Save vs. Splurge - Wines to pair with your Christmas Meal!
By Master of Wine, Christopher Burr
In my second look at wines for the Christmas day feast, I now consider what to drink with your Turkey, or maybe for those vegetarians a nut roast.
With both, it may not surprise you that I personally like to drink a light but intensely complex red wine. Something with good bright fruit, so it plays the same role gastronomically as the cranberry sauce which works so well with Turkey. My go to red is in fact a Pinot Noir.
But some people prefer a white wine, and a big savoury white works well also. So let's start with some suggestions for white first.
For my SAVE recommendations, ASDA have some perfect wines. Big gutsy Chardonnays from Australia can work very well and ASDA's Extra Special Australian Chardonnay from Barossa has lots of ripe fruit and is now reduced from £7.50 to £6.50. It is also a vegan and vegetarian approved wine.
Spanish wines have lots of flavour and fruit , and the top producer Torres makes a brand leading white, Vina Sol, which would work well, is also vegan and vegetarian, and for Christmas is on promotion, reduced from £6.75 to £4.99.
For more of a SPLURGE, for a white, the southern Rhone whites are rich and complex wines, and I would recommend a white Chateauneuf du Pape. Waitrose have an excellent example, complexity from a blend of four local grape varietals, and a bit of age, Clos Saint Michel, white Chateauneuf du Pape 2011 would be a perfect wine for Turkey and is £22.99 a bottle.
But now to reds;-
For my SAVE recommendations, apart from my Pinot Noir suggestions, a mature Rioja can also work very well, with complex gentle fruit and some spicey oaky flavours. In ASDA, the Extra Special Rioja, Marques Del Norte, Gran Reserva is a top class wine, with lovely fruit and gentle complexity £11.50.
For a "super budget" Rioja, the Campo Viejo Tempranillo is a very sound choice and is now reduced from £8 to £5.50 with our voucher from Sainsburys.
For Pinot Noir, The ASDA Extra Special Chilean Pinot is good at £6.50.
To SPLURGE, we should go to Burgundy. But I am so impressed with the Pinot Noir (or Spatburgungers) from Germany, for their light but intense brightness, which works so well with Turkey or Chicken. In Waitrose, they have Louis Guntrum's Pinot Noir 2016 from the Rhienhessen, down from £37 to £30.
But in Waitrose you can also splurge on the delicious and really classy Aloxe Corton 1er Cru Clos des Marechaudes, Domaine de Pavillon, 2019 for £50 a bottle.
At Fortnum and Mason, they have a fine red Burgundy selection, and the village of Morey Saint Denis is one of the top villages for a great Pinot Noir. Not as famous as Gevrey Chambertin and the Clos de Vougeot either side, and therefore always good value. The Fortnum's Morey Saint Denis is made by top producer Joseph Drouhin, and is lovely complex deep with wild berry fruit flavours. Perfect for Turkey, and £42.50 per bottle.
Remember, Pinot Noir needs to be able to release all it's wonderful aromas, so use a large wine glass to allow a good swirl.