Mon 29 Dec 2014

Buyers’ Christmas Wines

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We hope all readers had a delightful Christmas and that those still fortunate enough to be on holidays are still thoroughly enjoying themselves.

The barrage of flavours that comes with the Christmas spread lends itself to so many wines, and we had a great time suggesting bottles to go with members’ festive spreads this year, via this blog and a number of articles and videos elsewhere on The Society’s site. We see no reason not to continue in this vein now that the curtain has come down on The Big Day itself!

Here Society buyers Marcel Orford-Williams and Jo Locke MW’s thoughts on their own Christmas dinner and wine matches:

Marcel Orford-Williams

Marcel Orford-Williams

Marcel Orford-Williams: So Christmas is done for another year and a very good one it was too. I thought I had planned lunch wines well before but in fact changed my mind once, then at least three more times before deciding at the very last minute on a pair of Alsace wines.

No region of France does Christmas like Alsace. It is, according to some, where Christmas trees originated (from the town of Séléstat to be precise). Christmas Eve had been about riesling from the Saar so something else was called for. In any case the richness of all the trimmings with the stuffing I had made using chestnuts and quince called for something quite rich and so my choice fell upon a weighty but dry Gewürztraminer Grand Cru Hengst by Josmeyer from the excellent 2005 vintage (we’re currently selling the 2007). It was just fabulous and matched the food perfectly.

As a contrast I found a pinot noir from the same vintage from Hugel. Both were equally enjoyed and the Hugel was just perfect, still sweet, round, fruity but with enough body match the bird.I shall remember this pairing for next year!

Jo Locke MW

Jo Locke MW

Jo Locke MW: Three bottles stood out over our snow-challenged Christmas in the Alps. Roederer’s Brut Premier was right on form and a perfect treat for three. Catherine Marshall’s 2012 Pinot Noir from South Africa (sadly long since sold out) seemed to have filled out and blossomed into a perfect match for our roast guinea fowl which delivered some gorgeous flavourful juices and meant we did not miss turkey and trimmings at home.

My family’s preference for rare beef meant bavette on Christmas Eve – on the local family butcher’s well-stocked counter a rather unattractive fibrous-looking, if lean, French cut which the dictionary described as ‘undercut of sirloin’. The recommended flash frying to ensure tenderness complemented a delicious bottle of Château Poujeaux 1996, from a Society mixed case of some years ago, which proved that more modest appellations can be a great buy in good vintages. No hurry to drink this one if you have any – indeed, we wished we had a second tucked away!

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