Christmas drinks roundup 2015Posted on: 16 December 2015 by Michael Edwards
Michael Edwards takes one for the team as he soldiers through the best and worst tipples to complement your Christmas celebrations.
Few wines triumph over cranberry sauce and turkey but Villa Maria Reserve 2014, an award-winnning Sauvignon Blanc from Culford Bay New Zealand, is more than up to the job. Hints of lime and exotic flavours even trounce the sprouts. Waitrose £15.99
Easier on the travel miles, from Gloucestershire, is The Three Choirs English House Wine. It is a crisp, slightly lemony wine, which continues to enhance the growing reputation of English wines. www.theenglishwineshop £8.99
Having survived character assination by Alan Partridge, Blue Nun, now boasting fashionista Victoria Beckham’s patronage, is making a comeback. With a blue-tinted bottle, the balanced German white, is omni-present in wine retailers at around the £4.50 price-point.
Man cannot survive the festive season on turkey alone. Roast beef complemented by the classy Clos de los Siete 2012, from Argentina, is a very welcome change. Malbec is blended with Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah to create dense berry fruit notes that combine with silky tannins. Sainsbury’s or Waitrose for £15
Errazuriz Wild Ferment Pinot Noir 2013 originates from Chile’s Casablanca valley. Cool maritime breezes extend the ripening process, before the picked grapes are cold-soaked prior to fermentation. Elegant tastes of strawberries, and maybe a hint of toast, precede a long elegant finish. £9.99 per bottle from Majestic when bought as a half case.
It is worth having a bottle or two of organic wine on hand for guests. Teillery’s Cabernet Sauvignon 2012, originating from Chile’s Maipo Valley, has blackcurrant overtones and is a tasty way of maintaining organic principles. www.vintageroots.co.uk £9.99.
For memories of summer, refreshing soft fruits and leisurely French travels, pour a glass of Mirabeau Cotes de Provence. For a Rosé which is uncharacteristically pale, with dreamy wild strawberry flavours, it has pleasing body and depth. You can pick up a bottle at Waitrose for £9.29
If you prefer an English summer, with a waft of fresh raspberry and apple flavours, then the Bolney Estate Rosé may be the anglophile’s choice. Source the 2011 vintage, ideal drinking with light summery desserts, from www.englishwineshop.co.uk for £8.99.
Tis the season for long-lingering meals with the port being passed round-and-round the table. Celebrate 200 years of Cockburn’s Port as supermarket-competition-gone-mad reduces this classic taste of Christmas to a ridiculous £8.
With Taylor’s Late Bottled Vintage Port, dating back to 2010, there is less sediment. For £15, from Waitrose, you acquire a robust and fruity port to compliment that cheese board.
If your first drink of 2016 is a rich sip of Taittinger’s Reserve Champagne, with hints of biscuits and peach, you will begin the New Year in style. Available from Waitrose for £36.99 and also from other retailers.
But if one of your New Year’s resolutions is to seek out exceptional quality for your money then you will be seriously impressed by Extra Special Louis Bernard Vintage Champagne 2007, from Asda at just £18.
London Porter fuelled the men of the Industrial Revolution.... India Pale Ale, packed with hops, actually matured on the long journey to India... Not just beer trivia but a tasteful glass, huge bottles of India Pale Ale and London Porter, are packed into Meantime Brewing’s great gift packs for beer lovers. Order for £25 from www.meantimebrewing.com
Again cater for those opting for organic. Celia Lager, a premium gluten-free brew, sells at around £2.50 per bottle from Waitrose, Ocado and Oddbins.
If you’ve had enough of carols and crackers but forgot to book flights for a post-Christmas Caribbean getaway, then grab a bottle of Rum Chata from Asda for just £10. Pour over ice and enjoy the creamy blend of coconut and rum.
Well, I hope I have given you something to consider as you plan your festive drinks list. If you do try some of my selections, let me know your thoughts in the comments below. Wishing you a very merry Christmas and a hangover-free New Year.
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