Here we are, about to enjoy a cracking Christmas and wave goodbye to 2018. It’s been a busy year for The Wine Tipster. I’ve seen some great racing at The Jockey Club courses across the country, presented on wine and bubbles to some fabulous audiences and discovered plenty of top tipples along the way.
I’d love to say I’ll be winding down, but as we all know there’s plenty of racing on over the festive season. Look out for my Unibet Racing blogs on December 19th and December 26th on King George Day for all my latest tips.
If you haven’t quite finished your festive shopping I’ve got a few suggestions (not all wine-related, I promise). Peter Stafford-Bow is back with a new book set in the world of wine featuring wine buyer Felix Hart. Brut Force is the sequel to Corkscrew and would make a great gift for the wine-lover in your life (Available from Amazon, RRP £9.99, Kindle edition £3.99).
If it’s music you prefer, I can thoroughly recommend The Nightingales. I saw them at a great gig at The Moth Club in Hackney and their new album Perish The Thought is my album of 2018. (Buy from Tiny Global Productions, CD £15, digital version £7).
At Wine Tipster HQ, we’ll be heading out for Christmas this year and I’m looking forward to seeing what will be served up with our slap-up meal. For me, Christmas is a time full of tradition but also a great time to try different things and experiment with something new. I’m usually a big fan of getting into the kitchen and cooking a proper roast, but sometimes with a bit of a differences – maybe goose or venison. I’m also a big fan of fish and seafood as it pairs so brilliantly with some wines, so will be preparing us a platter for those festive evenings when you fancy something a little lighter.
Have you planned your festive tipples yet? I’ve put together my suggestions for a few different wines and tipples you can try this festive season. I hope you all have a wonderful time and here’s to a successful 2019.
Merry Christmas from The Wine Tipster!
Christmas wouldn’t be complete without some fizz and as we all know, I’m a big fan of Prosecco. Owned by the Moretti Polegato family, Villa Sandi always produces impressive, elegant Proseccos and the La Gioiosa is a perfect example.A delicious match with seafood. £11.99. Stockist: Majestic
Another great example of Prosecco, this “Galie” Extra Dry is grown in the hills of the Astoria Estate approximately 150m above sea level, giving it an elegant, fruity and flowery bouquet with a harmonious flavour. Perfect served with canapes, smoked salmon and delicious Grana Padano. £13.75. Stockists: Gerard Steel, Amazon and at York Racecourse
Masottina founded in 1946 in Conegliano, produce a range of high quality award winning Proseccos, including this award winning Brut, which won a gold medal in the Decanter Wine Awards. Stylish, smooth, with floral and fruity notes, this is top class. £11.99 Stockist: www.winedirect.co.uk www.fmv.co.uk
Based in East Sussex, Ridgeview is a great example of an English sparkling wine – a brilliant alternative to champagne during the festive season. These are great celebration wine, or pair well with seafood and fish, so try a glass with your salmon at Christmas. £28.99. Stockists: Waitrose
This is a high quality, dry pink Cava with an intense crimson colour, red fruits and citrus flavours, which will definitely impress over the Festive period as will the brilliant packaging. £12. Stockists: Tesco, Ocado, Cafe de la Post
When I first tried Croft Twist a couple of years ago, I thought it was wonderful. A modern British take on Spain’s rebujito cocktail, it mixes cask-aged Croft Fino with sparkling water, English elderflower and lemon and mint cordial. At 5.5% ABV, it’s great for Christmas if you’re after something a little bit lighter. It’s also a great wine to surprise people with. Don’t tell them what it is and see if they guess… For the perfect serve, pour over ice and garnish with a twist of lemon peel and a sprig of fresh basil. £7.00. Stockists: Ocado, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s
One of the most popular English whites around at the moment, Bacchus is a great example of a white wine. And more English still white – Bacchus, Chapel Down. Ironically Bacchus won at Royal Ascot, tipped up by The Wine Tipster! £13.99. Stockist: Waitrose
This is a fantastic easy-drinking white from the Rueda region of north-west Spain. You’re bound to be entertaining during Christmas and there’s always someone who says they don’t like Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay so it’s a great one to add to your selection of wines on offer. £8.99. Stockist: Waitrose
Yealands are a great example of environmental and sustainable winemakers and their crisp, Reserve Sauvignon Blanc with flavours of passionfruit, mango and citrus is perfect on its own or with fish and buffets over the festive period. Try their Land Made Sauvignon Blanc across The Jockey Club racecourses. £11.59 on offer to £8.49. Waitrose
This is a top-class, bone dry rosé. Well balanced and with flavours of strawberry and white peach. It works well as an aperitif but would also go well with lighter festive dishes or a Boxing Day buffet of seafood and cold meats. £17.99. Stockists: Daylesford daylesford.com Oxford Wine Company, Charlbury Deli & Cafe, Waddesdon Manor
This wonderful Côtes du Rhône red is so truly French in style with ripe fruit aromas and wonderful spicy fruit flavours. This is great value and always does so well in tastings. A must for Christmas. It also pairs brilliantly with vegetarian dishes so is a great one to pull out when you’re entertaining. £9.99 down to £7.49. Stockist: Waitrose
This great example of a New World red from McLaren Vale is an Australian favourite and I’m rather partial to a glass too. Approachable yet with an element of consistency, it’s a great one to serve with a full festive roast dinner, or even just a few drinks on its own. £13.49. Stockist: Ocado
This is classic, intense Cabernet Sauvignon is packed with ripe, concentrated and complex flavours of blackcurrant, plum, with sweet spice, subtle oak and a tremendous finish. A classic! Another one that pairs brilliantly with a roast dinner, making it perfect for the festive season. The Jockey Club has also just started listing this wine across its courses, so if you’re heading to Kempton Park on Boxing Day, make sure you look out for it. £19.95. Stockists: Uvinum.co.uk greatwesternwine.co.uk
14. Château Peyredon Lagravette, Haut-Médoc Cru Bourgeois 2010, Bordeaux, France
Cru Bourgeois wines offer a tremendous opportunity to get some great value, complex clarets and this wine from the outstanding 2010 vintage just does that. This Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot blend has lovely, classic Cabernet blackcurrant fruit, with spice and savoury character. Definitely a wine to decant and enjoy with beef or game over the festive period. £14.50. Stockist: The Wine Society
If you’re looking for something a bit sweeter over the festive season but want to try something different, head for Hungary for a Tokaji. From the Tokaj wine region in Hungary, this wine has a wonderful balance of sweetness and acidity,which makes it a great pairing with lighter desserts and particularly blue cheese. I think it tastes great on its own too! £11.99 on offer to £9.99 (50cl) . Stockist: Majestic
Who doesn’t want a tot of sherry on a festive evening. This stunning sherry, which gets its dark colour from thirty years of ageing in sherry butts should be on every Christmas table and all year round, for that matter! Matusalem Oloroso (ABV 20.5%) has aromas of dark chocolate and prunes, with delicious, rich, complex, nutty character on the palate. A lovely match with Alex James’ delicious Blue Monday. Stockists: The Oxford Wine Company, Waitrose. £19.99 per 37.5cl.
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