Choosing a wine at Christmas can be a challenge. With so many different people, food courses and flavours, it’s difficult to find a wine that suits all. So this year, we’ve decided to forgo that mission and choose wines with a story to tell, wines that are steeped in tradition and wines that invoke the vibrancy and joy of celebration that will beautifully pair with those festive moments with family and friends.
Grüner Veltliner Kellerweingarten, Barbara Ohlzelt
Grüner Veltliner is a promising grape variety and there are several wineries creating high quality wines which are only looking to get better over the coming years. This aromatic wine by Barbara Ohlzelt is the perfect example; fresh, bright, pure and clean, imagine the sound of a triangle. It’s a freshness means that it pairs well with a variety of foods, matching well with Christmas dinner starters or canapés. The beautiful, almost snowy label is a great aesthetic addition to the table. £14.00. Available at Clerkenwell London.
Wine maker Samantha G. O’Keefe spreads a lot of joy with her handcrafted South African wines. Originally from California, Samantha moved to South Africa over 20 years ago to simultaneously start a family and vineyard. This is the sort of Chardonnay that is full of sunshine and brightness with oak tones well integrated alongside ripe fruits and plenty of texture. £22.00. Available at Clerkenwell London.
Grey Glacier GCM, Vina Ventisquero
This is a truly excellent example of Chilean wine at its very best. Wine maker Felipe Tosso has been creating good quality wines for more than 15 years, from a region that is more famous for good value, simpler wines. He has spent that time experimenting by adapting the grape variety to the terroir, settling on a southern France blend but in a more joyful and relaxed style. A wine full of complexity and depth but very approachable and personal, a lovely wine to share with friends, relaxing around a fire or at a casual dinner party. £14.00. Available at Clerkenwell London.
Siesta Malbec, Ernesto Catena
This solid, resiny, red fruit Malbec was created as a celebration to the local Inca tribe that used to reside on the winery’s vineyards. As a tribute to the land’s heritage, the winery buries several bottles a year as a gift to the earth that created it. The wine represents using the materials nature provides and then giving back, as though going back to its roots. The perfect wine for sharing with family, at a time that is all about returning to roots, heritage and home. £22.00. Available at Clerkenwell London.
Domaine of the Bee
Domaine of the Bee is a tiny, 4 hectare vineyard in Roussillion, founded after the owner resurrected the very old vines after they were abandoned. This wine is about celebrating the long, winemaking heritage of the Rosusillion area and is delightfully French in its style, yet feels slightly New World. It has the complexity and depth to be paired with food in the traditional French manner, but has beautiful red fruit flavours that allow the wine to perfect for any drinking occasion, with or without food, as is the norm with New World wines. This Grenache and Carignan blend is an intense but plush, dry red, with the trademark seductive Grenache texture. £26.80. Available at Clerkenwell London.
Perica Oro Reserva Especial Rioja
The traditional British Christmas dinner is the perfect occasion to try old wines, such as this 2006 Rioja, which is now really opening up. This particular Rioja is only made by the winery when they’ve had a very good growing year as a tribute to their grandfather who founded the winery. It’s the perfect wine for a small, family Christmas meal, so more attention can be given to the wine, paying particular attention to its relationship to the food and the loved ones around the table. It is truly a family wine. £39.90. Available at Clerkenwell London.
Remember to come back next week for our top Champagne and sparkling wines for Christmas.