Red wines for Christmas Day | Alistair Gibson

The Christmas table may well be a little quieter this year but there is still the question of which wine to serve, especially if you are having the traditional lunch of turkey or goose with all the trimmings.

Thursday, 17th December 2020, 2:55 pm
Valmoissine Pinor Noir.

If you are sticking to the turkey then for me pinot noir is the grape variety that pulls it all together.

There is no doubt that good red Burgundy is expensive and so Domaine de Valmoissine Pinot Noir 2017, Louis Latour (Hennings Wine £11.99, Majestic £11.99 as part of mixed six) is a lovely alternative.

The nose offers reds fruits and some savoury notes, followed by a silky palate with more dark fruits and ripe tannins and a lovely, elegant finish.

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Produced by one of Burgundy’s most recognisable producers in southern France this has all the traits of good Burgundy but without the price tag.

From Burgundy itself and trading up a little, Santenay Premier Cru Maladière 2017, Lucien Muzard et Fils (Waitrose £21.49) is really fine wine at this price.

Domaine Muzard belongs to a very old wine-producing family who can trace their wine-making roots back to the 1600s and today they produce wines from a number of villages in Burgundy.

There is real purity in this wine, the bouquet offers perfumed red fruits, some toasty spices and just the start of a little savouriness, the palate is very fine with red fruits, silky tannins and a long, velvety finish.

This would be lovely with the turkey but also a great accompaniment to roast duck.

If the Christmas table revolves around lamb or beef, then tempranillo is always a good bet.

Rioja is of course Spain’s most well-known red wine region but I’ve headed a little further south to Ribera del Duero this year.

Celeste Crianza 2017, Ribera del Duero (Waitrose £9.99 on offer from £12.99 until December 29) is made by Spain’s most famous wine producing family Torres and is 100 per cent tinto fino, the regional name for tempranillo.

The wine is aged for 12 months in French and American oak barrels with similar length of ageing in the bottle before being released.

This is very deep in colour with lots of dark fruits on the nose along with some spice and liquorice, followed by quite a rich, broad palate with more dark fruits, ripe tannins and a long, spicy finish.

The wine takes its name the stars and the label depicts the night sky view from the winery, a Christmas Silent Night perhaps?