Paula Goddard’s Wines of the Week starting 16th December 2019
If you want wines to please everybody, that will also match just about any Christmas Day food or snack then you’ll need to get in at least three bottles of wine – a light red, a fruity white and a flavourful red that can double as an after-dinner port.
Trying to find wines that will suit all palates (from the wine connoisseur to the occasional drinker) is tricky enough without adding the fact that that they must also match a wide range of foods – from salmon starters, to roast meat mains, sticky puddings and the salted snacks munched during The Queen’s Speech. So where to start?
Light and fruity reds, like French Beaujolais or Claret, rather than hefty reds like aged Spanish Rioja or Cabernet Sauvignon, are your best bet. Lighter reds not only match white meats as well as more hearty roast beef joints, but they also have the additional advantage of having just enough flavour to be enjoyable without offending anybody.
But some people just don’t like red wine. So this is where an additional bottle or two of well-known white grape variety wines are useful (Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc) plus something with a more traditional Germanic tang for the occasional drinker (Riesling, or the now fashionable Picpoul de Pinet which is light enough to act as an aperitif).
Of course you may have someone in your party that only drinks hearty reds – to please them why not get in a hearty Spanish or Italian red – these can then also double as an after-dinner substitute to Port and have the added bonus of being a talking point with the wine connoisseur who always seems to be around somewhere…
Top Ten Wines for Christmas Day
Vale dos Pombos Portugal Vinho Verde 2018, 9.5%
Lower in alcohol than many white wines, Vinho Verde makes a refreshing drink with a slight fizz on the tongue. Match to nibbles and turkey roast.
Pecorino 2018, Italy
Flavours of apple, peach and rose petals. Aromatic but subtle.
SPAR Languedoc Blanc 2017, France
Flavours of toasty apricot. Match to any meals with gravy or sauce.
Aludo Portuguese Chardonnay 2018
Flavours of tinned pear and mango. Not your usual Chardonnay flavours!
Albert Bichot Macon-Lugny 2018, French Chardonnay
If you want to push the boat out then try this fresh and fruity Chardonnay. A crowd pleaser.
Vignoble Rousellet French Pinot Noir
Flavours of smoky plum. A light red that will match all types of meals.
Torrebruna Italian Primitivo 2018
A complex red with flavours of violets, cherries and Bovril.
Barefoot Californian Merlot
A well-known and well recognised brand that will reassure your guests with its juicy and jammy flavours.
Premium sparkling rose, Jansz Brut, Tasmania
Lightly fizzy with flavours of apple and melon. It tastes like a white but with the pretty colours of a rose.
10. Sweet/After dinner
Tesco Finest PX Pedro Ximinez Sherry
£6 Tesco (half bottle size)
Thick, smooth and rich. Tastes of fruit cake and black treacle.