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Wine for Christmas

I have to say I don't think it actually matters all that much, once you've a glass of something you like within reach. If you've sworn and sweated your way through the production of a full Christmas feed, you may well have so much catering anaesthetic and/or endorphins on board by the time you collapse to consume the fruits of yer labours that you might as well be on the Bum Wine.


The other question is: what goes with the farrago of textures and flavours in the average Christmas dinner? If you're an accomplished enough cook to reduce the whole set of ingredients to a uniform mushy blandness, then any decent wine is going to seem great in contrast. Works for me.

On the other hand, if you do decide to do it properly and have it all under control and waft around the house like some fragrant TV übercook or -cookerin, dispensing gracious smiles, and if your guests - for surely there will be guests - are all that kind of person too, then social pressures demand you choose a bit more carefully. But I still suggest you serve what you know you really like, rather than risking money on something that ought to be tremendous but could still let you down. Discreetly oaked whites, maybe a Chardonnay, and not-too-overwhelming reds would be my choice then. Ones you've enjoyed through the year.

In the aftermath, when you're eating the leftovers, I've suggested in the past our Bourgueil, a light but satisfying red made in the Loire Valley from Cabernet Franc, but we've sold out, to several customers' disappointment, and I think I'm going to wait until our planned trip to the Salon des Vins de Loire in February to choose a replacement for that. Recent research! suggests the following as possibles: Agostino Pavia's Dolcetto d'Asti, a light (12%) acidic red from Piedmont, which would stand up well to pickly sandwiches and cold cuts generally; the same goes for Jean-Marie Rimbert's Les Travers de Marceau, in the 2005 vintage a supple and aromatic St-Chinian. I think there's great value in the remaining bottles of Goedverwacht's Great Expectations Chardonnay 2004. I thought this was terrific when it first arrived, and it's aged really well. Very easy and pleasurable drinking for the digestive days after the 25th, though you'll have to come to the Wine Depot and fight/ask me for it as there are really only a few bottles left.

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