Six show-stopper wines that will shine during Christmas dinner
Wine expert Katy McGuinness selects wines to gift and for her ideas on what wines to pair with smoked salmon, turkey and plum pudding, it's all in Mistletoe magazine, free with today's Irish Independent and Evening Herald.
Buying the wines to serve with the most important meal of the year can be a daunting task. There’s a bewildering selection available and, without some advance research, it’s easy to make a mistake. It’s better to pick crowd-pleasing rather than unusual wines that may not be to everyone’s taste, so it’s probably not the moment to experiment with a natural skin contact wine from Outer Mongolia. If you have time, try and pick up a bottle of each of the wines that you plan to serve on Christmas Day ahead of time and try them in advance to make sure that you’re happy with your selection.
As Christmas Day can involve many hours of drinking, and is also a day when people who aren’t accustomed to drinking wine might decide to have a glass or three, it’s prudent to choose lower alcohol wines if at all possible. You can see the alcohol content on the label of every wine as a percentage ABV (Alcohol By Volume). The ABV of the wines featured here ranges from a modest 10.5pc to a hefty 15.5pc.
If you are hosting a large gathering, the cost of the wine can mount up, but there are plenty of excellent good value wines available – there’s no need to go over the top and break the bank buying ruinously expensive bottles.
And if you are lucky enough to be going to someone else’s house for the meal rather than hosting it yourself, you’ll never go wrong bringing a bottle of champagne, but we’ve also suggested a few other show-stopper bottles that your hosts will be delighted to relax with on St. Stephen’s Day.
Show-stopper bottles that will ensure that you're invited back next year
Aldi, Chablis Premier Cru, 2014
This wine comes from vineyards that really catch the Burgundian sun and guarantee extra, honeyed ripeness in addition to the classic bracing acidity and minerality of the region. Stylish, elegant, classic – and at a great price.
Mitchell & Son at Avoca, Palazzo Maffei Amarone Della Valpolicella, 2012
Dark ruby red in colour, and with typical Amarone berry aromas of stewed cherries and blackberries on the nose, balanced with spicy, peppery notes, this full-bodied wine is well-rounded and smooth with soft tannins. Amarone is a wine known to make grown men go weak at the knees.
Lidl, Comte de Senneval Champagne Brut,
Lidl’s house champagne is made from a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier. There is a rich aroma with crisp apple flavours and good, mouth-filling bubbles that belie the bargain price.
Dunnes Stores, Domaine Barville Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2011,
Made by the Brotte family at their winery in Chateauneuf-du-Pape, this full-bodied red combines Grenache, Mourvèdre and Syrah grapes with aromas of blackberry, liquorice and black cherry and warm spices. It has well-structured tannins, and a light peppery note from the Syrah grape. Perfect with steak.
Marks & Spencer Pauillac, 2012,
From renowned winemaker, Baron Phillippe de Rothschild, this classic Pauillac is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc aged in oak barrels. It has good fruit, rich powerful flavours and the potential for further ageing. A classy number.
Tesco Finest Trilogy Malbec, 2013,
Dark violet in colour, this Malbec is produced by the Catena family in Argentina from grapes grown at high altitude and is full of ripe plum and chocolate flavours with a soft, supple mouthfeel. There is a long vanilla and black pepper finish and it will be good with grills and roasts. Luscious.
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