Our expert Harry Eyres picks out wines perfectly-matched for a traditional Christmas Day feast.
Think of this blog as a Christmas stocking, its space crammed with as many goodies as possible. However, there is one notable difference – there will be no satsuma at the bottom of it!
Starting with a glass of bubbly
The Christmas equivalent of the starting gun is the satisfying pop of the cork belonging to a bottle of bubbly. My first selection is English fizz, the excellent Hambledon Classic Cuvée (£29.95; www.bbr.com). Buttery Chardonnay comes through on the nose, with some bready, yeasty notes, then there’s the hedgerow freshness and bright acidity typical of English sparkling wine.
For something more traditional, try the big, powerful, full-flavoured yet dry Champagne Mailly Blanc de Noirs (£45; www.bbr.com), made from 100% Pinot Noir.
Perfect reds to go with turkey
Turkey is quite a versatile meat and can be partnered by a range of red wine styles. I’ve always liked it with Pinot Noir and Rippon Pinot Noir Mature Vine 2013 (£37.95; www.leaandsandeman.co.uk), made in Central Otago by the ever-questing Nick Mills, has an impressively deep, complex nose and excellent freshness and acidity.
If you prefer mature Bordeaux, here are two choices: Château Fontesteau 1998 (£14.95; www.thewinesociety.com) is a remarkable bargain and a beautifully mature and mellow, old-school claret. Château L’Arrosée 2007 (£42; www.tannerswines.co.uk) is nicely ripe and leathery, from a lesser vintage that’s perfectly ready for drinking.
With the Christmas pudding
According to Bruno Bilancini, Monbazillac gets just as much Botrytis as nearby Sauternes, but nothing like the kudos. His Château Tirecul La Gravière 2013 (£23.95; www.leaandsandeman.co.uk) is golden in colour, with a spicy nose and great richness – it’s brilliant value.
Whether you're keen to make your own infused gin, try a ten year old whisky or open a bottle of