Aiding digestion as well as conversation and general merriment, once you have the food sorted for Christmas Day, it’s time to start thinking about the wine. Fortunately, Yohann Jousselin MS, Head Sommelier at The Vineyard in Berkshire, is on hand to advise by taking a closer look at the hotel’s own festive menu …
To start …
Eat: Pumpkin velouté with Sainte Maure goats cheese espuma.
Drink: Menetou Salon, Morogues, Domaine Pelle, Loire Valley, France, 2011
This is a classic match. This fresh wine works incredibly well with the rich and creamy Loire Valley cheese as it has great acidity that cuts through the richness of the dish.
Eat: Pan-roasted Scottish scallops with truffle butter and winter salad.
Drink: Sepp, Grüner Veltliner, Niederosterreich, Austria, 2011
I chose this wine to match with the scallops, as Austrian wine is becoming much more exciting and the country itself is increasingly recognised as a producer of quality wine. Again, I’ve selected a fresh wine, which has enough body to balance the dish and enough acidity to cut through the richness of the truffle butter.
Main course …
Eat: Slow cooked breast of bronze turkey.
Drink: Rioja Reserva, Valenciso, Rioja, Spain, 2005
This is a richer style of Rioja that’s delicate with soft tannins to stand the richness of the dish.
Eat: Pan-roasted leg of lamb with rosemary jus and roast vegetables.
Drink: Emiliana Vineyards, Carmenere, Adobe Reserva, Colchagua Valley, Chile, 2011
This is a very powerful wine that has great chocolate, meaty, and coffee aromas that perfectly complement this lamb course.
Christmas Pudding: Christmas pudding with brandy sauce and rich vanilla ice-cream.
Drink: Ferrari Carano, El Dorado Gold, Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc, Sonoma, CA, 2007
This rich dessert wine with apricot, peach, and Christmassy aromas, is a great alternative to a Sauternes, and a perfect match to enjoy with a Christmas pudding.
Eat: British cheese with fennel and raisin bread, and quince jelly.
Drink: Justin, Obtuse, Paso Robles, CA, 2009
Lastly, I selected this sweet red wine, which, if you like port, you will really enjoy. It’s full of prunes, plums and cherry notes and is a perfect complement to a cheese platter.
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