For us, Christmas is all about good food, wine and family. Though we can’t choose our family, we do have a little more say in what will be poured in glasses and served on the big day. Before rushing into anything, take some time to ensure the wines will complement the festive feast. After all, when you get the pairing right, it will lead to a much more harmonious experience and take both the food and wine to a whole new level.
Our buying team has put their heads together to create the classic Christmas wine list. Tick each of these boxes, and you'll have the festive season all wrapped up.
To get the ball rolling, we are taking our inspiration from the sea – think salmon, shellfish and oysters. To balance the richness of these foods, look for a wine with a generous amount of acidity to cleanse the palate. Chablis does the job perfectly: we recommend one from Château du Vivier, or for something with a little more weight, a Sancerre (Les Celliers de Cérès Le Petit Broux) or White Burgundy (Domaine Paquet Macon-Fuissé) are delightful. Not a fan of seafood? Riesling and Pinot Gris should also have a spot on any list, and are perfect with a serving of foie gras.
It wouldn’t be Christmas without turkey – not to mention all the trimmings. The festive bird is most at home with a full-bodied white or a medium-full red. However, if you’re opting for red, make sure you go for something with low tannins; turkey has a low fat content, so anything too tannic is going to seem quite harsh on the palate. From Italy to France, we've pored through our portfolio to find a handful of reds that will feel right at home on the festive table, nestled between the jug of steaming gravy and the glistening bird. There are plenty that will fit the bill, just a few of our favourites include Red Bordeaux (St-Emilion, Croix Fourney), Red Burgundy (Domaine Maillard Père et Fils Chorey-les-Beaune). Moving south across to Italy, Cecchi’s Chianti Classico is a top drop, as is Ascheri’s Barolo from our fine wine parcel.
The only way to finish off a festive feast is with a juicy pudding or mince pie, and what better match for these than a glass of unctuous dessert wine? Our comprehensive range of sweets, stickies and fortifieds have been sourced from all corners of the globe, and we're sure they'll be the perfect showstopper to any celebration. Most fruit-based puddings aren’t particularly sweet, so look for a wine which can fill this gap. Tawny Ports and rich Madeiras are great options, as is sweet Sherry or a botrytised Semillon. But for our pick of the bunch, it’s got to be Clos Dady’s Sauternes – it’s luscious and generous with its sweet apricot, honey, roasted nut and marmalade flavours.