When picking my wines for Christmas day I always try to pick wines that I know everyone will enjoy and that are versatile enough to go with the lavish Christmas dinner and work with the simple left over suppers.
We always start with Champagne usually opening a bottle for brunch with warm croissant, eggs several ways and smoked salmon. Champagne Beaumont de Crayeres is excellent value, has lovely crisp acidity to handle the fat in the salmon and has enough toasty character to brave the food. An alternative is Cave de Lugny Cremant de Bourgogne, made in the same way as Champagne, it is slightly less toasty but has plenty of ripe fruit mid palate.
For Christmas dinner itself we continue with fizz for the nibbles and move onto fuller styles of white wine with the starters. We have three big platters that go in the middle of the table one laden with seafood, one with cold meat antipasti and one with vegetarian tapas. The wines need to go with everything so I tend to go for Alsace, Kreydenweiss Kritt Pinot Blanc would be one of my favourites or a richer Albarino such as Lagar de Costa.
For the main course its Turkey and ham with all the usual trimmings. For whites our Christmas treat is white Burgundy, the Domaine Olivier Santeny Biveaux is stunning and concentrated. For red Pinot Noir is classic and Astolabe Pinot Noir is looking particularly well at the moment. If you fancy going slightly “off piste” our Etna Rosso is Pinot Noir like in character with subtle tannins that won’t overpower Turkey.
For our gigantic cheese, nuts and fruit platter we opt for something more robust such as Marques de Murrieta Reserva Rioja which is opulent and concentrated. This is also where Bordeaux makes its appearance and Château Glana, St Julien 2012 ( one of my best finds this year ) can be enjoyed now, savour its pure fruit and rich complex depths. Lustau dry Amontillado is also a delicious flavour bomb to match with cheese.
We pick at a range of desserts from the traditional trifle to chocolate torte so we have wine choices, Longview Epitome Late Harvest Riesling just sweet enough but has good acidity to keep the food match fresh and balanced. With chocolate if you have not tried Port and chocolate this is the year- Duorum 2010 and chocolate is a match made in heaven.