IN THE December issue of Scottish Field, we took a look at 12 wines for Christmas – here’s the rest of the 50 wines for Christmas list.
Fizz for under £10
Veuve Monsigny Champagne Brut, £9.99 (Aldi)
This one is a winner for me year after year, combining tonnes of apple and pear fruit aromas on the nose with green and red apples on the palate, plus a twist of richer bready flavours. Made using the classic blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, this is great value Champagne.
Berceau Piquepoul Chardonnay Frisante, £9.99 (Majestic)
Looking for a more unusual fizz? Piquepoul is better known for dry whites, but here it’s blended with Chardonnay to create a sparkler packed with ripe peach and apricot flavours.
Il Cortile Sereno Prosecco, £9.99 (Virgin Wines)
This Prosecco strikes a good balance between the fresh acidity and the ripe apple fruit flavours. Gentle and straightforward – ideal for a festive gathering.
The Society’s Prosecco, £9.50 (Wine Society)
A fruity nose, with lemon sherbet joining the green apple, pushing through to fresher lemon and green apple flavours. A bit more complexity than your average Prosecco, with a gentle fizz.
Truly Irresistible Cava, £6.99 (Co-op)
Prosecco may still be in the ascendance but this example from the Co-op shows there’s no reason to write-off good-value Cava. A lively nose, with pear, green apple and lemon leading onto toast and biscuit notes on the tongue.
Fizz for over £10
Berry Bros & Rudd Grand Cru Champagne, £26.95 (BBR)
From the Grand Cru village of Mailly, this bottle really stood out for me among the Champagnes. Rich buttered toast and bruised red apple aromas on the nose are matched by a great fruit-acid balance on the palate.
Henners Brut, 2010, £29.99 (Corksout.com)
English sparkling wine can match Champagne punch-for-punch these days, as this example from East Sussex shows. Biscuit, toast and smoke on the nose leading through to softer pear and red apple flavours on the tongue.
Les Pionniers, £16.99 (Co-op)
Great value Champagne – lots of lemons and apples on the fruity nose and then a bit of buttery toast on the palate. Named in honour of the co-operative movement’s founders, the Rochdale pioneers.
Deutz Brut Classic, £38 (Oddbins)
A step-up in quality and price delivers aromas hot buttered toast and bruised red apples and flavours to match. Plus an attractive bottle, making it a good prezzie option too.
Laborie Blanc de Blancs Brut 2010, £12.95 (Slurp)
A great-value alternative to Champagne, all the way from South Africa. Made using Chardonnay, this wine delivers lots of biscuit aromas, followed by flavours of hot buttered toast and red apples.
Montes Sparkling Angel, £15.99 (Oddbins)
Flying in from Chile, this classic combination of 70 per cent Pinot Noir and 30 per cent Chardonnay gives us unusual Sauvignon Blanc-like asparagus and lemon aromas on the nose, but gentle peachy tones on the tongue.
White wine for turkey
Domaine du Colombier Chablis 2015, £14.95 (Berry Bros & Rudd)
Chablis is always a favourite on the Ranscombe Christmas dinner table and this example made by Domaine du Colombier for upmarket wine merchant Berry Bros & Rudd is a winner, full of concentrated green apple and pear flavours, with a classic savoury finish.
Robert Oatley Signature Chardonnay 2014, (Vino Wines)
A beautifully balanced wine – lots of bright and lively guava, melon and grapefruit flavours with very gentle and well-integrated biscuit oak. Worthy of its place on any Christmas dinner table.
Feudi di San Gregorio Greco di Tufo 2015, £15.99 (Luvians)
Plenty of refreshing acidity to pair with food, but also a bit of weight so it’s not lost against the rich flavours on the table. Lemon and pear aromas on the nose follow through onto the palate.
Les Vignobles Foncalieu Albarino 2014, £9.99 (Hennings)
Albarino is Galacia’s signature white grape so I’d never have thought to look for it in the South of France, but this was a revelation. Concentrated peach and crisp green apple flavours, coupled with mouth-watering acidity.
Domaine de Sainte Rose Barrel Selection Roussanne 2013, £11.99 (Waitrose)
Scotswoman Ruth Simpson makes delicious wines in the South of France, including this Roussanne, which has picked up butter, cream and vanilla flavours from its time in barrels, but which don’t mask its concentrated lemon and apple flavours.
Domaine des Trinités ‘L’Imaginare’ Rousanne, £14.70 (Wine Cellar Club)
There’s an old-fashioned savoury edge to this wine from the South of France that I really enjoyed. The ripe peach aromas are almost confected, but lead into much fresher fruit on the palate.
