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Christmas and New Year Drinking Thread 2019

On Sunday we had a Pinot Gris and a Zweigelt, both Hungarian.


The PG is slightly tart to my taste, suspect an early harvest given it is bone dry and only 11.5% alcohol. Extended air time takes a bit of the edge, still not going to buy again.

The Zweigelt is an absolute delight, relatively pricey at local standards, but worth it in my opinion.

Christmas Eve at my in-laws with an off-dry furmint that worked remarkably well with the traditional potato salad and meatloaf. Also a strange sounding blend of PN, Merlot, Cab Franc, Syrah and Blaufrankisch. The blurb suggests having it with Jazz, which we did not, still delicious.


We’re eating venison tomorrow, so went for a bird this evening. Coq au Riesling with bacon and morels, made with a black-leg cockerel, and Louis Sipp Réserve Personelle pinot blanc 1988.

Pinot blanc has no right to be this good at 31 years old. It’s still got lots of fruit, although clearly aged too - stewed pears; very ripe apples; orchard floor smells and tastes. It’s got an acidity that holds it together, and the whole thing held out well against the richness of the bird, with the autumnal flavours complementing the mushrooms. Happy Christmas Eve, all! :santa:


Christmas Eve drinks & nibbles with friends done.
Kids (younger ones who believe) gone to bed, though I doubt asleep yet!
Stealth Santa routine to come later, but in the mean time Mince Pie & Madeira :grinning:

Butterscotch & Orange peel on the nose, with fig & rich marmalade on the palate. Shortish finish and lacks the wow factor of some Madeira I’ve had, but most enjoyable for sure.

Wishing everyone a very happy Christmas tomorrow.


What, no jazz?!?

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With beef stroganoff. Quick to prepare pre Christmas dinner with textbook Bordeaux, really nice midweight wine with a slightly toasty note but remarkably restrained for anything coming out of France in 2015. Bought as a gift but would happily buy again.

A beer that needs solemn contemplation - very nuanced, not all that easy going.


I’m intrigued by this beer but can’t bring myself to pay as much for a bottle of beer as a bottle of wine. It just doesn’t seem right.
For a little more I’m drinking a bottle of Guigal 2016 CdR Blanc which I think is stunningly good value. Rich, lush, delicious; expected it to be pretty good and it has far exceeded expectations.


Very much enjoying reading your choices. Great wines, shared with those we love. This, surely is the true meaning of Christmas!

A recent loss has stolen some of the joy for us but we press on as Dad would have wanted. This is the line up for the next two days. As we drink and eat we’ll remember him and all those not at the table. Merry Christmas one and all.


The Graticciaia is one that has tempted me for a long time. IInterested to hear about that one if it makes an appearance!

Our line up for tomorrow, er later today! Pulled these from reserves recently and especially looking forward to seeing how the Mont Redon is developing. Have a great Christmas folks.


I think you have to see it as basically a bottle of ‘barley wine’ - it’s over 7% and there is a significant interaction with the Rubicon winemaking process, both in terms of the barrel and the lees. That said, I won’t be buying more - there are Trappist beers I love more

Happy Christmas all! What do people do about second bottles with the main event? I am debating between opening a second bottle of the grenache or moving onto something else, either a CNDP or the Brundlmayer PN.

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Good question. It depends how many people there are and their capacity. If there were two of us for today’s meal we’d have one red. As there are four of us, one glass will suffice for some but not all of us, so I have a second.

But what happens if one is corked, or over the hill? How ever many bottles you plan on I think you need a back up close to hand, and I have just been looking at CT to find a suitable one.


Merry Christmas, everyone!

Enjoying the following today:

Having smoked salmon and a sweet chilli salad to go with the Gewürztraminer. Then, the Référence to go with the turkey. Got this wine for free when on the Rhône Prize Draw Wine Tour, back in July. I’ve been looking forward to this one. :yum:

Best wishes to all!



I keep all my methode champenoise wines for a year or more before opening as I think the improvement is considerable - even after 6 months improvement is noticeable.

I like acidity in fizz: one of the reasons Lanson is my favourite big House Champagne is that they don’t do malolactic fermentation - tho’ I have recently read they are doing so now.


Some of the wine for Lanson Black Label now does undergo malolactic fermentation (a decision of the new wine-maker) then it is blended back with wine which has not had a malo (with the former in the minority share of the final blend).


The time has come… for a glass of fizz. My First demi-sec and a lovely wine for midday, pre-lunch drinking… Deliciously off-dry, but still with plenty of acidity. Apple and pear flavours with bread-y notes at the end. Quite long too.

Hope everyone enjoys their wines - Happy Christmas to all!


If you are interested in tasting notes, here’s one for the 2010 Ch. Sociando-Mallet. Be fascinating to see how it has developed.

A very classic wine for patient connoisseurs, Sociando Mallet makes no compromises and continues to produce one of the finest wines among non-classified estates in Haut-Medoc. Dense purple to the rim, the opaque purple-colored 2010 offers up notes of graphite, blueberry and black raspberry fruit, a hint of cassis, some licorice and wet rocks. Deep, full-bodied and almost excruciatingly tannic, this full-throttle, balls-to-the-wall style of wine needs at least 8-10 years of cellaring and should keep for three decades or more.
Score: 91+ Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (205), March 2013


Ah, the Nuy Muskadel!

What I can’t understand tho’ is how the price of this has risen so much in comparison with other TWS wines and when the ZAR has maintained its downward voyage even against the falling pound. Currently it’s the equivalent of £4.80 at the winery and that’s including ZAR 15% VAT

Merry Christmas everyone! Some wines enjoyed today :+1::wink:


Merry Christmas, one and all! :christmas_tree: :clinking_glasses: :grinning:

We’re having a quiet one - just me and the husband today, after a rather full-on Xmas eve meal. Had a long walk in Friston forest, in what was a proper wintry sunny day. Started the evening with this bottle of fizz:

A Wiston Estate Cuvée 2009 (decided to open it today, rather than yesterday) - a fine example of an English sparkling- yeasty, with lemon biscuit notes, toasted hazelnuts, and a very satisfying pineapple note on the finish. The acidity has mellowed a bit, but there is still a lively kick to it. Had this with home-made potted shrimp and sour dough, which worked really well.

For our main, we’re making a Mallorcan lobster stew, and have opened this wonderful 2015 white Burgundy from Olivier Leflaive:

Sadly, no longer in stock - this is a steal at £20; a wine of depth, which manages to combine fruit and savoury notes effortlessly. A creamy mouthfeel is nevertheless restrained, and the whole ensemble is complex and lingering.

I suspect we’ll finish the evening with the remains of yesterday’s 2001 Warre’s Quinta da Cavadinha Vintage port, which was a smooth operator, laced with spice, liquorice and plums. Addictive stuff. :heart_eyes:

Hope everyone is having a great evening! :gift::christmas_tree:


Some impressive wine collections for christmas and new year above, including Pillot Chassagne Montrachet, a wonderful wine maker.

Today I took to neighbours a bottle of Martinborough Te Tera pinot noir from 2017 which complemented the turkey and trimmings, plus the 2010 Villa Capezzana from Carmignano which took the various cheeses well.

NYE with wine chums sees the 2005 Musar and the 2008 Ridge Lytton Springs Zin plus whatever the guests bring with starter and pud. Plus a special bottle which will be tasted blind so must remain secret until after the event!