FRETTING ABOUT WHICH WINES TO SERVE OVER THE FESTIVE SEASON? THE BOTTLE BITCHES ARE HERE TO HELP…
Whether you need wine for the festive feast, a gift for the hostess with the mostest, or bubbles to get a celebration started, it’s that time of year when you may think a little more about the wines you’re choosing. Luckily, there’s a (winter) wonderland of varietals and styles available, making it a great time to indulge in your favourites, but if you need a little inspiration this festive season, we’ve chosen a few of our favourite finds to share with you. And don’t forget to visit www.bottlebitches.com to find out what we’ll be drinking with our friends and family over the upcoming weeks, too. Bottoms up!
1. The Bubbles Château de l’Aulée Crémant de Loire ‘Cuvée Jeanne d’Arc’ NV (Oddbins £13.50)
Did you know there’s more to French sparkling then Champagne? This year, it’s all about Cremant for Christmas! Cremant is a sparkling wine made in France (but not in Champagne) using the same traditional method as Champagne – meaning you’ll get those familiar bold toasty notes but at incredible value. This one hails from the Loire and is made from the popular Chenin Blanc grape by renowned winemaker Marielle Henrion, who learnt her bubbles training at Bollinger!
CARO – This has the word PARTY all over it! Super fine gold bubbles that smells just like my mum’s freshly baked Tarte Tatin, and that delivers an equally fine sensation of exciting caramel and baked apple, with a lingering touch of almond. MORE PLEASE!
ANGELA – A delicious glass of baked apple pie and custard aromas and a mouth full of rich bubbles, forget saving this for a party, I’m drinking it all by myself in front of the fire and feeling very indulgent indeed.
KATE – This Crémant smells like a warm hug and tastes like an electrifying first kiss. I’m super picky about my bubbles and these are the absolute perfect size – delicate but with enough zing to get the party started! Pairs well with dancing shoes and big laughs with your besties. (Trust me, it’s been tried and tested on both fronts.)
2. The Crowd Pleasing White Nicola Bergaglio, Gavi di Gavi La Minaia, 2016 (Hattons of Royal Tunbridge Wells
It’s easy to just up the stock on your usual fridge door white but it can sometimes be a challenge to satisfy the divide between the light and the bold white wine drinkers. A wine that has a little more body while maintaining the fresh crispness and palate-pleasing fruit ﬂavour is Gavi, the fashionable white made from the Cortese grape in the Northern Piedmont region of Italy. Not only will this hit the sipping mark but would be great with ﬁsh starters, spicy foods and vegetable canapés. It’ll also make a fantastic thank you gift for your dinner party invites!
CARO – This Gavi smells DIVINE (peach melba kind of jazz) and is a hell of a surprise! The sweet aromas are unexpectedly replaced by complex, refreshing, and quince-like ﬂavours acting as a palate cleanser. A classy, without being “in-your-face-posh” wine that I’d happily drink with a meal or on its own at any stage of the meal!
ANGELA – There’s Gavi and then there is THIS Gavi! Packing a little bit more colour and body than usual, this Gavi has aromas and ﬂavours of peach, melon and quince. Beautiful!
KATE – In days of yore when babies slept in mangers and humans could still drink out of local streams, I imagine all the beautiful mountain spring water in the world tasted like this Gavi – fresh and delicious with a hint of minerals and honeydew melon. Savour this beauty when it’s straight outta the fridge OR pour it down an ice luge for an optimal days-of-yore-mountain-stream experience.
3. The Turkey Wine Domaine des Bassets Morgon 2016 (Waitrose/Ocado £12.29)
You can throw out the rule book when it comes to Christmas dinner these days, but for many of us, the humble Turkey still reigns supreme. There’s a variety of wine styles to pair with roasted poultry and it’s easy to cater for both red and white drinkers. Oaked Chardonnays and Viognier are great choices for the latter, but with reds, you want to look for wines with low tannins as they pair better with meats with low fats. New World Pinot Noir and aged Bordeaux are great choices but we’ve chosen a classic low-tannin fruity number from the Morgon cru in The Beaujolais region.
CARO – A beautiful deep ruby colour with sweet aromas of kirsch and violets, but a dryer sensation on the palate. Whilst this is deﬁ nitely not the kind of wine I would crack open for a ‘stand-alone’ glass,
I can imagine it does a ﬁ ne job at complementing a rich Christmas dinner of turkey, potatoes and cranberry!
ANGELA – I’m cooking my traditional goose this Christmas so I’m sticking with Barolo and Barbaresco to pair with its gamey ﬂavours. But as this Beaujolais is from Old Vines (Vieilles Vignes) it has a slight rustic edge alongside its dried red fruits which could work too… No, I’m still sticking with Barolo.
KATE – I love Beaujolais for its bright berry ﬂavour and youthful enthusiasm but this Vieilles Vignes number brings out a whole new dimension. While it still maintains some youthful notes, this Beaujolais is more of a moody university student home for the holidays and has some interesting metallic and smoky notes that would pair well with a feast. Sipping this, I’m transported back to the madness of my mom’s kitchen on Thanksgiving Thursday when I was a moody university student! How early can we crack open the wine again?!
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