Wine by Pete Stewart
On Christmas Day you’re allowed Champagne almost as soon as you get up and, when it’s gone, the rest of the bottles that you open should be from Burgundy. I’m a bit of a traditionalist, but I do think the best wines in the world come from the Cote d’Or. Of course, you also need a wee sherry ... chilled for preference, to keep you going before the family arrive for lunch. Sherry used to be very popular in Scotland but sadly, like many fashionable things, its popularity faded with those imbibers moving on to cocktails before dinner and whisky or rum for a digestif at the end of the night. Once opened, sherry (especially drier examples) should be kept in the fridge and consumed within a few weeks.
It certainly shouldn’t be left for months on end as it will fall prey to oxidisation and be ruined. It is unique (due to the solera system of ageing the wine), and steeped in tradition, as well as being fortified and extremely tasty. So, pop one in the fridge for Christmas morning.
Here are a few festive bottles to add to your drinks cabinet this year.
Manzanilla La Gitana Hidalgo (Majestic, £9.99, 50cl). This is my favourite dry sherry. Light, lean and clean with a lovely salty tang on the palate, it’s perfect with tapas or paella.
My current white Burgundy of choice is the Domaine Guillot-Broux Macon-Cruzille Les Genievrieres 2017 (Inverarity One to One, £27.99). The family originally hails from the Meursault region, and this Macon mirrors the style of their original production for a fraction of the price. Try a bottle with lobster, an impressive cheeseboard, or (of course) Christmas dinner.
And for your festive fizz, grab a bottle of Nicolas Feuillatte Brut NV Champagne (Majestic, £24.99). This is a lighter, aperitif style Champagne, perfect for presentopening.
Christmas comes but once a year, and it is the best time to splash out on a special bottle or two, so please enjoy the festivities (responsibly) and with vigour.