Some blog articles from Wineman with all our latest thoughts on vintages, wines and what to serve with food

Christmas Wine Guide

The Wineman Christmas Booze List

For many of us, Christmas is just as much about the food and drink than it is about presents, family, or religious celebrations. It’s an excuse to line up a whole retinue of rich, unctuous, chocolatey, comforting dishes and not feel in the remotest bit bad about them (until New Year at least). Naturally, all this festive food requires equally festive wine, and thankfully Christmas is one of those occasions where you can treat yourself to a taste of something special from right across the vinous spectrum – be it sparkling, white, rose, red or sweet. This article will try to point you in the direction of some of the choicest Christmas tipples we sell here at Wineman. It can be daunting, so let’s take it meal by meal…

Breakfast

Christmas Day (perhaps birthdays?) is the only day of the year that it’s at least half legitimate to drink wine with breakfast. Sure, they may do this on the continent more regularly, but in the UK? No. So, what to drink? Something light(ish) is probably the best bet, as there’s still a fair few wines to navigate through today, as well as something that pairs well with Christmas breakfast, which for me traditionally consists of one of two options; scrambled eggs with smoked salmon on toast, or a bacon and egg sandwich. Red wine with the first is essentially a no-goer, and I can’t say the idea of a Chardonnay or Riesling with breakfast tickles my fancy, so it seems the only convincing option left is…sparkling. Buck’s Fizz is of course a Christmas morning classic, but if you fancy drinking your fizz without the orange juice, then there’s a whole world of bacon/salmon suitability to choose from. Champagne would be the premium choice, one with a bit of lees-ageing to develop those richer, toastier notes, but with enough citrus flavours to cut through the bacon fat and keep the palate fresh for the rest of the day. If Champagne isn’t your thing, perhaps try a Prosecco? A premium prosecco from Conegliano to be precise, with a fruitier profile than Champagne but an equally soft and creamy mouthfeel.

https://www.wineman.co.uk/product/champagne-hebrart-cuvee-de-reserve-1er-cru-nv

https://www.wineman.co.uk/product/carpene-malvolti-prosecco-di-conegliano-extra-dry-nv

Lunch

The lunch of the year. All the prep, the big brussels sprouts question (to be or not to be), the turkey vs goose vs roast beef dilemma, crackers before or after – it all boils down to this moment. Fortunately, a dinner of this magnitude and sheer foodiness is built for a wine accompaniment (or two), and it’s adaptable enough to pair just as well with the right white wine as it is with the more traditional red. The first question to ask is, what’s the focal element? If you’re one of the many Britons who use Christmas Day as their annual excuse to eat a Turkey, then perhaps you could try a white wine alongside, something full-bodied and fragrant, like a Chateauneuf-du-Pape blanc for example? Whites from this famous red appellation are creamy, deep golden in colour and delicious with food, often displaying subtle herby, savoury notes whilst retaining their stone fruit character – think apricots and nectarines. If you’re having goose – richer and fattier than Turkey – then perhaps try a Pinot Noir from Burgundy or, if you’re settling for a nice joint of beef, then maybe break the Bordeaux-mould and drink it with a Carmenere from Chile instead. Soft and spicy, with silky black fruits and plum flavours, for under £20.00 Perez Cruz is a Christmas lunch bargain.

https://www.wineman.co.uk/product/chateau-fortia-chateauneuf-du-pape-blanc

https://www.wineman.co.uk/product/perez-cruz-carmenere-limited-edition

Dessert

After a lunch of such indulgence, it’s often a bit of a mission to struggle through a bowlful of Christmas pudding, and in my house at least, there’s usually an intermission of a good hour or so before this new trial begins. In the meantime, and perhaps in anticipation of the forthcoming pud, a bottle of something sweet is usually opened. Sweet wines are a bit of a treat for most of us, so if you’ve been conservative on your wines so far today then maybe this is the time to explore? Look beyond the Sauternes, and there are some interesting alternatives on offer, including some intriguing offerings from the New World. American winery Quady is famous for its Essensia – an orange Muscat with flavours of apricot, honey, and bittersweet marmalade, but retaining enough fresh acidity to cut through the stickiest of Christmas puddings. If you really want to treat yourself, then why not try the famous Canadian speciality; Icewine. The grapes are left on the vine throughout the autumn and into the winter where they freeze in the vineyard, concentrating the sugars in the berries. Icewine is about as indulgent as it comes, and Pelee Island’s rendition is amongst the very best.

https://www.wineman.co.uk/product/quady-essensia-orange-muscat

https://www.wineman.co.uk/product/pelee-island-vidal-icewine

And in the evening?

After all that eating, Christmas Day usually winds up fairly quietly, the participants sofa-slumped and contented, yet mildly catatonic nonetheless. It’s time to put the fire on, read a book and stew reflectively, and often such introspective stewing requires an accompanying tipple. Port is the classic Christmas drink, rich and chocolatey and unquestionably seasonal, it can also go exceptionally well with that late-night fridge-scrounging piece of blue cheese. If Port isn’t your thing, or you’re in the mood for something stiffer, than why not finish the day with a measure of Somerset Cider Brandy? Liquid apple cake, with a dusting of toffee notes, is how I’d best describe it. Or, of course, you could pre-emptively open a bottle for tomorrow, because Boxing Day is a holiday too, right?

https://www.wineman.co.uk/product/barros-ruby-port-nv

https://www.wineman.co.uk/product/somerset-royal-somerset-cider-brandy-5-year-old-42-percent-abv-nv

