The turkey’s ordered, the goose fat is in the fridge, the mince pies are stacked on the shelf and the sprouts have been there since October. You're geared up for Christmas and now the only decision remaining is what wine to choose to accompany your festive fare. Here wine expert Neil Davey offers some ideas to point you in the right direction.
A sparkling start
If you like to kick off your Christmas feast in fizzy style the choice available is huge. In recent years though, I’ve switched from Champagne in favour of its alternatives. My current tip is Prosecco, in particular crisp, sweet Prosecco di Congliano Valdobbiadene with its hint of pineapple (£7.49 each for two from Majestic). Also worth seeking out is the multiple gold medal-winning Griffith Park Sparkling Rosé (£6.99, Sainsburys).
With its soft tannins and high fruit, Beaujolais-Villages 2007 Georges Deboeuf (£4.99 each for two, Majestic) is a fine match for the varied flavours of Christmas dinner. Despite its unjust unfashionable reputation, Beaujolais-Villages is good value and highly quaffable, whether you’re having turkey, any other richly-sauced game bird or even red meat. The Georges Deboeuf is a particularly decent example and generally available at an excellent price.
While it could overpower turkey on its own, Ravenswood Lodi Zinfandel (around £6 from good off-licenses) is always a good bet when sprouts, chestnuts, sausage meat and stuffing are served as well. Its intense fruit, vanilla notes and deep spice means it feels like Christmas on the tongue, while the balanced acidity means it sits very nicely with the traditional turkey and trimmings – or anything else you care to throw against it, frankly.
The peach and apricot perfume of the increasingly fashionable Anakena Viognier (around £7 from good off-licenses) means it always makes good Christmas drinking. There have been a number of issues with the Viognier grape in recent years, particularly in the New World, but the fragrant Anakena - a textbook Viognier – remains a good bet.
Oyster Bay Chardonnay (around £6 from good off-licenses) is another good option. The buttery qualities of Chardonnay sit very neatly with Christmas lunch. If the budget runs to it, go for a fine White Burgundy, if it doesn’t, try Oyster Bay. Lightly oaked, with melon notes, this works as well solo as it does with food.
A sweet finish
Sweet, sticky,Campbell’s Rutherglen Muscat (£7-£10 from good off-licenses) balances spice and toffee notes to satisfying effect, making it a great choice whether you plan on pairing it with a mince pie or a slice of Christmas pudding.