Tanners Wines Blog
When I was asked to do a piece about Christmas Day at the Crosland household my initial thought was that with two teenage children and an elderly mother a lot of the day involves being a taxi service and therefore strictly no alcohol! There does come a time though when this is done and the proper business of eating and drinking can start. We’re fairly traditional so it’s turkey and Christmas pud although my wife is vegetarian so she doesn’t do turkey!
We’ll start with an aperitif to go with toasted almonds and olives from the delicatessen at the top of the Cop. The best I’ve ever had are at Quinta do Noval but that’s a bit far to go. The Douro aperitif is white port with tonic and lemon but it’s never the same here so we’ll try it with the Bird in Hand Sparkling Pinot Noir (£13.50) – fresh, lively and surprisingly elegant.
With the turkey I generally go for Pinot Noir also but in its more traditional guise, so it will be something Burgundian, probably the Saint-Romain Rouge (£18.50) from Alain Gras, which is extraordinarily good value.
The white choice will be Godard, Côtes de Francs from Nicolas Thienpont (£20.40). It’s produced in tiny quantities but has masses of opulent fruit and well-balanced oak. Selling Bordeaux white is like pushing water uphill but wines like this are really worth the effort.
Christmas pud is always a difficult one to match – we use a wartime recipe of my mother’s, which includes carrot, so it isn’t as rich as some and all the better for it. You can use Pedro Ximénez Valdivia (£13.70) or Australian Muscat Stanton & Killeen Muscat Rutherglen (£9.20) but I prefer Tawny port, which you can then carry on through the evening with. Try the Noval 10 year old Tawny (£17.20) - all raisins and spice.
Stephen Crosland, Associate Director of Purchasing
This post was posted in Food and Wine Matching, Twelve Days of Christmas and was tagged with Alain Gras, Bird in Hand, Bordeaux, Christmas Pudding, Douro, Godard Cotes de Francs, Muscat, Noval, Pedro Ximenez Valdivia, Pinot Noir, Quinta do Noval, St Romain, Stanton & Killeen Muscat, Tawny Port, toasted almonds, Turkey
At the weekend, Jancis Robinson featured one of Tanners Wines in her '100 sure-fire reds' article on jancisrobinson.com. Interestingly, she picked an unusual wine from Lebanon! In Jancis' words, the article highlighted "a selection of favourites for current drinking from the thousands of wines I taste each year".
So if you're looking to try something different for a change....
"Hébrard of St-Émilion and Brunier of Vieux Télégraphe are involved in this blend of Grenache, Cinsault, Cabernet Sauvignon and Mourvèdre. Rich and explosive. Powerful and different. A sort of cross between Ch Musar and St-Émilion."
Picture the scene; presents wrapped under the tree which has been beautifully decorated by my daughter Sophie, fridge stocked with festive goodies & plenty of champagne, log fire roaring & my favourite cinnamon & bayberry candles lit…and relax!
Christmas day in the Chaudron household will begin quietly; I am usually the first to wake (still after all these years, the excitement takes over!). Hopefully I can sneak downstairs & make a pot of tea – which will probably wake Brodie (the dog) – tranquillity over!!
Back upstairs, sat in bed sipping steaming hot tea, next part of the Christmas morning ritual involves Louis & Sophie jumping on the bottom of our bed to open their stockings (my husband, Jamie, may or may not be awake by now!).
Breakfast will be next on the agenda, Louis is a keen rugby player & constantly hungry! Something simple; smoked salmon & scrambled eggs is a favourite especially when washed down with a couple of glasses of Beaumont des Crayères Cuvée Nostalgie Champagne vintage 1999 (£33.30) how decadent!!
At some point we will wander down to my sister’s new house where she & her family have invited us to spend the rest of the day. (This plan could backfire as they have yet to move in).
There will undoubtedly be more smoked salmon as Auntie Sarah is Queen of the canapés & very partial to salmon in any shape or form. Copious amounts of the afore-mentioned Beaumont des Crayères will be compulsory.
What of poor Brodie you must be thinking – a nice long walk along the river will feature at some point, though I’m not sure when!
Our children all like to think they are grown up (my niece Yasmin is 15) I’m certain they will all be itching to open their presents like two year olds. NOTE TO SELF; really must start some Christmas shopping!!
I believe traditional turkey with all the trimmings should reach the table mid afternoon which is when I intend to unveil the Château Léoville Barton 2me cru Saint-Julien 2007 (£43.50). We visited the chateau whilst on holiday near Bordeaux a couple of years ago & Christmas is just the perfect excuse to indulge!
After pulling crackers & a small helping of Christmas pud I expect there to be optional snoozing in front of the fire. As you will have gathered, the entire day will be a pretty relaxed affair …I can’t wait!
Helen Chaudron, Wine Sales Advisor
This post was posted in Food and Wine Matching, Twelve Days of Christmas and was tagged with Beaumont des Crayeres Cuvee Nostalgie Champagne, Bordeaux, canapes, Champagne, Château Léoville Barton, Christmas Pudding, Scrambled Eggs, Smoked Salmon, Turkey