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Christmas and New Year Drinking Thread 2019


It’s finally here so let’s celebrate and start what will be a glimpse into the wonderful Christmas & New Year wines we will drink over the next couple of weeks ! If you, like me, are finally starting to wind down and crack open some of the “nice stuff” , well here’s the place to tell us about it all .
For me, this year has been a mixed bag , a great first half and tbh not a great second half but I’m looking forward to what 2020 will bring .
So tonight, after a 12 hour journey from Newcastle- upon-Tyne to my best friends in Dublin he opened this for me ;

It’s still young but is already promising to be a great wine in another few years!
I’m knackered after my long drive & off to bed but already looking forward to tomorrow nights wines … whatever they will be :wink::wink:


Really nothing to celebrate this year.

I’m going to hide up in a cave in Andalusia for Xmas to get away from it all and get a breath of fresh air. So probably not too much in terms of interesting wine.


Depending on the location of your cave, there might be something of interest nearby:


Sorry to hear that you have absolutely nothing to celebrate, but maybe open a special bottle in commiserations instead…

There’s always a reason to drink nice wine :yum:


A very busy year, an even busier Christmas (for different reasons). A few planned compensations…
Canapés and cocktails
Rum punch (dark rum, brown sugar, lime, cinnamon, bitters, ginger beer), Spiced nuts, Devils on horseback, maple syrup and mustard glaze sausages
Champagne cocktail, Blinis, Croustades, Quails eggs, smoked salmon, Caviar, taramasalata, dill and mustard sauce, hollandaiseSmoky Negroni, Palmiers , Bruschetta, Intingolo, Tapenade, Crisps,
Snowballs, cheese footballs, wotsits,
Ratatouille Tarte tatin
Côte du Rhône, Chateau St Cosme, Les Deux Albions, 2013
Porcini, Aragula and chestnut risotto with Mallard breast
Rosso di Toscana Vecchia Annata 1999, 2006
Braised Hare, Puy lentil and Cavelo Nero ragú, pasta
Domaine Villard, St Joseph, Poivre et Sol, 2010
Goose, turkey and duck three bird roast with chestnut, prune and sausagemeat stuffing and Duxelles of Mushroom and goose liver, sausage and bacon, red cabbage, roast potatoes, sprouts, Great House carrots, extra stuffing, parsnips
Savigny les Beaune, Les Haut Jarrons, 2012
Hermitage, Jean-Lois Chave 2009
Cairanne Blanc, Oratoire St Martin “Les Seigneurs”, 2016
Squid, ink and black rice/seaweed linguine
Chateau St Cosme Côte Rôtie 2012
*Cava Conde de Haro 2016
Black Bomber
Stilton in a pot
Pont L’Eveque
Onion marmalade, truffle honey, toasted walnuts, Cumberland sauce
Quinta do Noval, 1958 Wine Society Port
Monbazaillac, Chateau Pech La Calvie, 2015
Pineau des Charentes, Chateau d’Orignac

Not all at once



Oh yes, I know pretty much every Andalusian wine of interest (actually pretty much every one without interest too :smiley: ) Lots of interesting “natural” stuff from around Granada province, including (I believe) the highest altitude wine grown in mainland Europe.

Dry moscatel v much the thing where I’m going. Actually I do confess I am.hoping to try my first varietal Rome (that’s with an accent on the “e”).


Unfortunately I can’t remember who posted about this earlier in the year, a 2016 Cinsault from Natte Valleij, but many thanks to whoever did as it was one of the most interesting and enjoyable wines I’ve drank this year. The colour gives some indication as to its style…

…a fragrant nose of red cherry, strawberries, cinnamon bark and a leafy savoury quality underlines the winemakers intention to make a wine that shows Cinsault off to its best effect.

One taste confirms they succeeded. Light to medium body (12.5% ABV), savoury red fruits, rosehip, cinnamon, anise, forest floor flavours elegantly framed by imperceptible tannins and ripe acidity. Weight and depth of flavour, a supple silky texture and the expansive finish put me in mind me of high quality Pinot Noir whilst its flavours were reminiscent of wines I’ve tried from Kadarka.

Amazing value for money too, IIRC it was about £12 whilst discounted.


