I have a few wines to match the recipes in this week’s magazine and also three Christmas classics with which to finish off a feast.
2010 Wakefield Riesling, Clare Valley, South Australia (£10.49-£12.99, waitrosewine.co.uk, Nidderdale Fine Wines tel. 01423 711703, Cheers Wines tel. 0845 2263253, Wine in Cornwall tel. 01326 379426). This gripping, lime juice-infused, dry riesling would be spectacular with this week’s salmon pie, because it would cut through the cream cheese and romance the orange zest. Otherwise drink it as a totally flashy, dazzling aperitif!
2010 Tesco Finest Tingleup Riesling, Western Australia (£8.68, Tesco). What on earth would you drink with maple and bourbon-glazed gammon? This is the most difficult wine question of the year and I have an answer – Tingleup! This hypnotic wine has just the right amount of grapy sweetness balanced with some rapier-sharp acidity and if you like ripe, fruit-cocktail scented wines then this will blow you away.
Delamain Pale & Dry XO, Cognac, France (£60.00 – £85.00, Waitrose, www.ocado.com, Berry Bros & Rudd tel. 0800 280 2440, Last Drop Wines tel. 020 7351 2973, Selfridges tel. 0800 123 400). This hand-crafted, twenty-five year old Cognac is my favourite after dinner ‘digestif’. The beautiful amber colour and effortlessly mellow palate make me go weak at the knees. Heaven in a glass – it’s what Christmas is all about.
2009 Valpolicella Classico, Ripasso, La Casetta di Ettore Righetti, Veneto, Italy (£14.99, reduced to £12.99 if you buy 2 bottles until 30 January, Majestic). This massive, intense, mighty red wine from northern Italy is such a heroic creation that it will take your breath away. Decant it for maximum impact and then sip away with your closest friends and realise that you are drinking a wine from the very top of the Valpolicella ladder!
Noval Black, Port, Portugal (£14.99, www.ocado.com, Adnams tel. 01502 727272, Flagship Wines tel. 01727 865309, Hailsham Cellars tel. 01323 441212, Harvey Nichols tel. 020 7201 8538). This is the most attractive and desirable of all ports and it is a superbly competitive price, too. ‘Black’ is a work of modern art and it is full to the rafters with dense black cherries, velvety prunes and intense dark chocolate flavours. Keep your eyes peeled for some snazzy gift pack, too.
2009 Château Bois Pertuis, Bordeaux, France (£9.49, reduced to £6.99 until 6 December, Waitrose). This delightful, medium-weight claret is such a bargain price and it also is from the spectacular 2009 vintage. You get so much reward in this wine it is staggering. Decant it for maximum results.
2009 Crasto, Douro Red, Portugal (£9.99, reduced to £8.99 if you buy 2 bottles until 30 January, Majestic). This red wine is made from Port grapes and so it has a dark brooding core and considerable power, but without the alcohol levels of a fortified wine. Stunning with cheese and also dark chocolate after dinner.