Paula’s Wines of the Week – 7th December 2020

Paula’s Wines of the Week – 7th December 2020

How to choose wines for Christmas Day

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 to 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…

Paula’s Wine Reviews from

Wine Chat Pink A.F. (As Flamingos) Pinot Grigio Rose
£7.50 Morrisons
3 star rating
Nice try with the pink link to flamingos, but this is still a standard rose that tastes lightly of strawberry cheesecake.

Cocoparra Australian Chardonnay
£8 Co-op
3 star rating
The wine name and strident yellow label design does not do this wine any favours as it makes the wine look like it ought to cost a fiver. But the wine inside is balanced with the sharp apple tang uplifted with some oaky viscosity. A bit of peach and coconut too. Nice but over priced.

M&S Classics No. 30 Gruner Veltliner 2019
£8.50 M&S
5 star rating
Austrian wines may not normally be in your top picks of the wine aisle but you’ll change your mind after tasting this one – it’s a fruity, balanced, mouth-filling fragrant sensation. Aromas of fresh pears guide you in (no tinned pears here) along with a touch of toffee then the flavours open out into zingy green apple, ginger root and peach. Lovely stuff.

Nero Oro Grillo 2019 Appassimento
£9.99 Majestic
4 star rating
Appassimento means that the white Grillo grapes for this wine have been partially dried and so concentrating their sweetness. But not so much so that the result is a dessert wine – far from it. This tastes refreshingly of lemon and apple with a touch of honey and a background of orange and herb. It makes a good match to Asian dishes that require a wine with a touch of sweetness.

The wine rating system uses a maximum of 5 stars:

5 star rating (outstanding – the top rating given by
4 star rating (very good wine)
3 star rating (good wine but over priced)
2 star rating (a disappointing wine)
1 star rating (little to offer)

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© Paula Goddard 2020