegant style here with a finessNormally at Christmas we’d have gone through the majority of December drinking generic white/red or sparkling wine at a revolving door of Christmas parties. So that by the time Christmas gets around, we e not always associated with chardonnay. With notes of apricot, orange blossom and a touch of toast, this would be excellent if you’ve opted for a cheese-based starter. 

 

2018 Chassagne-Montrachet, Domaine Philippe Colin, Burgundy – £49.00

If you are looking to push the boat out on your wines this Christmas, then turn to Burgundy for a masterclass in winemaking. Chassagne-Montrachet is known as one of the finest white wine regions in the world. It is rich with fruit, spice and a refreshing acidity at the end, perfect with your smoked salmon starter. 

 

Turkey and trimmings.

2017 Berry Bros. & Rudd St Julien by Château Léoville Las Cases, Bordeaux – £24.95

You cannot go wrong with a classic Bordeaux wine with your Turkey. This is made by one of the best producers in the region that holds a Grand Cru Classé title for its top cuveé. This shows off the typically powerful St Julien style with intense flavours of cassis and cedar. 

  

2015 Barolo, del Comune di La Morra, Marcarini, Piedmont, Italy – £33.00

The Barolo region in northern Italy produces some of the country’s finest wines. It has a delicate floral nose but is more meaty and savoury on the palate. It is a winner for your Christmas table and will bring out the best in your Turkey and trimmings.

 

2017 Nicolas-Jay, Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon, USA – £70.00

An elegant but ripe pinot noir can really balance out the flavours in a Christmas dinner. For this I tend to look to the New World; particularly South Africa, North America or New Zealand. This one is outstanding but there are some excellent examples for a slightly lower budget out there as well. 

 

Dessert/Cheese

Berry Bros. & Rudd William Pickering, Tawny Port by Quinta do Noval – £27.95

A cheeseboard and port are made to go hand in hand. Tawny port is aged in small barrels, turning it a beautiful golden brown, with sophisticated toasted nut, orange peel and chocolate aromas. Tawny port tends to feel slightly less rich than your traditional ruby port which makes it the perfect way to close your Christmas dinner. 

 

Malvasia, 10-year-old, Vinhos Barbeito – £32.95 

Christmas pudding can be hard to pair with a wine, but this Madeira is Christmas pudding in a glass. It is sweet and luscious with copious aromas of dried fruit, toffee, candied peel, sweet spice and walnuts but its naturally high acidity prevents it feeling too cloying. Once opened it can last for years so it is perfect as the occasional treat.

 

The King’s Ginger Liqueur – £23.50 

This sticky, revitalising elixir was first created by Berry Bros. & Rudd for Edward VII in 1903 as a driving liqueur to keep the King warm on his winter trips. The spicy-honeyed flavour is perfect on its own, in a coffee or served over ice cream. 

 

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