Top Wines for the Christmas Table
This week wine school tutor Tristan Darby is reporting on his favourite festive wines from Great Western Wine in Bath, with a different theme each day; For Toasting, For Sipping, For Fireside, For Turkey,For Beef & Game and For Xmas Pud.
All wines are available to buy online or in the shop at Great Western Wine.
We kick-off today with For Toasting - Christmas fizz suggestions, please scroll down this message to view them...
Tristan will also be in the GWW shop on Saturday with a selection of Christmas wines open for you to taste - for free! He'll also be selling gift vouchers (perfect xmas presents!) and promoting the fantastic wine school courses running in 2017 - click here for more!
Xmas Wine Tips #1
Christmas is a time for celebration, thanksgiving and indulgence - so it gives us the perfect excuse to grab a few bottles of fizz for festive toasting and seasonal supping with our loved ones.
I've chosen some wines at different price points that offer heaps of drinking pleasure and great value for money (so you can afford to buy a few more bottles, of course). Enjoy! Tristan.
Cleto Chiarli, Pignoletto Brut NV
Cleto Chiarli, Modena, Italy
£11.95 at Great Western Wine
If you're looking for an easy drinking and well-made alternative to Prosecco, look no further! This a deliciously refreshing and crowd-pleasing wine made in a similar style, but from vineyards near Modena in Italy's culinary capital Emilia-Romagna, which is further south than Prosecco's homeland of Veneto, and using the local grape Pignoletto.
Lightly aromatic and full of fresh apple fruit, with a touch of lemony citrus to refresh. This is a superb sparkling wine for sipping, and great for pleasing a larger crowd with something different. Fun festive fizz that can be enjoyed on its own as an aperitif or with canapes and light bites.
Riserva Giustino B Prosecco DOCG 2015
Ruggeri, Veneto, Italy
£18.50 (Xmas offer, usually £21.50) at Great Western Wine
A splendid sipper, and perfect for light canapes and charcuterie. This is seriously good prosecco from one of Italy's most respected winemaking families.
Perhaps more money than you might normally pay for Prosecco, but this really is a cut (and a half) above the norm. It's worth every penny more and still comes in at a far more reasonable price than most, very average, Champagne.
Lovely fragrant nose with white flower, apple, citrus & a touch of baked bread. So elegant and balanced in the mouth - with refreshing green fruit flavours, persistent bubbles and a mouthwatering clean mineral finish that begs another sip. Proper Prosecco, not popping party plonk. Superb.
Champagne Gobillard Reserve Premier Cru Brut NV
Champagne J-M Gobillard et Fils, Champagne, France
£21.50 (Xmas offer, usually £29.50) at Great Western Wine
Christmas comes but once a year, and it's almost as rare to find Champagne at this quality in the sub £25 price bracket (on offer at GWW for Xmas). Gobillard are a family owned and run Champagne producer with a house quite literally a stones-throw away from Dom Perignon's grave in the very heart of Champagne. 'Grower-Champagnes' often offer far better value than the big famous brands, and this wine does so with knobs on. Splendid value indeed.
A delicious toasty, baked apple and brioche-like nose with a creamy, baked apples and lightly honeyed flavour in the mouth. This would be absolutely perfect with Salmon as well as canapes, soft rind creamy cheeses (like Bath Soft Cheese), poached eggs (for breakfast!) and light starters - Frankly, though, it's just as great on its own!
Ferrari, Perle Blanc Brut 2009
Ferrari, Trento, Italy
£25.00 (Xmas offer, usually £29.50) at Great Western Wine
If you're looking for something a little different to offer your guests this year, then how about delicious vintage Blanc de Blancs (100% Chardonnay), from a globally acclaimed producer, made by the same method as Champagne, but in the foothills of the Italian Alps (where the style is known as Metodo Classico) - for just £25 a bottle! (I know, right!)
Ferrari have been making wine for over 100 years and have carved a solid national and international reputation for producing some of Italy's finest sparkling wine - with this wine, Perle Blanc racking up international acclaim for the 2009 vintage - and rightly so!
Richly aromatic with toast and baked biscuits, a touch of spice and orchard fruits. Gorgeously fine bubbles in the mouth, elegant and fresh with a lovely long clean finish. This would be a killer wine served with prosciutto and other fatty cured meats, but at just £25 a bottle I'll be sipping this as a special Xmas day treat whilst the dinner is in the oven (hopefully on a long, slow cook!).