Tipping’s Tipples: The perfect wines for Christmas

Have yourself a merry little Christmas… Photograph © Gary Wells on Flickr
22 Dec 2015 @ 10.06 pm
| News

It is easy to get nostalgic at Yuletide. If you are a similar age to me, you will no doubt look back with affection at 1970s festive TV highlights such as Morecambe and Wise and the lighting of the last candle on the Blue Peter advent crown.

You will most likely be less nostalgic about the wine selection for Christmas dinner back then; Blue Nun or Mateus Rosé being staple. Or put another way, some things do get better.

So what wine will you be having with turkey and the trimmings this year? Here are some top tipples that will match with the big bird.

A red Christmas

cellar-selection-pinot-noir-2012A lighter red would always be my preference. It won’t overpower the flavours of the turkey but won’t be overpowered by the chipolata, cranberry sauce and rich gravy.

Not too heavy, youngish Rioja works well, such as Vina Real Rioja Crianza 2011. It has a lovely freshness and balance, with flavours of raspberry, plum, a little spice and some vanilla (£8.95 from York Wines and Field & Fawcett).

A juicy Beaujolais would make a shrewd choice too. Henry Fessy Moulin-à-Vent 2012 has a little more body than your average BoJo but would still work with the festive fare in question.

It doesn’t skimp on upfront fruitiness (think raspberries, Morello cherry and cassis), balanced by a racy acidity. Chill it for three-quarters of an hour before serving (£11.63 from winedirect.co.uk).

Or if New World is more your sort of thing, splash out on a juicy Kiwi Pinot. Villa Maria Cellar Selection Pinot Noir 2013 is silky smooth, bright, with a subtle oak influence and flavours of cherry, strawberry, rosehip and cinnamon (around £16 at Majestic, Sainsbury’s, Booths and Bargain Booze).

A white Christmas

If you prefer white, then to match the turkey et all, pick a fuller wine. Chardonnay is a good grape to go for in this respect.

Head to the Co-operative for a cracking South African take on the grape, Thelema Sutherland Chardonnay 2012, from the Elgin region. It suggests oak spice, citrus, apple and ginger with mineral notes on the finish and a fresh acidity (The Co-operative £10.99).