The festive season is in full swing, and with it comes abundant opportunities to share a bottle (or two) with all our loved ones. We asked Jamie Goode to concoct his ultimate Christmas drinking selection; wines to suit all those special occasions between now and ringing in the New Year.
I’m very excited about this festive case. For holiday drinking, versatility is the key. These selected wines are all different, each doing its own different job on your table, yet they are also versatile enough to be opened at pretty much any time and enjoyed throughout the festive season. I’ll take you through them one-by-one.
There’s a strong need for Champagne at Christmas and this is a great candidate for festive fizz. It’s a richer-styled, gastronomic Champagne with real interest. It’s also astonishing that this wine is cheaper than the RRP for Moët-et-Chandon in your local supermarket. Huré Frères are based in Ludes in the Montagne de Reims and this blend is based on the 2017 vintage, combined with 25-40% of reserve wine from a perpetual reserve. The varieties are 20% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Noir and 40% Pinot Meunier.
This is Chenin Blanc in a sec (dry) style. Chenin is so well adapted to Christmas fare, and this is a brilliant example from Montlouis, which is next to Vouvray in the Loire Valley. There’s a lovely lemon peel edge to the ripe pear and green apple fruit with good acidity, but also some richness of texture. Bold and a bit spicy with a slight sweetness on the finish, but this comes more from the fruit than sugar. Juicy and linear, this is benchmark dry Chenin with lots of personality.
I love Javi Revert’s wines, and so ‘Micalet’ absolutely had to be in this case. He’s based in Valencia, and while he’s probably best known for his elegant red wines, this white is compelling. It’s made from a single vineyard planted by his great grandfather in 1948, and half of it is ungrafted vines. Six different local white grape varieties are in the blend. Winemaking is in a mix of barrels and 54 litre glass demijohns, and he’s looking to make a mineral, quite lean wine. This is a bright wine with harmony and depth. Perfect turkey fare.
‘Greece is the word’ in wine this year – this sun-soaked country with an ancient winemaking tradition has experienced a few false starts over recent decades, but in the last 12 months no one has stopped talking about the new wave Greek wines. Tetramythos are leading the charge. This is a really well-balanced red weighing in at just 12.5% alcohol, with lovely spicy, slightly gamey notes as well as focused fruit. Pair this with your Christmas ham.
One of my favourite wines from the Envinate portfolio (where everything is good). ‘Benje Tinto’ hails from the north of Tenerife. It’s an especially significant, rare varietal expression from Europe of the Listan Prieto grape, which found its way to the Americas in the 16th century, and there is better known as País or Mission. This may be a lighter-styled red, but it has plenty of flavour, and lovely definition. Quite stunning, and it would work with turkey just as well as a white wine would.
Timo Mayer, Cabernet Sauvignon, Yarra Valley, Australia 2020
This is a bit of a wild card: Cabernet Sauvignon from the Yarra Valley! But it’s brilliant, which is why I’ve included it. There’s a lovely nose of sweet blackcurrants with some notes of tar and gravel in the background: I could just smell this for ages. Then in the mouth, there’s good volume and depth with sweet fruit, a lovely texture, and some freshness too. This is not what you’d expect of Cabernet grown in one of Australia’s cooler climates, but I love it. The packaging is also fantastic.
Buy Jamie's selection on the shop now, and enjoy these stunning wines all through Christmas and into the New Year.