01438 741177         thewinesociety.com

The Society's Community

Christmas and New Year Drinking Thread 2019

I feel like Christmas properly started today. A day in Colmar Christmas Market, and then got going with Christmassy food. A starter of oysters with Léon Beyer Les Écaillers riesling 2001, then roast leg of wild boar, spaetzles, cauliflower and mushroom gravy with TWS Exhibition Vacqueras 2016.

The riesling is absolutely in its prime: bone dry, concentrated, saline, long, mineral, a little spicy edge on the finish, and just perfect with shellfish.

The Vacqueyras was quite bretty on opening (unlike other bottles we’ve drunk), though that did dissipate. It left the fruit a bit subdued at first, and drinking it with game perhaps saved it a bit - lots of savoury leather and tobacco were a good complement to the meat. It did open out a bit, and it will be interesting to see what the rest of the bottle is like tomorrow.

Now kicking back with the last of my Dad’s vintage port.

Rather lovely. Something to enjoy and remember him by over the next few days.


Really enjoying this tonight

Real mixed bag (in a good way) of red & black fruit, Liquorice, Black Pepper and a lovely earthy note. Nice level of acidity on the finish.


Well after the mad rush to get the house ready and put away the mammoth Ocado order, this was all there was the time and energy for

Nice - refreshing, slightly hoppy, slips down easily


That Poivre et Sol is an excellent wine. Though you have to be quick to order it when it comes in; I don’t think that 2010 vintage lasted more than a week before it sold out.


Taking some wine over to the in-laws for Christmas day lunch, which barring a miracle will be Turkey +everything.

My Mother-in -law is from Zimbabwe and favours South African wines so was thinking of this:

However, had another little look and realised it’s unoaked (I had presumed it was, for some reason), so wasn’t sure if it would be the best match.

My other option right now is this:

If anyone has any experience with either or could help direct my thoughts, I’d be most grateful for the input.

1 Like

Yes, I had that in my basket very briefly :disappointed:

1 Like

Last night I opened the first of my planned Christmas indulgences. I can be bad at hoarding the ‘good stuff’ and decided this Christmas I’d indulge myself with some of my ‘better’ bottles. Started with this recent acquisition:

Which allows me to hang onto the '12s I’ve got for a little longer.

This was my first Hermitage, and I just loved it. The society description talks about the ‘complexity of age’ and yet I didn’t find it all that complex. Don’t get me wrong, though, this is not a complaint. It didn’t feel complex because everything was so perfectly balanced and integrated; it almost feels wrong to try and dissect the whole to pick out the elements. There was smoky spice and pencil shavings and perfectly smooth integrated tannins. Is this what people call elegance? It certainly feels like an apposite adjective to me!

Future Xmas indulgences might involve some of my better Bordeaux, Musar, Rhone and Rioja. In fact to fit them all in I might have to step up from my normal one glass a night (though I failed to drink a second glass last night!).


I saw how fast the numbers were dropping and got my order in fast. So pleased I have four of them! :smiley: :star_struck: Sorry!

1 Like

We will be, as per recent tradition, at my in-laws for Xmas dinner this year.
Currently planning to take these along:


Had it just been degorged ?

Was advised but a producer in champagne to leave a bottle (well magnum) we had bought from him for a couple of months for it to “harmonise”

Decisions, decisions - still can’t work out what to drink when over Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year, but the red choices are currently from this list:


The disgorgement date wasn’t on the bottle (sadly: I love a geeky back-label) but I think it had some good harmony time - the back of the bottle confirmed that it had definitely come from the in-laws anyway, because it said it was bottled (or labelled) for Saga cruises, which they do a lot but not since the summer; they brought it round for my birthday back in October but we never got round to opening it.

It came across on the palate as Extra Dry rather than Brut - I couldn’t confidently say whether that was because of physical grams/litre or a lack of balance elsewhere - but the sensation it left in the mouth was one of sugar rather than well-balanced sweetness. And the metallic thing was no fun. Shame, because the nose was so promising.

I haven’t tasted widely but I’ve definitely had better English fizzers.


What a lot of nice choices low before you. Safe in the knowledge that you’ll enjoy whatever you choose. What are you eating?

Since the weekend, we’ve fitted in a couple of tastings at opposite ends of the residual sugar scale.

On the sweeter side, on Saturday we went on what was supposed to be a quick visit to Rolly Gassmann to show our daughter the new premises. The presence of Pierre instantly changed that into an inevitable epic (well, changed it over the course of two hours, to be exact). Hard to pick out favourites from 29 wines, but we were very thankful for the opportunity to taste a couple of particularly outstanding SGNs - a 2010 riesling where the sweetness was completely balanced by piercing acidity, and a 1994 gewurztraminer - often SGNs lose the variety in the botrytis, but this was still all ripe tropical fruit, and amazingly fresh for its age and sugar content.

On the dry side, we were in Eguisheim today for lunch, and having drunk our last bottle of Les Ecaillers riesling last night, we went to Léon Beyer to replenish stocks. The 2012 is rather fuller than the 2011 we’ve just finished, but still very recognisably the same dry, structured, saline wine. They’ve just released a couple of special cuvées of their 2015 Eichberg and Pfersigberg Grands Crus riesling - “Hommage à Léon J. Beyer”. From the best parcels, and fantastically intense and long - the Eichberg (R de BeyeR) is leaner and more mineral, while the Pfersigberg (Comtes d’Eguisheim) is a bit rounder and fruitier. Still very young, though surprisingly drinkable now. Bit of a waste to do so though - we’ve put a couple of each away to mature for a few years.


The Roederer is everyone’s new favourite champagne (until they see how much it costs when not on a TWS case deal). Super biscuity, much more savoury and aromatic than the Boizel


I’m in the Yucatan, checking out cenotes. Somehow not inclined to drink wine just yet…


And making us ALL jealous :sob:! @Ewan, what a great line up… I love the Graticciaia but I also have the Rapsani with me too so undecided what to currently drink over the next 2 days .
Naturally I took about 40 bottles to Ireland :ireland: for 2 weeks ! I know … ridiculous & I’ll most likely be persuaded by my Dad to leave it all :rofl::rofl:. Tonight however after a small family party, it’s this : :wink::wink::wink:


Christmas delivery safely in the cellar. Looking forward to some lovely favourites…Momo…Greywacke…Chereau-Carre…Wirra Wirra…Morgon Cote du Py… bring it on!! Have a good one everyone. Merry Christmas!


We drank our last bottle of this 1990 claret with a venison casserole followed by some cheeses. Colour still magnificent - no signs of browning - cedar box and blackcurrants on the nose and loads of rich fruit on the palate with the ripe tannins and acidity in perfect balance. Really long finish with no signs of the fruit fading.

Best wishes to you all for Christmas and 2020!


Well, I finished the lovely Massolino yesterday afternoon, then went for bottle three of this case:

Firm, savoury nose at first - dark fruits, black tea, wood. This softens with air into something more like fruitcake. Well structured, but the tannins aren’t harsh or drying, and I think this will potter along nicely for a good few years.

Think it worked out at about £11 a bottle all in, and it’s really good value.