Posted on December 22nd, 2008
Everyone else is recommending wines for Christmas, so why not join them. Well, here it goes.
1. Brunch bubbly: Moscato d’Asti
Frank from Robert Francis Wine introduced me to the Oddero Moscato d’Asti NV at the iFoods.tv bloggers Christmas party. The way he put it was that you can’t help but smile when drinking this and he’s right – it’s really quite different to the normal bubbly you’ll have.
This wine is refreshing, really fruity and slightly sweet. It’s all about the peaches (reminded me of a Bellini) and at 5% ABV it means you won’t fall into a Christmas stupor, at least not until after dinner.
2. Pre-dinner Sparkles: Classe M Montaudon Prestige Cuvée
While the Moscato d’Asti was all about fresh and fruity fun, it’s time to sip some serious sparkles as the main event approaches.
I’ve gone for Champagne with the Classe M Montaudon Prestige Cuvée from Mitchell and Son. It comes highly recommended from Jonathan in their CHQ shop and apparently they’re all fans.
The Cuvée Classe ‘M’ is Montaudon’s flagship champagne and a blend of 50% Pinot Noir and 50% Chardonnay from highly prized Grand Cru and Premier Cru vineyards.
Until very very recently, Montaudon was owned and run by the original founding family but only last week it was announced that it has been sold to Moët Hennessy, the wines and spirits group owned by LVMH and will be just another brand in their “portfolio” alongside Dom Pérignon, Moët & Chandon, Veuve Clicquot and Krug.
3. The main course reds: Pinot Noir or Cabardes
I’ve already stocked up on a few reds for the turkey and trimmings. I’m staying on course with many others and going with Pinot Noir. New Zealand have some great value ones at the moment and I’ve gone for the Greenhough Pinot Noir from Curious Wines.
If you can’t get your hands on this before Christmas, look up Pinot Noirs from Astrolabe, St. Clair Vicar’s Choice or Spy Valley – they’re slightly cheaper than the Greenhough but are very decent nonetheless.
For the traditionalists, there’s a great Burgundy from Mitchell & Son. The Edmond Cornu Ladoix 2005 goes for around €25 and it’s a fantastic wine from a great producer.
It’s actually quite similar to the Greenhough from Nelson in New Zealand – great smooth fruitiness with a bit of farmyard funk going on and enough substance to withstand the body blows from the turkey, cranberry sauce and other trimmings.
Getting away from the Pinot Noir as it’s not everyone’s cup of tea and I’d go with something with a hint of spice.
The Château Jouclary Cuvée Tradition was one of my favourite wines of the year, I’d never heard of it until I saw a recommendation on Twitter.
I bought a couple of bottles from Julian in Bubble Brothers and was so impressed, I even got the camcorder out for a tasting. You can see the resultant video here.
It’s from a region called Cabardes in the south of France and is a blend of 50% Merlot, 25% Syrah and 25% Grenache. There are more details accompanying my video tasting.
4. Main course white: Going for a Charming or Friendly Grüner Veltliner
I had the pleasure and the privilege of dining with Lenz Moser from Austria earlier this year and I’d go for his Charming or Friendly Grüner Veltliner bottles.
With a fresh lively acidity and a lovely zippy zestyness, either the Charming or the Friendly Grüner Veltliners will go down a treat with the turkey dinner.
Prices range from €15 to €25 in Fallon & Byrne, The Corkscrew on Chatham St, Donnybrook Fair or Power & Smullen in Lucan.
You can also get magnums of both, so could be worth it if you’re having a few people over for dinner.
5. Et comme dessert, encore de bubbly
For dessert, the traditionalists will probably say Port or a sweet wine like Sauternes.
Not me. With the heavy Christmas pud, why not lighten the load with something a bit lighter like more bubbly.
Sure, the Christmas pud may dominate (hence the Port or sweet wine to match up), but why not dare to be different?
Enjoy the Christmas holidays!