Christmas Day Wines


A good Christmas day wine line-up should contain a good fizz to kick things off. As it’s the first drink of the day it should be as good as you can afford!  We usually have assorted nibbles with this aperitif. This year we have Veuve Clicquot Rose.

Tasting notes: Notes of red fruits. Biscuity, brioche, stonefruit and almond elements on the palate. Elegant. Persistent, fine mousse.

Wine Colour – Rose
Price – £45
Current Vintage – NV
Producer – Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin
Grape – 100% Chardonnay
Region/Country –
Points – 90
Next we need a wine to go with the first (fish) course of smoked salmon terrine/mousse. The winner from my festive whites was Joseph Drouhin Rully Premier Cru. I love Rully – I had a strategy a few years ago of going for the lesser, more affordable Burgundy appellations and found Rully wines to be consistently very good. Joseph Drouhin is an excellent winemaker. He buys these Rully grapes as part of his negociant business, with the winemaking taking place in his Cote d’Or vineyard after which it spends 8-10 months in (French) oak.

Tasting notes: Complex with a long finish. Aromas of honeysuckle, white peach, lemon, orange, oak, quince, with a touch of honey.

Wine Colour – White
Price – £18.21
Where do I get it from? Waitrose
Current Vintage – 2016
Producer – Joseph Drouhin
Grape – 100% Chardonnay
Region/Country – Burgundy/France
Points – 90
For the main course there should be a red available; I love Rhone reds but was very disappointed with Waitrose Chateaneuf du Pape 2 years ago (especially as I’d bought a pair of bottles). The competition for this course included a Gevrey Chambertin but the winner was Williams Selyem Pinot Noir – Russian River Valley (2012). We based ourselves in Monte Rio for our tasting trip to this area and loved the Chardonnays, fizz and Pinot Noir. It’s proximity to the Pacific Ocean brings cooling fogs to the region. We had a quick nose at the entrance to Bohemian Grove – and a little weirdness ensued, what with being followed for hours by two cars and a motorbike through forests of giant redwoods…

Tasting notes: The 2011 vintage was given a score of 18/20 by Jancis Robinson and the 2002 vintage was given a score of 92 by Wine Spectator. This is the most sought-after and among the highest-priced wines from Russian River Valley. 

Wine Colour – Red
Price – £68
Current Vintage – 2012
Producer – Williams Selyem
Grape – 100% Pinot Noir
Region/Country – Russian River Valley
Points – 90
And finally a ‘sticky’ wine to finish and to go with pudding and the cheese board. In this category there was a Sauternes I bought in France recently, but I’ve gone for the unusual: a Spanish sweet wine –  Gramona ‘Vi de Glass’ Vino Dulce de Frio Riesling from Uvinum in London. It’s an ‘ice wine’, but rather than letting the grapes freeze on the vine, they are harvested and frozen with liquid nitrogen. The flavours are concentrated – but it’s a relatively light way to finish a heavy meal as it is only 9.5% abv.

Tasting notes: Pale yellow with golden reflections again. Notes of citrus peel and exotic fruits, peach. Fresh floral fragrance, roses, orange blossoms. Mashed white fruits, delicate notes of honey and herbs. Silky, smooth mouth-feel.

Wine Colour – White
Price – £14.44 for a half-bottle
Current Vintage – 2012
Producer – Gramona
Grape – Muscat, Riesling and Moscatel
Region/Country – Penedes/Spain
Points – 90

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Ah man – I’m getting good at this! Bought Veuve Cl Rose a couple of days ago. There’s some kind of telepathy going on here…!


    1. atimeforwine says:

      An excellent choice – the best way to start the day!


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