ely’s wine tips for Christmas day

The do’s and don’ts for Christmas Day Wines.

Over the last couple of weeks, people have been asking us about the best wines to have on Christmas day. ely winebar has put together a few simple suggestions to help you along.

Tip number 1 ~ Have a sherry!

Cast aside all the prejudices you may have against Sherry and revisit this absolutely delicious glass of wine. It’s the perfect wine to sip whilst you are slaving away over the dinner. Sherry labels can be unnecessarily difficult so we have listed 3 Sherry styles to make things easy.

  • Fino: is the classic sherry that is very pale in colour and quite light on the palate, it has lemony and almond notes, and is dry. This is a delicious aperitif. Fino is like any other white wine and will go off if you don’t drink it! Keep in the fridge for 4 days maximum.
  • Pedro Ximenez: at the opposite end of the spectrum to Fino is this lusciously sweet wine. It is a prune colour with aromas of dried fruit, figs and candied orange peel. Serve it slightly chilled or even poured over a scoop of ice-cream. Absolutely delicious and very moreish, a small glass of PX is the perfect end to a festive dinner.
  • Amontillado: This is an absolutely fantastic wine and completely different to anything you’ll have ever tried. Real Amontillado is aged Fino or Manzanilla, it is terracotta in colour and tastes of toasted almonds, caramel and dried citrus fruit. It can be anything from bone dry to sweet.
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Tip number 2 ~ Don’t drink your good wines on Christmas day!

It is easy to justify drinking ‘very good’ wines on Christmas day. However, the chances are that you’ll have already had a concoction of drinks whilst cooking the dinner so below are a few options for both reds and whites that should definitely fit the bill.

Southern Rhone  for spicy reds.

Wines from Southern Rhone have big juicy red fruit with layers of spice, ripe tannins and good acidity. The main grapes in Southern Rhone reds are Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre and Cinsault. Grenache, the principal grape of Chateauneuf du Pape, is arguably the most important grape of the region and adds cherry fruit, white pepper and the soft tannins. Syrah has more dense aromatics and a darker colour, Mourvedre has fresh, herbaceous aromas, blackberries with hints of leather as it ages and the Cinsault produces sweet, small berries that add to the vibrant fruit character of the wine.

Southern Rhone reds include the appellations of Chateauneuf du Pape, Gigondas, Vacqueyras and Cotes du Rhone Villages such as Cairanne. ely’ s choice is any of the Domaine Alary wines that you can get your hands on.  And if you can’t? Ask you local wine merchant. They always have great suggestions!

If you prefer Aussie style reds which have more up front fruit character, why not try a ‘GSM’, Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, from Barossa Valley or McLaren Vale. The Aussies do this blend extremely well and deservedly earn the accolade of being Rhone Rangers.

Northern Italy for elegant whites.

It is very easy to settle for a trusty Chablis or Sancerre, but why not try something fresh and exciting. Soave from the Veronese hills used to be known for prioritising quantity over quality, but we have found this beautiful wine from a small, family run winery in the heart of Soave town. Pieropan make a few cuvees and all are impressive. Made from a blend of Garganega and Trebbiano, Soave produces aromatic wines with great acidity. The wine is brimming with pears, peaches, citrus notes and hints of almonds. It is the perfect alternative if you like zesty fresh wines with a weighty mouthfeel.

If you prefer a bit more body in your whites why not try a Pinot Gris from New Zealand. Pinot Gris, the same grape as Pinot Grigio, has evolved into it’s own distinct style in New Zealand. Most people will be very familiar with the pronounced tropical fruit flavours of the Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, but we think that a Pinot Gris would be a great white to have with you Christmas dinner because they tend to have been aged on their lees which adds a creamy texture to the pear, melon, and lemon zest aromas in the wine. Our current favourite is Mount Difficulty Pinot Gris from Central Otago, Southern New Zealand.

Tip number 3 ~ Drink something truly delicious and worth savouring on the St. Stephens Day!

By the 26th October, all the fuss is over and it’s time to relax and enjoy the break. Why not have a glass of  something that you have been looking forward to as much as you have been looking forward to a well earned break. Why not unwind with a with a rich oaky Chardonnay: my choice is something very special, Shaw and Smith’s M3 Chardonnay from Adelaide Hills in Australia or Craighall Chardonnay from Ata Rangi in New Zealand. ely winebar is  always blown away by the elegance and intensity that these wines display and proudly have them on our list.

Merry Christmas and drink wisely (and sensibly!).

2 Responses to ely’s wine tips for Christmas day

  1. Pingback: ely’s wine tips for Christmas day | Wine Miles

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