Stock your cel­lar for Christ­mas

Irish Independent - Weekend Magazine - - Drink -

For­somerea­son,Christ­mas seems to have started par­tic­u­larly early this year, and for once, I don’t hear any­one ob­ject­ing. It seems that we are all ready for a month of fes­tiv­i­ties and catch­ing up with friends. So it’s worth get­ting or­gan­ised and stock­ing up on a few re­li­able bot­tles to have on hand when friends drop in or if you’re plan­ning a party.

The one thing to re­mem­ber is to serve your wines at the right tem­per­a­ture. Most peo­ple serve their whites too cold and their reds too warm.

If you’re serv­ing sparkling wine or Cham­pagne, make sure the bot­tles are well chilled or else they will froth all over the place when you pop the cork.

The ideal serv­ing tem­per­a­ture is 6-10°C, so four hours in the fridge be­fore your guests ar­rive should do it. For white wine, if it’s aro­matic, like a Sau­vi­gnon Blanc, aim for 8-12°C, which is about two hours in the fridge. White wines with a bit more body should be served at the slightly higher tem­per­a­ture of 10-12°C, so, one-and-a-half hours in the fridge.

Light, aro­matic reds like Beau­jo­lais, Pinot Noir and Caber­net Franc are per­fect to serve on their own with­out food and re­spond well to a lit­tle bit of chill­ing. Bring them down to 12-14°C with around half an hour in the fridge.

While you don’t want to be serv­ing your guests plonk, it’s not the time to splash out on ex­pen­sive bot­tles, un­less it’s a small gath­er­ing of wine en­thu­si­asts. Villa Maria are run­ning a six-case deal for €60 in Su­perValu, Dunnes have Lau­rent Miquel Al­barino for €10, and the Al­tivo range for €8.99 in Spar, Eurospar, Londis and Mace is very re­li­able,

Lidl have an easy drink­ing Coon­awara Chardon­nay for €7.99, Aldi have Santa Rita Re­serve Sau­vi­gnon Blanc for €8.99, and M&S has Su­mika, a low-al­co­hol rosé for €11.

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