Cinsault from South Africa has probably been my main discovery of the year - in the style that you described: light, floral with savoury red fruit. It’s such an enjoyable varietal!

I really enjoyed Fairview Bushvine 2017 (though it failed to impress @japcraw :grinning:), Flotsam and Jetsam Stalwart Cinsault and 2017 Purple Heron from Lidl (made by Pederberg). But the one that was the most enjoyable this year was 2016 Waterkloof ‘Circumstance’… A beautiful, delicate and moreish wine.

Must try the Natte Valleij now! :grinning::+1:


Thanks for the tips, after yesterday, I can only agree with your sentiments and will be investigating further myself !

Unfortunately the wine I tried is no longer available form Waitrose but I did order six of the Darling Cinsault 2017 form the same producer, from elsewhere, before posting.

Hopefully I’ll also pick up a bottle of a Stellenrust Cinsault in Waitrose later today (currently 25% off at £7.49) to see how it compares with last nights wine. Fingers crossed it’s in a similar savoury style.


Wow, that is impressive forward planning @DrEm! Perhaps you have a houseful and need to be organised. Just the two of us, although we are going to friends for Christmas Day lunch. So no need to do too much advanced planning. Hope it all goes brilliantly for you.


Thanks @JayKay. Like holidays, a lot of the joy is in the planning and fingers crossed for the execution (of the plan, not the guests!).


I think we’d ALL like to come to yours for Christmas! Sounds delightful - hope the plan stays on track.


Had this last night with Cod.

Bought as part of the 2016 EP mixed 6 Viognier case. My only bottle and it was a brilliant example of the grape. Nectarine, peach, apricot, white blossom, lovely texture whilst maintaining enough acidity and not becoming too overblown (13% abv). Pretty smart wine for a Vin de France but obviously much better than that typical title.
Glad I have 6 of the 2017 in reserves.


Glad to hear such a glowing review! I have a single of the '17 in my booze cupboard from the EP.

I’ve had the '17 Domaine Barou VdF already. It was delicious too, if you have any!


Had the Barou from the same case about 6 months ago and thought it excellent also. Been very pleased with this case so far. The 3 X IGP/VdF have been drunk, 3 X Condrieu to go.


My notes for the 2014, drank in Feb 2018, were almost identical. My experience of Northern Rhone Viognier is limited but I thought it better balanced and less blowsy than some examples I’ve tried ( specifically Ogier’s ‘la Rosine’ ).


I have a single bottle of Villard’s 2016 ‘Les Contours de Mairlant’ Marsanne-Roussanne, which I’ve been keeping for a while, waiting for the right moment… Perhaps sometime during xmas… Hope it’s as good as your Viognier :pray:


I think the man knows what he is doing so I would have every confidence :+1:


Our Christmas plans feel a little subdued this year - the mood has taken a serious battering post elections, so keeping it fun, but quiet.

We’ll be having the main meal on Xmas eve this year - as my daughter is with us, so just four of us (including the ubiquitous brother-in-law, who also lives in Brighton). The plan is to start with Welsh rarebit and quail eggs on sourdough with a 2009 Wiston Estate Cuvee, followed by a game roulade stuffed with wild boar, with the usual suspects (roast spuds, heritage carrots, Brussle sprouts etc.) - with this Ribera del Duero:

And finish with our favourite Panatone bread and butter pudding, which will be accompanied by a Passito di Pantelleria we got in Lidl.

Will end the evening with Some Like It Hot, which the girl has never watched, with some cheese and the 2001 Warre’s Quinta da Cavadinha vintage port we got for a tenner in a recent M&S sale.

Just me and hubby on xmas day, so planning a long walk, followed by home-made potted brown shrimp for starter, with this gorgeous Cremant:

Then a Mallorcan lobster stew for main, which we’ll have with Oncle Vincent (the wine, not the person :grin:):

Not sure about dessert yet, but this 2014 Austrian Welschriesling BA will certainly feature:


Now back to planning tonight’s meal…! :thinking:


This is what the Christmas / New Year period is shaping up to look like (not including the fizz which is an Alsatian). We usually save most of our cellar wines for this time of year.



simply love any of their wines - so well made