Let us take the stress out of food matching this Christmas. Our Cellar Shop team in Shrewsbury have picked their favourite festive drinks and paired them with the perfect seasonal foods for 2023.
…a timeless starter of salmon
Maz’s favourite match: Domaine de l'Amandine Blanc, Côtes du Rhône, 2022
From a family-run estate in the Southern Rhône, this wine is simultaneously fresh and round. A gentle blend of five varieties, there is a myriad of flavours including star anise, apricots, and ripe pears. Rich in texture and with a good structure, this is suitable for most fish dishes.
Amy suggests: Crémant d’Alsace, Blanc de Blancs Brut, Dopff & Irion
Whether it’s part of a sumptuous starter, a cheese board staple, or a wintery night treat, baked camembert is simple but oh-so delicious! There is something so satisfying about diving into the camembert - bubbling from the oven - with a freshly torn baguette. To complement the creaminess, the perfect pairing is a good bottle of bubbly! Made in the same traditional method as Champagne, Crémant d’Alsace, with clean, crisp acidity will seamlessly cut through the richness of the cheese - a must-have bottle for your 2023 Christmas!
Howard’s ideal pairing: Lagar de Cervera Albariño 2022
Lagar de Cervera has established an enviable reputation for producing superb Albariño, with almost cult status in the area. It’s elegant, fresh and perfectly balanced with fine acidity and fresh salinity. This Albariño is a little weightier than some, with lovely texture and mouthfeel. It’s a classic pairing with seafood (I also think this would go well with turkey).
Tom suggests: Saint Veran, Château Fuissé 2021
Show your turkey crown some love this year and pair it with Saint Véran Château Fuissé, this is a rich, full white, with a creamy buttery edge, full of peach and apricot flavours. The perfect match to elevate the most important meal of the year. Cheers!
Erica’s top pick: Tanners Douro Red 2020
It's December the 27th. You've still got a plateful of turkey in the fridge and you’ve had more leftover sandwiches than you can shake a stick at - time for the curry! It’s not time to go back to work yet, but you need more wine - nothing too crazy, you are still recovering – so, what wine? Time for an old friend, tried, tested, and trusted by so many, the ever-dependable Tanners Douro to the rescue.
Myles’ match: Domaine Bruno Sorg Gewürztraminer, Alsace 2019
A delicious rollercoaster of flavour. Bruno Sorg is a true wizard of Alsace and creates a truly magical Gewürztraminer. This wine is bursting with elegant flavours of rose petals and lychee on the nose, enticing you to take a sip. This is where you are met with excellent weight of tropical fruit, complex white spice and the balance of acidity and slight sweetness makes this very moreish indeed.
Amy’s top pairing: Tanners Rhône Valley Red, Côtes du Rhône 2021
Whether you’re vegetarian or not, this classic Rhône blend complements all the flavours and textures of a good festive dinner. This vibrant red is bursting with red fruits and bramble notes, all supported by the classic peppery note of Syrah - a real crowd-pleaser!
…Roast Beef & Yorkshire Puddings
Howard’s perfect pick: Sarget de Gruaud Larose, Saint – Julien 2017
Sarget is the second wine of the famous Château Gruaud Larose in St Julien and this 2017 vintage is drinking beautifully now. Bursting with lovely black fruit, cedar and with a lovely lick of spice, this wine has well-integrated tannins, a long finish and is everything you would expect from quality Claret. This is a perfect match with roast beef, Yorkshire pudding and all the trimmings!
Shania recommends: Les Calèches de Lanessan, Haut-Medoc 2015
The classic Bordeaux blend is a Christmas essential, it has a gorgeous cassis-led nose with soft, silky tannins and hints of plush vanilla on the finish. What more could you want? Les Calèches 2015 vintage truly stands out from the crowd and is a perfect addition to any festive poultry.
Erica suggests: Rosso di Valtellina 2020
So, you’re a Barolo fan but need a great value bottle to drink now and impress your guests - pick a wine from Valtellina. It’s a small, little known region in Northern Italy that makes Nebbiolo based wines just like Barolo, but without the price tag! This glorious red exudes vibrant violets and juicy black and sour cherries. With a sumptuous fruity palate, this red makes the perfect match for roast duck.
…a multi bird roast with All The Trimmings
Serena’s perfect match: Kumeu Village Chardonnay 2021
The array of flavours and dishes flying around the dinner table on Christmas Day means we need a wine that can hold its own against such flavours and textures - this New World Chardonnay, with a robust body and depth of flavour is perfect! With a healthy dose of citrus and a clean, fresh, finish with just a hint of oak, this wine is a great addition to the dinner table this Christmas.
…a mince pie, (or two!)
Tom’s top pick: Tanners Cream Sherry
It's sweet and oh-so festive! Bursting with rich flavours like dates, prunes and figs, this sumptuous wine is the perfect post-dinner aperitif with a mince pie (in a glass or poured over top, we won't judge). Enjoy!
Myles recommends: Manoella 10 year old Tawny Port, Wine & Soul
This is the perfect cheeseboard companion. Silky, smooth, and rich, it’s often called the Barry White of Tawny Port. Full of delicious notes of dried figs, dates and spice on the nose, accompanied by distinct nuttiness on the palate, the long and complex finish rounds off this moreish delight.
…Boxing Day Buffet
Shania’s pick: Tanners Extra Reserve, Brut Champagne
The big day may be behind us; however, Boxing Day still deserves some celebration; which calls for a bottle of Tanners Reserve Champagne! This elegant, creamy, and light Champagne works wonders as an accompaniment to cold meats and cheese right through to sweet treats.
Myles’ recommendation: Auxey–Duresses 1er Cru, Michel Prunier et Fille 2020
As smooth as Red Burgundy comes. Just West of Meursault, Prunier's pride and joy stems from his Premier Cru Auxey-Duresses vineyards. Working with his daughter, they are becoming a very sought-after winemaking team. Concentrating on handcrafting some incredibly elegant wines which are full of blackcurrants, blueberry, and a moreish aromatic complexity it makes the perfect match to pâté this season.
Maz’s marvellous match: Vigna Senza Nome, Moscato d’Asti, “Braida” 2022
A staff favourite for years, it’s fondly known as a wine 'that could be consumed at any time of day!'. With aromas of orange blossom, rose and elderflower it is truly luscious - but never cloying - which goes with anything sweet and at only 5.5% why stop at one glass?
Howard’s top match: Henriques & Henriques 10 year old Malvasia Madeira – 50cl
Showing complex notes of sweet, dried fruit on the nose, followed by caramel and freshly ground coffee on the finish, this is truly rich and intense. It tastes like Christmas in a bottle - the ideal match for a classic Christmas pudding!
Shania’s top tipple: Essensia California Orange Muscat, Dessert Wine, Quady 2021 – half
If trifle is on your Christmas menu this year, upgrade it with Quady’s Essensia Orange Muscat. This golden, sweet wine is well balanced with delicious, spiced orange fruitiness and perfect acidity. It has a fresh, clean finish which will work beautifully with a creamy trifle.