One of my joys at Christmas / New Year period is the opportunity to meet up with family & friends and share the year that was over a glass of wine. Around the Christmas tree. Over a casual meal just ‘catching up’. Or a raucous Christmas party. Getting the right selection of wines for Christmas can be intimidating.
With the ever increasing pressures of life, wine is one of those things that are often forgotten completely or picked up at the last minute. Now obviously, wine is a bit of a thing for me so I always make sure I have something ready to go for friends that just drop in & I choose my wines for Christmas Eve & Dinner early so that is one less item to put on the last minute ‘to do list’.
Over the coming weeks, I will share with you some of my best wines for Christmas. This week, it is all about wines for sharing with friends over Christmas.
Great wines for sharing
Wines that you share with friends are ones that are easy to drink whatever the price & wines that are evocative of that celebratory mood.
They are not wines that people either ‘love or hate’. Alternatively, they are also not ‘bland’ wines that offer boredom in the depths of those glasses either.
Let’s face it, nothing says Christmas quite like fizz. For something a little different, well for those outside Australia, why not pop open a Tasmanian sparkling wine. Tassie produces some incredibly fine fizz from Arras (any wine from the Arras portfolio) to Pirie Tasmanian NV Sparkling. Or maybe it is time to revisit Cava, such as L’Atzar Cava or an Italian with a difference, a sparkling wine from Franciacorta! Both are excellent and imminently ‘shareable’.
However, if you are keen for Champagne, a classic like Billecart Salmon NV Rose is hard to beat. Cheekily, I am going to also suggest that the Tesco Finest English is also a good ‘shareable’ fizz.
For something just that little be special to share then Moss Wood Semillon is a good bet. So too a white Rioja such as Bodega Classica Hacienda Lopez de Haro. I really love lighter but pretty floral wine, whatever the season and Torrontes is one of those that I find hard to resist. Look for something like the Santa Julia Torrontes it is a crowd pleaser.
It is always the season for rose & there are some great ones out there. If you have a sweeter palate then the McLaren Vale Woodstock Grenache Rosé that has delicious raspberry & watermelon fruit. I really enjoy the dry strawberry and cream spice of the Kylie Minogue Rosé and is excellent value here in the UK. An interesting blend that I discovered this year is the LeftField Moon Shell Moth Rosé from New Zealand. I love the fresh chilled crispness of a rosé on a hot day and hey …. the colour makes me smile too.
When the weather requires something a little more robust, you cannot go past sinking into a great red. Treat you & your friends with Burn Cottage Moonlight Race Pinot Noir, silky and rich with cherry & earthy spice. The Hedonist Shiraz has plenty of berries, liquorice, pepper and black currant to delight. Its generosity, without being over the top, makes it one that you will keep coming back to time & time again. Another crowd pleaser, this time from the Rhone Valley is the Guigal Cotes du Rhone.
There, that is dozen or so of my favourite wines to share with friends. A list containing a couple of personal favourites with a few that I would like to see more of at my place.
Merry Wine Christmas everyone!