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Wonderful wines for a festive feast

Fri 04 Dec 2009 10:44


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Yes, it’s that time of year again – Christmas is just around the corner. It’s stressful enough sorting out all the presents, the cards and the unavoidable family meal, without having to stress out about what wine to pick too!

Top wine connoisseur Tom Cannavan has taken the hassle out of picking the perfect tipple, by selecting three wines he thinks will be great matches for a number of dishes as well as personal tastes.

1. Louis Jadot, Bourgogne Chardonnay 2007, France, priced at 9.99 from Tesco and Sainsbury’s

This is a lightly oaked and elegant wine, which has a bit of a buttery texture and weight, but with a nice, clean finish.

Tom tested the wine with whisky smoked salmon, which matched nicely with the acidity of the wine cutting through the slight oiliness of the fish. The wine was also “sensational” with hot-smoked salmon, which had been flavoured with star anise. This pick is also perfect to go along with a big turkey dinner served with all the trimmings.

2. Olarra Rioja Crianza 2006, Spain, priced at £6.99 from Sainsbury's

This Rioja, with plenty of juicy, ripe berry fruit, perfectly matches with cranberry sauce. The tannins in the wine stand up to the roast meat, and the fresh acidity helps to cleanse the palate, making this wine a real winner.

This is also a great wine to match with a heavy dish such as Christmas pudding and brandy sauce.

3. Fonseca, Terra Prima Reserve Port, Portugal, priced at £14.99 from Waitrose and Peckhams
This organic Port – which is basically a 'Late Bottle Vintage' style with some mellow age from long ageing in oak casks - had the sweetness and chocolaty richness to be a lovely partner to a nutty, dark pudding. The sweetness also won out over the brandy sauce, making it a really nice match with puddings.

Of course, Port is also a great partner to blue cheese, so if your guests would rather have some Stilton - or even Lanark blue - this wine would slip down a treat too.

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