We absolutely love Christmas in our house. The night before the 1st of December, the kids advent calendars are put out, and just the knowledge of them being able to eat a piece of chocolate before 8am everyday is enough to kick off those tingles of excitement. The Christmas elf is dug out from wherever he may have been hiding for the last 365 days - and yes, it's safe to assume that we can never remember where, and therefore the house is torn apart around 11pm each and every 30th November!
But one of the best things about hitting December is planning what we will eat and drink in the lead up to, and over the Christmas holidays. The Christmas cook books come out, along with stacks of pre-purchased magazines to cover every clear bit of work top surface and table in the house. New ingredients claim their places on the weekly shopping list and mince pies replace the digestive biscuits.
One thing we always prepare early is what we will be drinking. This can be a minefield for some people, as there is of course lots of choice out there. But rather than just opt for the cheap stuff in bulk, we've devised a little list to help you.
Starting with the parties (of course)....
If it's a gathering at your own house, chances are you will need a sufficient amount so your guests glasses don't dry out. Our advice for this would be to buy a BIB (bottle in a bag). Wine on tap so to speak is great because it is more cost effective due to the packaging. The wines that we have are the same as the bottled wine, so no loss of quality.
But if you prefer bottles or are heading off to party elsewhere, opt for Chateau Des Tourtes Duo Red and Duo White. Both very easy pleasers that won't break the bank
The big day has arrived. Our recommendations based on food choices are the following:
Shellfish, salad, veg based starters - Chateau Haut Grelot Cremant de Bordeaux (great with smoked salmon and scrambled eggs too), Coteaux du Giennois blanc 2015, Chateau Des Tourtes Blanc Classique are fabulously fresh, with great acidity and citrus flavours.
Turkey with trimmings - White wines with good body, and low tannin medium bodied reds pair best. Turkey has little fat in it, however, flavours pouring in from the trimmings need to be factored in.
Chateau Haut Canteloup Eleve en Fut 2015 or Domaine Cazulet Chardonnay are both a great match with enough acidity for the white meat and body for those creamy bread sauces and flavoursome buttery parsnips. If you are not a fan of an oaked white wine, then try Domaine Des Soulie Cuvee Mathilde made from 60% Marsanne.
For red, Domaine Des Lauribert Cotes du Rhone 2015 and Domaine Des Soulie St Chininan 2014 are great matches. But the hero may be a beaujolais red, so our Chiroubles Nature would pair perfectly too.
Big Beautiful Beef
Where do we start? As it's Christmas, we would definitely go for something bolder either Chateau Les Pierreres Blaye, Chateau La Croix David Bourg or Mas Des Caprices Anthocyane and Domaine Seguela cuvee St Julien. If you really don't want to drink red, then I would personally opt for bubbles which work well with the fats in this roast. The Philippe Raguenot Cremant rosé is a great option.
Goose requires something with robust flavour and good acidity. We have opted for 1 red and 1 white in this category. For the red we would opt for Domaine Seguela Les Candalieres 2014, and for white a lovely Domaine Hubert-Verdereau for its fabulous structure and freshness. Both have that perfect balance for this fabulous bird.
A lovely fresh salmon, or salmon en-croute is screaming out for something like a Sancerre or Pouilly Fumé. Both are great with this great dish.
Curry all the way in our house. We always buy a turkey that feeds double the amount of people we have at the table on Christmas Day. This way, there is plenty left over for sandwiches and turkey curry.
It may seem peculiar to say, but a great pairing with curry is a good rosé. Not your pale provence rosé, but one with some good fruity flavours which will tackle those spices in the curry. Our faves are Domaine des Soulié rosé or for something that little bit extra special, Domaine Seguela rosé.
Now all you have to do is enjoy! Merry Christmas
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