Christian Lowe


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Some blog articles from Wineman with all our latest thoughts on vintages, wines and what to serve with food

Christmas Wine Guide

The Wineman Christmas Booze List

For many of us, Christmas is just as much about the food and drink than it is about presents, family, or religious celebrations. It’s an excuse to line up a whole retinue of rich, unctuous, chocolatey, comforting dishes and not feel in the remotest bit bad about them (until New Year at least). Naturally, all this festive food requires equally festive wine, and thankfully Christmas is one of those occasions where you can treat yourself to a taste of something special from right across the vinous spectrum – be it sparkling, white, rose, red or sweet. This article will try to point you in the direction of some of the choicest Christmas tipples we sell here at Wineman. It can be daunting, so let’s take it meal by meal…

Breakfast

Christmas Day (perhaps birthdays?) is the only day of the year that it’s at least half legitimate to drink wine with breakfast. Sure, they may do this on the continent more regularly, but in the UK? No. So, what to drink? Something light(ish) is probably the best bet, as there’s still a fair few wines to navigate through today, as well as something that pairs well with Christmas breakfast, which for me traditionally consists of one of two options; scrambled eggs with smoked salmon on toast, or a bacon and egg sandwich. Red wine with the first is essentially a no-goer, and I can’t say the idea of a Chardonnay or Riesling with breakfast tickles my fancy, so it seems the only convincing option left is…sparkling. Buck’s Fizz is of course a Christmas morning classic, but if you fancy drinking your fizz without the orange juice, then there’s a whole world of bacon/salmon suitability to choose from. Champagne would be the premium choice, one with a bit of lees-ageing to develop those richer, toastier notes, but with enough citrus flavours to cut through the bacon fat and keep the palate fresh for the rest of the day. If Champagne isn’t your thing, perhaps try a Prosecco? A premium prosecco from Conegliano to be precise, with a fruitier profile than Champagne but an equally soft and creamy mouthfeel.

https://www.wineman.co.uk/product/champagne-hebrart-cuvee-de-reserve-1er-cru-nv

https://www.wineman.co.uk/product/carpene-malvolti-prosecco-di-conegliano-extra-dry-nv

Lunch

The lunch of the year. All the prep, the big brussels sprouts question (to be or not to be), the turkey vs goose vs roast beef dilemma, crackers before or after – it all boils down to this moment. Fortunately, a dinner of this magnitude and sheer foodiness is built for a wine accompaniment (or two), and it’s adaptable enough to pair just as well with the right white wine as it is with the more traditional red. The first question to ask is, what’s the focal element? If you’re one of the many Britons who use Christmas Day as their annual excuse to eat a Turkey, then perhaps you could try a white wine alongside, something full-bodied and fragrant, like a Chateauneuf-du-Pape blanc for example? Whites from this famous red appellation are creamy, deep golden in colour and delicious with food, often displaying subtle herby, savoury notes whilst retaining their stone fruit character – think apricots and nectarines. If you’re having goose – richer and fattier than Turkey – then perhaps try a Pinot Noir from Burgundy or, if you’re settling for a nice joint of beef, then maybe break the Bordeaux-mould and drink it with a Carmenere from Chile instead. Soft and spicy, with silky black fruits and plum flavours, for under £20.00 Perez Cruz is a Christmas lunch bargain.

https://www.wineman.co.uk/product/chateau-fortia-chateauneuf-du-pape-blanc

https://www.wineman.co.uk/product/perez-cruz-carmenere-limited-edition

Dessert

After a lunch of such indulgence, it’s often a bit of a mission to struggle through a bowlful of Christmas pudding, and in my house at least, there’s usually an intermission of a good hour or so before this new trial begins. In the meantime, and perhaps in anticipation of the forthcoming pud, a bottle of something sweet is usually opened. Sweet wines are a bit of a treat for most of us, so if you’ve been conservative on your wines so far today then maybe this is the time to explore? Look beyond the Sauternes, and there are some interesting alternatives on offer, including some intriguing offerings from the New World. American winery Quady is famous for its Essensia – an orange Muscat with flavours of apricot, honey, and bittersweet marmalade, but retaining enough fresh acidity to cut through the stickiest of Christmas puddings. If you really want to treat yourself, then why not try the famous Canadian speciality; Icewine. The grapes are left on the vine throughout the autumn and into the winter where they freeze in the vineyard, concentrating the sugars in the berries. Icewine is about as indulgent as it comes, and Pelee Island’s rendition is amongst the very best.

https://www.wineman.co.uk/product/quady-essensia-orange-muscat

https://www.wineman.co.uk/product/pelee-island-vidal-icewine

And in the evening?

After all that eating, Christmas Day usually winds up fairly quietly, the participants sofa-slumped and contented, yet mildly catatonic nonetheless. It’s time to put the fire on, read a book and stew reflectively, and often such introspective stewing requires an accompanying tipple. Port is the classic Christmas drink, rich and chocolatey and unquestionably seasonal, it can also go exceptionally well with that late-night fridge-scrounging piece of blue cheese. If Port isn’t your thing, or you’re in the mood for something stiffer, than why not finish the day with a measure of Somerset Cider Brandy? Liquid apple cake, with a dusting of toffee notes, is how I’d best describe it. Or, of course, you could pre-emptively open a bottle for tomorrow, because Boxing Day is a holiday too, right?

https://www.wineman.co.uk/product/barros-ruby-port-nv

https://www.wineman.co.uk/product/somerset-royal-somerset-cider-brandy-5-year-old-42-percent-abv-nv

Christian Lowe


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