Finding wine to match Christmas dinner is a high stakes endeavour.
If not necessarily contempt, familiarity certainly breeds neglect; you might assume the classic turkey, sprouts and roasties will taste just as good with any old wine. Not so, my friend.
I’m not saying you need to blow all your budget on bougie bottles, but most of us do like to have something a little special in our glasses at Christmas dinner. What’s more, Christmas dinner usually has a mix of strongly flavoured sauces and side dishes. So we’re looking for a wine that’s a little bit special, a crowd-pleaser, and that has plenty of vigour to match the tastes of the food.
Both of this week’s wines of the week have enough oomph to shine the whole way through Christmas dinner.
Domaine Theulot Juillot “Les Saumonts” Mercurey 1er Cru
Produced by third generation winemakers, husband and wife team Jean-Claude Theulot and Nathalie Juillot, Les Saumonts is a simply outstanding Chardonnay.
In the glass, the wine is very fresh with pungent aromas of vanilla, toffee apple, minerals and herbs. The texture is rich, and the complex palate is full-bodied with flavours of sweet fruit, citrus and some butter. The ripeness of fruit is held in check by the acidity, and the minerality drawn from the Mercurey terroir, resulting in a white wine which has a very long, harmonious finish.
Château Gaudin in Pauillac is made by Daniel Cathiard, one of only four independent winemakers left in the appellation. The average age of the vines is 35 years, but small pockets of Daniels’s vines are more than 60 years old. The age of these vines is responsible for a wonderful concentration of flavours in the yield.
Château Gaudin Pauillac has a gorgeous ripe nose leads on to plump, velvety dark fruits with spicy undertones. It’s beautifully structured, and the soft tannins make it a joy to drink with a wide variety hearty winter staples. If there’s red meat on your Christmas Day menu, then this is the wine to choose. Ernie Whaley of the Sunday Times agrees the wine has huge flavour without being overpowering:
“Fragrant herbs on the nose, delicate blackcurrant and plum fruit with the Pauillac trademark of delicacy.”
Both of these wines will be open for you to taste in our shops in Arnotts and Mullingar from Monday the 11th of December. So, if you think either of them would add some jingle to your bells on Christmas Day, then stop by and have a taste. And whatever you decide to drink on the big day, have a Happy Christmas!