ROBIN JAMES, Mr. Wheeler’s Wine Cel­lar

Essex Life - - FOOD & DRINK -

This year your ta­ble is cer­tain to once again be laden with some fab­u­lous fes­tive fayre, but what about the wine? Some care­fully cho­sen wines will com­ple­ment your cook­ing and pro­vide a great talk­ing point for your guests. Wine sales spe­cial­ist Robin James, of Mr. Wheeler’s Wine Cel­lar, picks out some per­fect tip­ples to ac­com­pany your cui­sine. To be­gin, no Christ­mas ta­ble would be com­plete with­out some bub­bles. Robin sug­gests you try Brut Tra­di­tion ‘Blanc de Noirs’, Cham­pagne Michel Guilleminot.

“It’s a true ‘grow­ers’ Cham­pagne made from 100% pinot noir grapes, all grown, pro­duced and bot­tled by the Guilleminot fam­ily,” ex­plains Robin. “This crit­i­cally ac­claimed sparkler of­fers a lovely weight, tex­ture and com­plex­ity that com­pletely de­fies its price. When Cham­pagne is this good there’s no need to com­pro­mise, it re­ally is de­li­cious!”

It’s priced at £26.50 per bot­tle or £24.50 when part of a mixed case.

There’s noth­ing quite like Chablis at Christ­mas, and it goes so well with every­thing, es­pe­cially seafood. Robin says: “Try 2017 Chablis, Do­maine Séguinot-Bordet, Bur­gundy Fer­mented and aged in stain­less steel to al­low the fruit to be ex­pressed in its purest form, our Séguinot-Bordet Chablis has a won­der­ful con­cen­tra­tion of flavour and a clas­sic steely min­er­al­ity which is rarely found in Chablis of this level.”

It’s an ex­cel­lent price too at just £15.75 for a bot­tle (mixed case £14.50).

If you’re look­ing for a rich red, Robin rec­om­mends 2015 Pe­tite Lau­rence, Bordeaux.

“2015 was a fab­u­lous year in Bordeaux and this is a bril­liant mod­ern ex­am­ple from that great vin­tage show­cas­ing every­thing you’d ex­pect from the most fa­mous wine re­gion of them all. Named after the river La Lau­rence which winds past the vine­yard, the Pe­tite Lau­rence has been aged for 14 months in tra­di­tional French oak bar­rels and is al­ready drink­ing beau­ti­fully. It’s ex­cel­lent to go along­side your Box­ing Day beef.”

It’s priced at £13 per bot­tle (mixed case £12).

But for Robin, the star of the show has to be Ruther­glen Mus­cat, Pfeif­fer, Vic­to­ria.

“It’s a dessert wine which was show­cased at a tast­ing in Es­sex a cou­ple of months back and its lit­er­ally flown of the shelves since. A truly unique wine from Aus­tralia, it’s guar­an­teed to get you in the Christ­mas spirit. From the first drop you’ll be cap­ti­vated by the won­der­ful aro­mas of rich, raisined fruit while the sweet caramel taste that lasts and lasts is sim­ply divine. It’s Christ­mas in a bot­tle. Ab­so­lutely won­der­ful along­side Christ­mas pud­ding, but also ver­sa­tile enough to go chilled with spicy tomato soup, chicken liver pate, honey glazed duck or fes­tive blue cheeses.”

Why not treat your­self to a bot­tle for this year’s ta­ble at £16 a bot­tle (mixed case £15.25).

GET THE TASTE

Mr. Wheeler’s Wine Cel­lar Birch­wood Road, Ded­ham CO7 6HX 01206 807913 www.mr­wheel­er­wine.com

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