Red wine for turkey
Wirra Wirra ‘The Absconder’ Grenache 2014, £39.99 (Abbey Fine Wines)
Crunchy cranberry and redcurrant flavours – backed-up by fresh strawberry and raspberry notes – make this a classic match for turkey. There’s plenty of acidity and a healthy dose of drying tannins to complete the picture.
Domaine Andre Brunel Vin de Pays de Vaucluse 2014, £9.99 (Virgin Wines)
Syrah is the star of the show here. Fresh blackcurrant and blackberry flavours are combined with firmer tannins, making this the meatier option to pair with turkey.
Extra Special Yarra Valley Pinot Noir 2015, £7.98 (Asda)
Consistently good, this Australian Pinot Noir may look pale in the glass but it packs a sweet red cherry-laden punch on the nose. Well-balanced fruit and acidity are rounded out by sweeter vanilla notes.
Errazuriz Estate Series Pinot Noir 2015, £10.99 (Ellie’s Cellar)
It may be young, but this Chilean Pinot Noir is already showing promise with its aromas of roast meat and leather. Elegantly dry and packed full of fresh strawberry flavours, all the way through to its long fruity finish.
Luigi Bosca Single Vineyard Malbec, £16.99 (Waitrose)
On the nose, this Malbec is full of chocolate, coffee and smoke, but in the mouth it’s much, much fruiter, with raspberry and black cherry flavours becoming the stars of the show. Great with turkey, or just as good with beef.
Black Ridge Zinfandel, £13.70 (Wine Cellar Club)
Rich, dark damson and mulberry fruit, coupled with coffee and chocolate. Fresher blackcurrant and blackberry fruit on the palate, with a dash of fresh acidity for balance.
Wine for turkey curry
The Society’s Exhibition Alsace Gewurztraminer 2011, £12.95 (Wine Society)
Don’t be put off by all of the aromas of rose and tropical fruits on the nose – Gewurztraminer like this is the perfect match for a spicy turkey curry. It’s dry, but the waxy peach favours would make you swear it’s sweet.
Red wine for goose
Louis Jadot Beaujolais Villages Combes aux Jacques 2015, £10 (Tesco)
Beaujolais at its best. Deep, concentrated red cherry flavours that taste so ripe you’d swear they were black fruit, mingling with cinnamon and vanilla, and all wrapped up in crisp acidity for balance.
Finca Manzanos Gran Reserva Alta Expression 2001, £14.99 (Virgin Wines)
For a 15-year-old wine, this has so much red fruit character on the nose, along with those delicious Gran Reserva Rioja aromas of coffee, cedar, leather and roast meat. The bright acidity and fresh fruity flavours last all the way through to the long finish.
Kaiken Series Cabernet Sauvignon/Malbec/Petit Verdot 2014, (Cornelius)
This creative Bordeaux blend is much fruiter on the palate than on the nose, with the ripe and concentrated blackberry and blackcurrant flavours shining through. Kaiken are the geese that fly over the Andes – just as winemaker Aurelio Montes Jr did from his father’s vineyards in Chile to Argentina.
Jackson Estate ‘Vintage Widow’ Pinot Noir 2013, £19.99 (Majestic)
A real New Zealand star – ripe red cherry and strawberry flavours with sweeter cinnamon and vanilla Christmas spices. Soft and juicy but with a refreshing hit of acidity to pair with turkey and all the trimmings.
Kayra Kalecik Karasi 2014, £11.33 (Strictly Wine)
And now for something completely different – a wine from Turkey to go with goose. The raspberry and red cherry flavours of this fruit bomb may smell confected but the fruit on the palate is much, much fresher.
Le Versant Syrah 2015, £8.75 (Hennings)
Smooth and rounded, with appreciable but well-integrated tannins that are balanced by the concentrated black fruit flavours. A steal at this price.
White wine for goose
Jim Barry Lodge Hill Riesling, £9.99 (Co-op)
Riesling is a classic pairing for goose, with the grape’s natural acidity cutting through the fatty meat. Jim Barry’s example from Australia’s Clare Valley is wonderfully dry, with lemon, lime and even lemon sherbet notes.
Cote Mas Vermentino, £8.49 (Waitrose)
An often-overlooked grape. Vermentino here produces a dry wine with tingling acidity. A bit of a floral freshness on the nose leads onto green apple and pear flavours on the tongue.
La Miranda de Secastilla Garnacha Blanca 2014, £11.95 (Drinkmonger)
Lots of smoky notes on the nose, mingling with butter and vanilla. There’s plenty of peach and apricot fruit to match the butter and cream on the palate.
