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Let The Jockey Club’s resident Wine and Hospitality expert guide you through the nuances of your white, red and rosé Christmas wine choices, as well as offer tips for fortified wines like sherry and port.

 

With the countdown to Christmas well underway, remember not to leave your drink choices to the last minute so you have the wines to go with the dishes and occasions you have planned. Most of us will have decided by now what we are going to cook and which light bites we are going to nibble on over Yuletide. The big question is: which wines to pair with the festive fare? Fizz  has got you covered for the initial celebrations and later for New Year’s Eve , but you’ll probably need to have a well-stocked wine rack to enjoy the festive period in style if you’re anything like The Wine Tipster.


Turkey

Remember that with Christmas Day turkey it is all about big roasted flavours, rich side dishes and full-flavoured sauces so you need a red with good structure but not overpowering.

 

Try the fantastic value St. Hallett ‘Faith’ Shiraz 2018, Barossa Valley, Australia £16.99 and £14.99 mixed case of six from Majestic, or this fabulous Bordeaux from a brilliant vintage Château Peyrabon, Haut-Médoc 2009, Cru Bourgeois, France £22. Stockist: www.thewinesociety.com

 

Other wines like a Rioja Reserva or a Rhône red all work too. When it comes to cold turkey on Boxing Day, The Wine Tipster recommends a good Beaujolais cru like a Fleurie or Morgon, with their soft red fruit flavours and supple tannins they make a great match.

Beef

Roast Beef with all the trimmings needs a big full-flavoured red like a Barolo or a Malbec from Argentina. Bodegas Catena Zapata produce some great Malbecs, including this smooth, intense Catena Malbec 2018, Mendoza, Argentina, which is great festive value in Waitrose at £9.99 down from £13.49.

Salmon  

With smoked salmon or salmon en croute Chardonnay comes to the fore. Go for a creamy, rich style that is not over oaked so a very good Macon or St Veran from Burgundy would work perfectly. From California, Bogle Vineyard Chardonnay is great value and for a real treat the Petaluma Yellow Label Chardonnay 2019, Piccadilly Valley, Adelaide Hills is sublime, £24.99 mixed case of six Majestic. For non-Chardonnay fans, a dry Riesling, Albarino or an Italian white like Lugana are all good.

 

Vegan and Vegetarian dishes

If you are having a vegetarian roast or a wellington dish then a southern French red is a great value pairing or a Rioja Reserva like Bilbao Rioja Reserva 2015, a very good vintage is down to £12.99 from £15.99 www.greatwine.co.uk  vegan and vegetarian friendly. For mushroom based dishes then Pinot Noir works so well with Stonier Pinot Noir 2018, Mornington Peninsula, Australia £18.99 mixed case of six Majestic, which is outstanding. English reds like Bolney Estate Dark Harvest 2018, Sussex £11.99 in Waitrose are a good choice too. Dry white wines, for example Picpoul from France, Bacchus from the UK and Assyrtiko from Greece are good with savoury lentil and chickpea dishes. If you are adding spices then white varieties Viognier, Riesling and Grüner Veltliner have the intensity of flavour to work perfectly here. Dry rosé is so underrated as a pairing and the high class Love by Léoube Rosé 2019, Provence, £15.99 www.daylesford.com is a must buy for Christmas. 

Christmas Pudding

This is always a highlight and you need a dessert wine to provide the sweetness like Torres Floralis Moscatel from Spain down to £7 in Morrisons which is a bargain, or the memorable Essencia Andrew Quady Orange Muscat 2016, California half bottle Majestic £11.99 mix of 6.

Cheeseboard  

There isn’t one wine to suit all your cheeseboard so this needs some planning as Stilton with sweet wine or port, particularly a tawny port, Graham’s 10 year-old Tawny in Tesco on offer at £15 is a fabulous pairing! A mature Cheddar with a big full flavoured Italian red like a Southern French or Portuguese red works perfectly. For Goats cheese a crisp Sauvignon Blanc and Brie with a Merlot or Beaujolais.

The Wine Tipster’s Six to Follow for Christmas and New Year for easy drinking

 

Throughout the festive period you need some wines that are simply great to enjoy on their own or with nibbles. The Tio Pepe Sherry is fantastic and needs to be served really chilled. Enjoy!

 

  • Gonzalez Byass Tio Pepe Palomino Fino Sherry, Jerez, Spain £9.00. Stockists: Tesco, Asda, Morrisons, numerous retailers.
  • Yealands Sauvignon Blanc 2020, Marlborough, New Zealand £9.50. Stockists: Sainsbury’s, Co-op, Majestic, Spar
  • Les Dauphins Côtes du Rhône Blanc 2019, Cellier des Dauphins, Rhône, France £8.00. Stockists: Asda, Tesco 
  • Chapel Down English Rosé 2019, Kent, England down to £9.74 25% off from £12.99. Stockist: Waitrose
  • Casillero Del Diablo Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva 2019, Concha y Toro, Chile £8.00. Stockists: Tesco, Co-op
  • Porta 6 2019, Lisbon, Portugal £9.00. Stockist: Co-op

 

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