Christmas – the festival of overindulgence. What better time of year to enjoy a drop of the good stuff, and it has to be said, Spain can offer a bottle for each part of the Christmas experience. Afterall, food goes much better with wine. And there’ll certainly be a lot to eat about the place, or you may just turn to the vino to cope with your extended relatives’ endless bickering. Whatever the reason – İFeliz Navidad!
Of course, you will be leaving a glass of sherry out for Father Christmas *wink* *wink*. But it’ll need to match the mince pie that’s to go with it, which will be both sweetly raisiny and relatively light for pastry. This situation calls for Oloroso. While being sweet, it’s still lighter than the heaviest type of sherry, and Hidalgo Gobernador Oloroso is a good example of the style.
But how about a stocking filler? Everyone likes waking up to a pleasant surprise on Christmas morning, and you could ask Father Christmas *wink* *wink* to pop in a bottle of Espolla Moscatell D’Empordà. As it’s only 500ml, it should fit in next to the tangerine and glazed almonds. Moscatel is a delicious wine with notes of honey, and oddly for a wine, grape flavours. Also the price means it can be just a nice little something extra.
Opening the Presents on Christmas Day
This calls for Cava. After all, you’ll be celebrating, and Cava is the Spanish King of sparkling wine. (See our blog for the debate about Champagne or Cava). For everyone who’s sold on the idea, Raventós i Blanc Gran Reserva De La Finca is a great traditional Cava, which has spent several years aging in oak barrels to take on some pleasing toasty, buttery notes. Chin chin!
So, the main event has arrived. After limbering up, you’ll need trousers with an elastic waist, and the steely determination to get through roast turkey, pigs in blankets, cranberry sauce, roast parsnips, crispy potatoes, boiled carrots – not to mention the obligatory brussel sprouts. Sounds like you’ll need a drink.
While the star of the show is the turkey, a white meat, the meal needs a red wine. This is partly due to the cranberry sauce, but also because everyone’s real favourite is the sausages wrapped in bacon. It’s the one time of year you get to eat them, so let’s make the best of it. Choose a Spanish Pinot Noir like the Enrique Mendoza. It’s light enough to match the weight of turkey, and its tannins are low enough too. What’s more, it has mouth watering red berry flavours. Yet a lighter, less tannic red just wouldn’t go with the pigs in blankets.
By now, you might look like a Christmas pudding. But no matter how much everyone’s eaten, there’s always room for afters, with lashings of brandy sauce. This course needs a heavy, sweet wine. Also it must have notes of raisins, figs and treacle to compliment the pudding’s Christmassy flavours. The clear choice is Pedro Ximénez (PX) sherry. This is a real treat of a wine, and as it’s the season for pushing the boat out, why not have the best possible expression of it from the Montilla-Moriles region? We suggest Don PX Gran Reserva, which at 17% should also put everyone in the mood for a well deserved sleep.
By now, the inevitable Christmas arguments should have simmered down. No-one can be bothered to cook, and considering that turkeys are huge birds distantly related to the tyrannosaurus rex, there’s a massive amount of cold meat to get through. Out come the pickled walnuts, and gherkins. If you’re still using the cranberry sauce, you could finish off last night’s wine. Or if you fancy a white with your meat, try Sumarroca Viognier. It’s fuller bodied for a white to go with the heaviness of the roast turkey, and the noticeable peach taste matches the meat’s stronger flavours.
See Out the Year with Spanish Wine
If these wine recommendations have given you food for thought, you’ll love our sparkling approach to New Year celebrations. Subscribe to the blog to stay in the loop.