Elephant Hill Estate Chardonnay 2013, £14.95 (Field & Fawcett)
Lots of complexity on the nose, with melon, pineapple and green apple joined by wood smoke, butter and cream. The oak is really well integrated and the fruit is very concentrated, giving excellent balance.
Illahe Viognier Willamette Valley 2014, £20.70 (Wine Cellar Club)
A really interesting Viognier from Oregon, with lemon sherbet and confected peaches on the nose disguising a much fresher and brighter wine on the palate, with ripe peaches and a twist of creaminess on the finish.
Gran Reboreda Ribeiro 2015, £8.99 (Lidl)
A blend of three classic Spanish grapes – Treixadura, Godello and Loureira – this white is packed full of peach, green apple and pear flavours, along with a healthy punch of mouth-tingling acidity to smash through the goose’s fattiness.
Red wine for beef
Penfolds Bin 8 Cabernet Shiraz 2013, £19.99 (Waitrose)
From the aromas of damp earth and wood smoke on the nose all the way through to the cassis and vanilla flavours on the palate, Bin 8 oozes class. The fruit is really ripe and concentrated and lasts all the way through to the long finish.
Berton Vineyard Winemakers Reserve ‘The Black Shiraz’ 2015, £8.95 (Strictly Wine)
This Aussie Shiraz strikes a superb balance between the soft tannins, fresh acidity and fruity blackcurrant and black cherry flavours. Great value too.
The Black Pig Clare Valley Shiraz 2014, £11.99 (Virgin Wines)
This is a weighty wine at 14.5 per cent, but the zingy acidity keeps it lively, while the aromas of violets and fruity blackcurrant, blackberry and black cherry flavours are a delight.
Atelier Prestige L’Apogee 2013, £18.99 (Inverarity 1-2-1)
A serious South of France blend of 85 per cent Syrah and 15 per cent Grenache results in a superbly balance wine, with concentrated black fruit flavours, which are so ripe they taste like blueberries. High tannins and high acidity to match the beef.
Extra Ordinary Claret, 2013 £14.50 (Berry Bros & Rudd)
Beef and claret were simply made to go together. This example made for Berry Bros by Chateau Villa Bel-Air has such intense blackcurrant and cassis flavours that they could be blueberry. Dry, but very, very juicy.
Wines for Christmas pudding
Stanton and Killeen 12-Years-Old Rutherglen Muscat, £16 (Wine Society)
No one does “stickies” like the Australians. This fortified wine is chock full of treacle, coffee and dried fruit flavours, making it an ideal match for either Christmas pudding or Christmas cake if you’re looking for sweetness with the volume turned up.
Emilín Moscatel, Solera Familiar, Emilio Lustau, £18.35 (Berry Bros & Rudd)
A rich and dark lusciously-sweet sherry that can stand up to a Christmas pud. Plenty of caramel and toffee flavours, along with dates and raisins.
Errazuriz Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc 2014, (Vino Wines)
Sauvignon Blanc’s lemon and grapefruit flavours come to the fore in this unusual sweet wine, which packs a punch with its refreshing acidity and richer tropical fruit notes.
Wines for Christmas cake
Matusalem Oloroso Sherry, £19 (Waitrose)
There’s a sharp kick of acidity that provides a welcome freshness in amongst all of the lusciously sweet caramel, toffee and treacle flavours of this classic sherry, with the date and prune flavours making it an ideal match to either Christmas cake or pudding.
Ten-year-old Tawny Port, £13.99 (Co-op)
Port is a classic match for either Christmas cake or Christmas pudding and this tawny from the Co-op has all the required caramel and spun sugar flavours for an ideal pairing.
William Pickering 20-Year-Old Tawny Port, £28.95 (Berry Bros & Rudd)
Year after year, this has been an immensely reliable port. The caramel and spun sugar flavours are rounded off with sweet notes of strawberry jam and a healthy hit of fresh acidity to stop it from becoming cloying.
Wines for mince pies
Dry Oloroso, Sanlúcar de Barrameda, £10.45 (Berry Bros & Rudd)
Cementing its place as king of the sweet wines, Berry Bros has selected this tasty dry Oloroso sherry, with refreshing acidity but plenty of brown sugar and almond flavours.
Royal Tokaji Late Harvest 2014/15, £9.99 (Majestic)
Great value Tokaji from Hungary, with all the classic peach, honey and lemon aromas on the nose and a delicious balance between the sweetness and the acidity on the palate.
Muscat de Beaumes de Venise, Domaine des Bernadins 2014, £14.95 (Wine Society)
I love the lightness of this sweet wine, from its pink tinge and rose-scented aroma all the way through to its honey-peach and apricot flavours. A good tool in any arsenal over the festive season.