Christmas is a holiday that is inextricably linked with wine. Whether you are spending the holiday with friends and family or just enjoying a cosy night in, there’s no better way to celebrate than by popping open a great bottle of wine.
To that end, we've chosen five wines that will be an excellent addition to your Christmas celebrations.
A quick note on mulling wine
Mulled wine is a fantastic, warming way to enjoy wine during the holiday season. To make your own, simply heat up a bottle of red wine with a few spices and some sugar or honey.
You can also add in other ingredients like orange peel, cinnamon sticks, or star anise for extra flavour, or get those handy little mulling bags that contain all the ingredients for you.
However, we don’t recommend you mull any of the wines on this list. Mulling can mask the subtle complexity of the flavours, and it’s best to enjoy them as they are.
OUR TOP FIVE WINES FOR CHRISTMAS
1. 2015 CLANDESTIN LES GRANDES LIGNES BRUT NATURE
With a 92 Parker score, this completely biodynamic champagne makes for an excellent toasting wine if you are having guests over for a more formal Christmas dinner, or if you just want to start the festivities with something a little more light and sparkling than the more traditional Christmas red.
Produced in the little-known region of the Aube, this champagne is the brainchild of Bertrand Gautherot of Vouette and Sorbee fame.
Aged in French oak for a minimum of 24 months, this wine has tasting notes of ripe yellow fruits, green citrus notes, yellow kiwi, and juniper, with a hint of fresh amounts and oregano.
The mineral notes in the finish and the hint of nutmeg make this a great pairing with turkey, pork, or even shellfish dishes. The acidity makes it an excellent choice for all kinds of desserts, including pumpkin pie and fruit tarts.
So if you’re looking to add some extra sparkle to your Christmas dinner table, this champagne should be the perfect finishing touch.
2. DOMINIO DE TARES CEPAS VIEJAS 2017
Back with the more traditional red wines, this 100% Mencía from the Bierzo region of northwest Spain has a deep ruby colour, with aromas of blackberry and raspberry jam, complemented by hints of leather and tobacco.
The limestone soil of the vineyard gives the wine a mineral backbone, and the tannins are well-balanced. This is an excellent choice for anyone who enjoys full-bodied reds that don’t overpower food.
On the palate, it is medium-bodied with smooth tannins and an intense but pleasant acidity that balance the ripe fruit notes. There is a nice mineral finish that lingers, giving this wine the perfect finish.
Delicious when served with grilled red meats or hard cheeses, this wine is the perfect accompaniment to any meal! Enjoy now or over the next few years for the best results.
3. El Rapolao 2019
Another sumptuous Spanish red, this mix of Mencía, Garnacha and Souzón from Bodegas y Viñedos Raúl Pérez offers a unique experience.
On the nose, aromas of ripe red fruit, dried herbs and spices fill your glass. As you sip, the flavours open up to reveal more complex notes like leather and tobacco. The tannins are firm but not overpowering, and the acidity is well-integrated, creating a long and enjoyable finish.
As a slightly more powerful red, this bottle would pair particularly well with a gamey dish like venison or wild boar. With firm tannins and a medium body, it’s also ideal for pairing with hard cheeses such as aged cheddar, making it an excellent choice to go with your Christmas cheese board.
4. VIÑA ARANA GRAN RESERVA 2012
Scoring 90 Parker points is always a great sign for a bottle of wine, and the Viña Arana Gran Reserva 2012 does not disappoint. Hailing from La Rioja Alta in Spain, this mix of Tempranillo Graciano grapes has notes of ripe red fruit balanced by herbal nuances and gentle tannins.
Aged for 36 months in American oak barrels to give this wine a softer, smoother finish and more intense flavours, this full-bodied red is ideal for pairing with charcuterie or grilled meats.
In the glass, you’ll find aromas of dark cherry and raspberry with hints of cedar and tobacco. On the palate, taste ripe red berries, hints of dark chocolate, smoky oak, and subtle pepper notes. The tannins are well-structured with a long finish that’s sure to linger in your mouth.
With its robust flavour and aromas of fresh herbs, it’s a great choice to bring out the complexity of strongly flavoured dishes such as beef cheek stew or lamb shanks. It also works exceptionally well with the heavy flavours of mice pies and Christmas pudding.
5. Jacques Lassaigne Réserve Extra Brut
Back round to the end of the meal Chardonnay champagne, the Jacques Lassaigne Réserve Extra Brut is a bright and refreshing bottle that’s sure to be enjoyed by all.
Its flavours of green apple, citrus, and white peach followed by subtle mineral notes make for an easy drinking experience with plenty of indulgent attributes. It offers a creamy texture on the palate and a clean finish that’s perfect for enjoying at the end of a hearty meal.
This medium-bodied sparkling wine is also very versatile and pairs well with a wide range of dishes, from fish and chips to creamy pasta or even desserts such as an indulgent molten chocolate cake.
Its delightful flavour profile makes it an ideal companion to any festive celebration, and its biodynamic production methods help to ensure that you can drink this wine with a clean conscience.
Whether you’re toasting the holidays or looking for an everyday treat, this sparkling wine is sure to be enjoyed by all.
Fine wines for a fine Christmas
So there you have it, five fine wines that are perfect for celebrating the festivities this coming season.
Each of these wines offers something special, whether it’s a traditional and easy-drinking sparkling wine or an artisanal, biodynamic option.
These bottles will not only make great gifts but can also bring some fantastic flavours to your festive dinner table!