I don’t usually need much of an excuse to enjoy a glass of wine or three but when you’re keeping a tiny human alive, the opportunities to imbibe are relatively few and far between.
Then comes Christmas, a horde of willing baby holders and sitters. Cue regular use of the trusty breast pump to ensure I can enjoy something more exciting than the aforementioned sparkling water I’ve been guzzling for months!
Here’s my pick of alcoholic merriment to see you through the coming days.
The Winter White
Wine matching to Christmas dinner is no mean feat – you need something with a bit of weight behind it to accompany all those complex Christmas flavours such as Chardonnay or Viognier. Equally, you want something to please everyone at the dinner table – from Uncle Keith, the wine aficionado, to Cousin Katie, who likes a quaffable white.
Without having to buy several different white wines, I recommend Markus Huber Grüner Veltliner (£10.79, Waitrose, Ocado). This Austrian variety is aromatic enough to tackle the variety of flavours at the dinner table, interesting enough to encourage a bit of wine chat, while still appealing to the Sauvignon Blanc drinkers with its refreshing and citrusy edge. A fantastic all-rounder!
A Show-stopping Red
Christmas turkey sits happily alongside lighter styles of red such as Pinot Noir but if you’re serving up roast beef, you’ll need something with a little more oompf.
My favourite crowd-pleaser this year – and an absolute bargain – is the Château Larteau Bordeaux Superieur 2010 from Aldi (£6.99). Made from 100% Merlot grapes, this red has lots of plum and blackcurrant flavours and matches well to roast turkey and all the trimmings, and to red meat. Your guests will be impressed to see a Bordeaux on the table and they would never guess the sub-£7 price tag!
It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Aldi’s Crémant du Jura. Despite the price tag gradually increasing over the years, at £7.99 this sparkler is still an absolute steal. Made in the same style and using the same method as Champagne, this wine is produced in a different region so you’re getting much more bang for your buck!
This year I’ve discovered Terroir de la Baume Crémant de Limoux from Waitrose. Currently on offer for £9.32, it’s a tad more expensive than the Aldi Crémant but still a bargain compared to Champagne, and hails from the more southerly Limoux region of France. With flavours of lemon citrus and a subtle nutty finish, this mellow fizz is the perfect way to start Christmas Day.
Cheers and Merry Christmas from baby Harriet!