Wines to drink on Christmas Day

The team at CellarVie Wines have been gorging themselves on mince pies for longer than is socially acceptable, which definitely means it’s time for us to address which wines we should be supping this Christmas. With each festive season seemingly busier than the last, the least we could do is make things a little easier by tackling the somewhat baffling choice of what to drink on Christmas Day
 Image by Joe Buckingham
A time for celebration, Christmas tends to see those weekday wines put to one side (and the budget too!) and replaced by slightly more aspirational wines that you have been hankering for; it is Christmas after all!
 Now wouldn't this be nice?!?
The Piper-Heidsieck Rare Millésime, a near perfect Champagne according to the critics, is the ultimate show stopper for your festive celebrations, and it would be an excellent match for a mid-morning smoked salmon feast.
 For mere mortals wishing to splash out on Champagne for Christmas, the magnum of Piper-Heidsieck Brut made by one of the greatest sparkling winemakers of all time, Régis Camus, would be an eye-catching addition to any Christmas feast, but at a rather more affordable price.

The Bouche Pere et Fils Cuvée Reservée Brut NV is a fuller-bodied style of Champagne from a small, family-owned village on the southern outskirts of Epernay. This is a great bottle of bubbles that will not break the bank this Christmas, and illustrates that if you are willing to put in the hard yards (or let us) there is still value to be found in one of the world’s most iconic wine regions.
Alternatively, and you would not be alone here given the soaring popularity of Italy’s signature sparkling wine, you might decide to veer towards Prosecco. Fantinel’s ‘One and Only’ Single Vineyard Prosecco is currently on offer at £11.99, and this unique and beautifully elegant wine is a wonderful celebratory offering from one of the region’s most notable producers. Vintage Prosecco is a rarity so we would urge you to give this is a try!
An English Sparkling wine like the Gusbourne Brut Reserve 2009 is a beautifully patriotic alternative to champagne: the 2009 vintage was one of the greatest England has ever seen, and this special sparkler won Gold at the International Wine Challenge 2014. It has outscored many of its more vaunted French counterparts at blind tastings, and is one of the major protagonists behind the English sparkling wine boom. Hailing from Kent, this citrusy, apple-esque beauty certainly ticks the box for something slightly different on Christmas day.

The hugely-acclaimed Robert Mondavi Winery makes a marvellously smooth Pinot Noir, with a fruity, plum and berry nose and a hint of spice. The light tannins make this splendid wine an ideal accompaniment to white meat like turkey.
The Federalist Zinfandel continues to cause a stir in the office having featured regularly at a few of our consumer tasting events this month. Some believe this punchy number would overwhelm a succulent turkey, whereas others wouldn’t dare drink anything else. The previous vintage (2010) won Best Zinfandel at the IWSC and this deliciously fruity red, adorned with a beautifully designed wine label that commemorates the most famous Federalist in American history, Alexander Hamilton, is a delicious wine to showcase at Christmas.
Image by Yabby
Christmas is a time to return to longstanding customs, so embrace the tradition of the Old World with the Domaine Rodet Château de Mercey Pinot Noir. This relatively light and fruity red will perfectly complement the light flavours of your turkey. Similarly, a classic Bordeaux like Château Cissac Haut-Médoc is an obvious, unfalteringly good Christmas red. A traditional claret blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot, this is an iconic Bordeaux with hints of cedar wood, deep red and black fruits and an attractive, spicy, earthy, character. Medium-bodied and beautifully constructed, it is an ideal wine for Christmas. One to labour on when you succumb to the cheese course too.
If it’s white you are after, a Chardonnay such as an elegantly restrained Burgundian incarnation is a staple for many come Christmas Day. Try the Louis Jadot Chassagne-Montrachet: a fantastic, oaked white wine that will be a winner with poultry such as turkey.
 A white Rhône such as Jean-Luc Colombo Les Abeilles Blanc is an absolutely delicious food wine. Beautifully full bodied, this wine will hold its own against the various accompaniments to turkey, such as pigs in blankets, rich gravy and bread sauce.

The acidity of Northern Italian whites lend themselves very nicely to food, and this Gavi di Gavi by Domini Villa Lanata is a great match for rich white meat like turkey. Fresh and minerally, this aromatic Italian from Piemonte is a deliciously versatile food wine and a real favourite with some of London’s top sommeliers.
 At the latter stages of your meal a deliciously sweet yet subtle Sauterne is a classic choice for Christmas, andChâteau Les Justices Sauternes 2007 is a wonderful way to toast your flaming Christmas pudding. One of the most popular and award-winning wines from Sauternes, this beautifully sweet offering is a blend of Sémillon, Sauvignon and a smidgeon of Muscadelle.
 Image by Cat
Port makes for a heavenly end to any Christmas meal. Try a Tawny such as Graham’s 20 Year Old Tawny port which is a lighter, more golden colour than a ruby, vintage or LBV port.  Less fruity, Tawny Port tends to be nuttier with a more caramelized flavour. The aforementioned from Graham’s is rich, sweet and smooth on the palate, with hints of orange peel, this is absolutely delicious with your Christmas pudding and of course the obligatory cheese course.

Alternatively, a vintage port such as Graham’s Quinta Dos Malvedos 2001is a match made in heaven with Stilton. Rich and powerfully flavoured, it perfectly matches the pungent flavours of this quintessentially English blue cheese.
 Image by Lars Ploughmann
Stuck for present ideas? Have a look at our present ideas for wine lovers 
If Bing Crosby’s dreams come true and we have a white Christmas, beat those winter chills with our recipe for a mid-afternoon mulled wine.
 Image by rpavich

 Main image by Neal Whitehouse Piper

Written by: Lucy Prosser

Lucy Prosser 


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