MD JAMES' TOP TEN FESTIVE WINES

Posted on December 07, 2018 by Samantha Redmond

Christmas Eve, in preparation for the big day…

It has to be Champagne on Christmas Eve. Edouard Brun’s Reserve 1er Cru ticks all the boxes: it is fresh but has a little extra richness and weight with its 75% Pinot Noir and a decent bit of time on lees. A few bottles of this definitely need to be on hand.

Christmas morning, to get things going!

Probably nothing for breakfast… but more Champagne (from Christmas Eve) for pre-lunch please, or maybe even an English sparkling...

The main event – the Christmas feast…

  • Starters: For a smoked salmon starter you want something fresh but also tasty. My current favorite for this is Edetaria’s Seleccio Blanc from Catalonia’s Terra Alta, a wine that combines stunning concentration of minerality with intense freshness and acidity.
  • Main course: For a white, I want something richer here. If I can get one, a bottle of Alban’s Estate Roussanne is a once a year treat. Honeyed, weighty and rich, it’s just gorgeous. Failing that, a bottle of Consolation’s Juliette Roussanne. While my choice of red is a new one for us, the Two Vintners’ Some Days are Diamonds Syrah. It’s a hedonistic wine, but it has the tannic structure and acidity to match food well too. It has concentration but also elegance and savoury complexity.
  • Desert: Orenga de Gaffory’s Muscat Impassitu: late harvest, fortified Muscat from Patrimonio in Corsica.

Later, by the fire or collapsed in front of the TV…

The Impassitu’s sister/brother wine: Orenga’s fortified Rappu made from Aglianico. Dark purple, rich and filled with dark berries and cocoa.

Boxing Day with the leftovers or after a bracing walk…

A light red wine would be nice: maybe a Morgon from Trenel.

When the inevitable unexpected guests drop in, what do you open?

La Motte’s Sauvignon Blanc never fails to please, and you should have a couple of those in the fridge at all times.

New Year’s Eve, to end the season in style…

I’d go full circle with Champagne, perhaps the Rosé by Edouard Brun’s  which is lovely!

 

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