Indulge with Selfridges this Christmas
If you are looking to gift or indulge in a bit of luxury this year then you might think Selfridges is a safe bet. And, well, you’d be right. Take advantage of their 10% off 6 or more bottles deal to get some quality wines at a bargain and then look at their other festive offerings. From mince pies, panettone, cheese boards and chutneys, they have a little bit of everything to hit every spot or family tradition this Christmas.
The main focus here is the wine (of course). See my review on the Selfridges Selection to look into the quality of their own label. Great wines at great value across all key regions and styles. However, in this article I’ll focus on the rest of their great options!
Now, you can and will find some of the luxury usuals like Whispering Angel or the bigger Sister Rock Angel , but I’m looking to focus on the wines that are more unique and lesser known but with all the hallmarks (and tastes) of quality.
If you need something with delicate sweetness and immensely glugability yet low in alcohol, which is never a bad idea to kick the day off with, then Saracco Moscato d'Asti is an ideal fizz. At only 5% it stops the midday headache and chances of an early evening whilst tasting delicious. Expect lychee, grape and rosewater – a true fruit bomb. It is off-dry too, meaning it has sweetness which isn’t overriding so it is very easy to drink at any time.
The other low alcohol bubbly from their range which punches well above its weight is the French Bloom Organic. It is actually 0% alcohol which is an advantage over the Moscato (or a disadvantage depending on your aims this year), but, it tastes like a very good quality Crémant with tropical and citrus fruits and a floral undertone.
A more alcoholic, yet still relatively low option is Prosecco! The Il Gusto Desiderio N1 Prosecco is a pretty masterful option too. Unlike your run of the mill stuff, this has body, flavour intensity and has a lovely long finish. Expect classic Prosecco flavours like lemon, pear and lime, dial them up a notch, remove the sickly sweet notes of the big brands, then add other flavours such as spice, banana, vanilla and cedar. It’s an elevated experience for the Prosecco style.
One things with Christmas Lunch is certain: you need a Red and a White Wine. But that’s where the certainty stops for most! There is a lot online about food and wine pairings and whilst the ultimate match sounds appealing, there is little point picking a wine style that you don’t like all for the sake of matching it with food. If you’re anything like me, you’ll find you’ve eaten the food so quickly you haven’t even had a sip of wine and so the whole point of matching them goes out the window. Incidentally, these wines will all go well with Turkey or Beef, but don’t let that be the be all and end all.
One of the great Red wine regions in the world is the Côtes-du-Rhône and Selfridges have a number of great wines from here. If I had to narrow down, value for money lies in the Chapoutier Côtes-du-Rhône Collection Bio. An organic wine with grapes harvested at night to retain the grapes’ aromatic flavours, no corners have been cut here. It bursts with bright red fruits and is very smooth.
My next red choice would be a plummy, easy drinker, something like a Merlot. The Odfjell Armador from Maipo Valley in Chile hits the spot. This Merlot is a little more special than most, it has deeper concentration and more intensity in flavour, yet still maintains great freshness thanks to the balancing acidity. Definitely one to up your Merlot game.
The last style of red that I can safely recommend as world-loved and good with Turkey is Primitivo. The Caiaffa Primitivo from Puglia is another organic choice. Fresh red fruits meet short oak ageing which adds gentle depth and spice to the wine.
White’s are slightly easier to pair with Turkey, although you’ll want something creamy to match up to bread sauce if that’s your thing. Still, always choose the wine styles you like rather than the pairing. Nonetheless, it is Christmas, so you ought to treat yourself a little. Drop the usual Sauvignon Blanc and go for a Sancerre. Same grape, just more “special”. The Andre Vatan 'Les Perriers' Sancerre achieves that special. With only 10 hectares of vineyard here, the Vatan’s pour everything into making quality wines. Refined notes of cut grass, asparagus and nettles are backed by a mineral streak throughout. This is classic Sancerre at its best.
On the creamier side of the white spectrum is One By Penfolds Chardonnay. Ripe, tropical and complex are the best three words for this wine. It has ample body, honeyed nuance and a luxurious texture making it a great wine for those who like a bit of richness.
If you want something between the weight of the Chardonnay and freshness of the Sancerre, I’d recommend the Morgassi Superiore Gavi di Gavi. It combines tropical fruit and citrus with a fresh, mineral undertone to achieve a great balance. Plus, who doesn’t like Gavi di Gavi?
Christmas Sherry and Stickies
Unlike my relative disinterest in pairings with lunch, dessert, the most important meal of the day for some, demands something sweet and sticky to go with it. This calls for sherry or port. For sherry, the Nectar Pedro Ximenez might just blow your mind. Gonzalez Byass is one of the best sherry producers around and this sherry is perfect. Full of treacle, raisins, dates, figs, sugar plums, caramel and chocolate, it has the sweetness to go with any dessert and you’ll then want it on its own too.
As for ports, if you love chocolate then you’ll adore the Noval Black Ruby Port. It was actually designed to go with chocolate but doubles up in cocktails and perfectly on its own. The raisin, chocolate, prune, sweet spice and ample black fruit flavour will leave you wanting glass after glass.
Don’t forget to make the most of everything whilst you’re there and enjoy their Christmas food too. Have a look at all your Xmas needs here!
Updated 8th December 2023