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When it comes to Christmas, we give an assortment of reasons as to why this holiday is our favorite, with things like food, family, friends and games listed among them.
Yet, what many of us are more reluctant to admit is our high dependency on the Christmas booze! Breakfast, lunch or dinner, morning, noon or night, no matter the hour there is always a nice glass of something alcoholic within arm’s reach…
If your family is anything like mine, Christmas-day-drinking begins with breakfast. Poached eggs with salmon, a good old fry-up or just your bog-standard jam on toast: no matter the dish, the day demands it be brightened up with something light and sparkling to help clear away the year’s woes, and prepare you for the day head.
One or two glasses of Sainsbury’s well balanced and delicately fruity Taste the Difference Conegliano Prosecco ($7.32) will provide that refreshing pick-me-up needed to carry you through till lunch. And for those lucky few not on a budget try the light and refreshing, organic Canard-Duchêne Authentic Green, sparkling wine from Oddbins ($28), or the delicately balanced Nyetimber Demi Sec NV with added sugar to counterbalance that fine acidity ($34 from Harvey Nichols)
Of course the real drinking doesn’t begin until the table has been set and the feast laid out, and for most of us, one bottle, like one cut of meat, is not nearly enough! Chicken, turkey, Beef or Hog Roast – no matter what your preference, we’ll help find the wine to match.
Tradition dictates that chicken be accompanied by something crisp and white. So, if you’re looking for the perfect wine to accompany your perfectly roasted, succulent hen, then you need look no further: Montes Alpha’s 2011 Chardonnay, available from Majestic Wine for $8.99, is a full-bodied white wine with a slightly buttery taste and a hint of exotic fruit.
The perfect partner to a succulent, well-seasoned chicken, and also goes well with pork dishes.
For those of us opting for richer poultry, such as turkey, duck or goose, a richer, full-bodied white like the fruity Virgile Joly Grenache Blanc Pays d’Oc IGP is the perfect partner for a mere $7.99 (Vintage roots). Or else try a light red such as Nathalie Estribeau’s 2007 Côtes du Rhône Réserve($5.99-$9.99 from Co-op), with its subtle hints of spicy aromas.
For a denser, more flavorsome meat like beef, we want a rich and complex wine to match. And while there are a number of reds that fit the bill, you can’t go wrong with
a 2009 Voyager Estate Shiraz ($17.95 from Hailsham Cellars).The full-body, bold flavors and smooth tannins of this dry, red wine make it a perfect companion for most beef dishes.
Pescies and Veggies
Just because you don’t eat meat that doesn’t mean you have to miss out. With the whole world on a health kick, more and more of us are becoming pescetarians and vegetarians, and there are wines to suit both. Quercus Pinot Bianco 2011, available from Marks and Spenser ($8.99), is a dry white with subtle hints of lemon, lychee and pear, and the perfect accompaniment to most fish dishes.
If it’s a strictly veggie affair this Christmas, why not try a rustic red wine? Montpierre Reserve Fitou Red 2010 is full of robust flavors, with just the perfect touch of herbs and spices. Described as an all-purpose wine, this red goes perfectly with a nut roast and at just $9.99 a bottle (Sainsbury’s), won’t break the bank.
After dinner delights…
After stuffing our faces with copious amounts of seasoned and salted carbohydrates, it’s only fair that we treat ourselves to something a little sweet. Whatever form your after-dinner treat takes, make sure it’s coupled with something rich and sweet. The mellow and warming flavors of Taylor’s 10-year-old Tawny port (available from most supermarkets and wine retailers at around $21.99)are great with most after-dinner treats, from chocolate to cheese. A perfect drink to finish the evening and send you off for that after-dinner nap!
Have a Tipsy Christmas and a drunken New Year!
So the moral of this story is; along as you have a varied selection of wines in your hamper this Christmas – among them something red, something white and something sparkling – there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be tippling your way into the New Year with a smile on your face!
If you have any ideas on which wines go best with which dishes this season, feel free to let us know in the comments section below!
A Christmas fanatic and seasoned drinker, Lianna Thomas-Forbes offers her advice on wines to drink this season. For those looking for a healthy selection at affordable prices, she recommends Tanners Wines.