When it comes to choosing wines for the Christmas dinner table we tend to opt for the security of classic pairings, however if you are prepared to be a little more adventurous, you can be rewarded with some really interesting and particularly delicious food and wine matches.
To start I am going to look at some bubbles for serving as an aperitif, and for most of us that means Prosecco, for a change though, why not try L'Extra par Langlois (€17.99 down from €19.99) this wonderfully crisp and refreshing Crémant de Loire is made with a blend of Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc, and at this price there is no need to save it just for special occasions!
Moving on to the meal itself, as an accompaniment for smoked salmon or a sea-food starter the classic choice would be Champagne, however if you look to New Zealand’s Waiheke Island, you will find that Man O'War Vineyard’s Tulia (€37.00) is an extraordinary, highly sophisticated sparkling wine.
The Mâcon wines from the southern limits of the Burgundy region have graced many a Christmas dinner table and they are certainly a very good option for a white wine to carry you right the way through the meal.
If we venture a little further South though, to the Languedoc, we could try the delicious Domaine Begude Terroir ‘11300’ (€17.99) made with organically-grown fruit, this wine is great with roast turkey but also works equally well as an elegant aperitif.
When it comes to matching a red wine to turkey, the advice generally leads us towards Pinot Noir, but for a really interesting alternative I would go with Alta Mora Etna Rosso (€22.99) which has wonderfully concentrated cherry fruit along with some herby notes, soft smooth tannins and vibrant acidity, all of which makes it a perfect choice for the big day.
We now find ourselves at the end of the meal and that probably means a bottle of Port will find its way onto the table, lately though I find myself drawn to the Vin Doux Naturals from the south of France when looking for a wine to serve with the cheese course.
What I find so appealing about these wines is that even though they are made in a very similar way to Ports, they are fortified to a much lower level of alcohol, which makes them much easier to enjoy.
Gérard Bertrand’s Rivesaltes (€23.99 down from €27.99) is a superbly complex, developed tawny wine.