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Christmas and New Year Drinking Thread 2019

We’ve drunk very little wine this Christmas. The highlights being two Piedmont reds.

The Vajra had incredible power and was a great foil to the more complex Burlotto (Aves bottling). Both wines are superb. If I have learned anything in 2019 it is that Piedmont produces so much more than great Nebbiolo.

To finish off 2019 in style I have decided to raid my small stock of older claret - to accompany a slow cooked leg of lamb.

I’ve not tried the ‘88 before. I’ve had just two bottles since the early 90s but never opened either. The ‘82 is one of the last four bottles from a case of 12. All previous bottles have been superb so high hopes.


Sorry to hear you’re poorly again @Leah, but I’m pretty sure that Lemsip has bubbles too, just in case you can’t stomach a real drink! :wink:

Happy New Year! Best wishes for a cold-free 2020.


Oh that’s pants Leah! Hope you get well soon and drown it with alcohol on the meantime. Have as happy a new year celebration as you can manage.

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We are having some friends round for a New Year’s Eve meal and to see in the New Year. They are mostly supplying the wines so we are are in eager anticipation. The fizz was delivered earlier by a couple walking later on. And as well as a bottle of champagne they’re is the blingiest bottle of wine I have ever seen!

It is a Prosecco and we have plans for pre dinner fizzy cocktails as the sharp eyed might see from the bottles in the background. And yes the bottle is back in the fridge - just got it out for posing purposes. Have a lovely time whatever you are doing to mark the passing of an interesting decade. Here’s my favourite rendition of Auld Lang Syne


is what’s currently chilling down for general consumption this evening. I have pizza on the way so may open something central Italian and red,



Enchiladas with some Californian Chardonnay to start off. Good old fashioned oaky example got at a discount from Waitrose

Then Champagne later I got these to pick from (the W/S mixed offer case)

Which one should we crack open ? …

  • Castelnau
  • Bollinger
  • W/S Champagne
  • Boizel
  • Charles Heidsieck
  • Pol Roger

0 voters


We also have friends round for NYE. Started with gin and tonics with my Christmas gin - very tasty.

However, these didn’t last long (and I didn’t want my Christmas gin gone in one evening), so we quickly moved on to wine.

The Arneis was seen off with crisps and olives, now onto the Chablis with a Waitrose Chinese steamed bun selection. Very happy with both, Chablis has seen a bit of oak and is no worse off for it.

The sensible thing to do would be to try and get the four kids into bed before I wield the corkscrew in anger again, but we’ll see how that goes :roll_eyes:


Nice to see you pacing yourself @Brocklehurst :wink: Still got a long time to go before the midnight hour though. Our friends arriving in about ten mins. Can’t wait to get stuck in.


We’re seeing 2019 off with two Alsatian wines. Can’t help feeling a little melancholy, but enough about politics.

Opened this utterly lovely 100% Pinot Noir Cremant d’Alsace from Boeckel to start the evening with, and it seems to go nicely with baked figs and goat’s cheese:

We first tasted it in the Alsace Growers tasting in October - and it’s as good (if not better) than remembered. Summer pudding, ripe berries and pomegranate all framed by a creamy texture, good acidity and delicate bubbles. Super lovely fizz!

I’m making a monkfish tagine, which we’ll be having with the 2015 Exhibition Gewurztraminer:

This is a wine that is always a pleasure to drink - especially if you like your Gewurtz quite rich, perfumed and spicy, which we do.

The daughter is armed with a bottle of Waitrose’s basic ‘Rich Italian red’ for a gathering with friends (I had enough of her horror stories of Echo Falls adventures, so provided the alternative), so all is well. I’m likely to fall asleep before midnight, so wishing you all a happy, peaceful and healthy 2020! :clinking_glasses: :champagne: :smile:


It seems that I’ll be the only one in the house drinking actual booze this evening :roll_eyes: … so after joining in on a glass of non-alcoholic mulled wine (which so far tastes like hot undiluted rull-fat ribena which got stirred with a cinnamon stick), I’ll be opening my only bottle of this:



Planning to crack this Margaret River classic later this evening
Happy New Year everyone


We’re seeing in the New Year with a bottle of Marcel Deiss Gruenspiel 2012, with a stuffed breast of veal that we bought from the butcher.

We visited Deiss earlier to pick up some En Primeur purchases, and took advantage to taste some of the currently available vintages. Interestingly, they’ve started making some more “normal” blends (i.e. not field blends) from new parcels of young vines, which they’re marketing under the name of village wines. Seems to have nothing to do with Alsace’s new village appellations which are appearing. I gather that the intention is eventually to plant as field blends, though I wasn’t certain over exactly what sort of timeframe.

We have bought every vintage of Gruenspiel back to the first in 2000, and it’s always an incredibly interesting and hard to pin-down wine. A field blend of riesling, pinot noir and gewurztraminer, it’s more about the spice than about the fruit, and great with light meat dishes like this. The 2012 is off-dry - one minute you’re getting rose petals, the next cloves and cinnamon, the next mandarins and candied peel, and all with a slightly tannic finish. The 2013 which we tried earlier is much drier - will be interesting to try and work out a food pairing. Duck, goose or light game will be good, I think.

As we head to midnight, I may be finding space for a glass of kirsch eau de vie


Are you sure they haven’t found your secret stash of Yellow Tail Merlot?


Agree, drink now, just had mine. Absolutely delightful but only because I like ageing wines with aromas and flavour that are more tertiary than primary. The stand out feature of this wine is the tannic structure and bottle age on the nose, palate so-so but does open up after a good decant. Very good example of Tannat in its prime, but only just


For someone who has not tried their wines before, would it be a big mistake to order these two from Lea & Sandeman?


Deiss’s wines are really interesting - clearly Alsatian in style, but also quite different from anything else in the region. We really like them, so I’m clearly going to say not a mistake, but be prepared for something a bit different.

Those two are at opposite ends of his spectrum. Langenberg is light, citrussy, quite saline, and something for shellfish. We tasted the 2017 today. It’s got a lot of riesling, and that shows. The Altenberg is sweet but precise, and carries the sugar lightly. We tasted the 2012 today, and it was lovely - ripe fruit, dried fruit, acidity and sugar all in balance. But not cheap. Cellar door it was 59€


Just sitting enjoying the last glass of the ‘88 Leoville Barton. I’ve always liked the ‘88 GPL and this is in the same mould. Less overt fruit than say ‘82 or ‘85 but lots of structure. All of us preferred, with food, to the ‘82. I have a growing respect for this vintage.

The ‘82 was, unexpectedly, superb tasted before dinner. I had double decanted an hour earlier. However I detected the first hint of decay. Three hours after opening it began to fade. I will drink the last three bottles fairly soon.


Thanks for the well wishes, I can’t taste a blinding thing but everyone else seems to be enjoying the wines so far tonight :rofl:


Despite a promising nose, the Hermitage is, for the outlay, a bit disappointing, so I’m putting the rest aside for tomorrow - in the hope that it might do something clever overnight - and revisiting the Port instead.

It’s still ace, even after a week in the decanter.


Midnight in the UK is the starter gun for us in Mexico City… something sweet (demi-sec) to kick things off.

Happy new year everyone; feliz año nuevo!