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Christmas and New Year drinking thread [2020-2021]

Well it’s here, finally Christmas week has arrived so let’s have a glimpse into what you are drinking over the next 12 days or so until we hurtle straight into 2021.
Last night I opened this Fiano. It’s one of my favourites and has lovely aromas of banana peel, dried citrus fruit and a nice textured mouth feel.
Our little elf friend was also “curious” :wink:


Okay so this is the thread!

My opening gambit is this

That’s right, my own sourdough with Tor goat’s cheese (Paxton and Whitfield delivered today, Yippee!) and a glass of Bollinger.

I really couldn’t be happier, which is a pretty low bar, all things considered but it is an amazing combo! Sending vibes to all who need them!


Wow!! Strong start!! :wink: :wink:

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My very best wishes to @Rafa on a speedy and straight forward convalescence after the recent op.

This here tonight, some leftover mushroom risotto, fried hake and veg…

…I probably should have left off the parmesan, which wasn’t a good match with the wine, but otherwise it worked out rather better than expected. Anyway, the wine’s a 2017 Chardonnay from Dopff au Moulin. Labelled as Vin de France, for obvious reasons, and from a vineyard with silty clay soil in Riquewihr that borders GC Schoenenbourg, according to the back label.

Straw yellow colour. Fresh peach, orchard fruit, tree blossom and lees on the nose. Surprisingly rich and tropical on tasting with plenty of peach, guava and melon flavour and an oily texture, Fresh acidity cuts through the richness to provide good balance and some mouth watering tang on the finish.

If tasted blind I wouldn’t have guessed it was French but, with hindsight, it is exactly what I’d expect an Alsatian Chardonnay to taste like, fresh, rich, fruity, no obvious oak notes, and versatile with food.

Happy solstice everyone.


Yes, yes - this is indeed THE thread!

Current thoughts are as follows:

Now - Reiner Wess Ried Pfaffenberg Riesling 2016. Enjoying this a lot - much more than bottle 1, oddly. Must just be in the right mood.

Christmas Eve - Barolo Monprivato 2014. Selfish choice to minimise sharing risk.

Christmas - Brunello. Almost certainly 2010 Canalicchio di Sopra Riserva. FiL is bringing sparkles which leaves Donnhoff Brucke Auslese Riesling Goldkapsel 2015 for after dinner sipping.

Between Christmas and New Year - Rocoules 2003 White Hermitage and 2008 Dom de Chevalier Pessac-Leognan.

New Year’s Eve - Pol Roger B de B 2012.

January - let’s not even discuss going dry this year.


YAY can’t believe I have managed to create a thread upon the mighty TWS community site thingy, at such a time of excess, good fortune and joy. Or something like that.

Tonight, TWS “The Liberator ‘The Good, The Bad and The Sangiovese’, Western Cape 2003” a truly awful name (and label) for a rather good wine. At 17 years old; you get a wine heading towards an antique mahogany colour, a nose like a light vintage port / dirty aquariums, and tastes like an old wine that isn’t too far gone yet still quite drinkable with the Nebbiolo etc coming through clearly.

I appreciate that might not sound too enticing… but to old wine aficionados, it’s like catnip.

With Steak and kidney pudding, buttered spring greens.


Vouvray for us tonight. Beautiful match with cauliflower curry and dal. 1986 Vouvray Grande Annee Marc Bedif. Golden colour matched with honey nose. Reasonable acidity. More demi sec than sec tendre. Very good


So nice to read your notes, @Embee! :grinning: we tried this wine in TWS last year’s Alsace walk around tasting and were pleasantly surprised! As you say, the flavours are fresh, but generous.

We had a lively discussion with Mr Dopff about it - apparently it was a little side ‘experiment’ for them, and they were very pleased with the result. Might open mine soon!


That sounds like a wonderful pairing. I think I’ve still got a bottle of Marc Bredif left. I’ll have to try it!

M…m-m-more wine?

…wwwwhu…okay then…

Cool label, like dog vs bird. Was hoping for a follow-up story on the back, some legend about a battle for who would rule the animal kingdom or something, but it just says that it’s red and comes from Tejo and has lashings of dark fruit or similar.

Smells like black cherries and Colgate. Soft, simple palate - think this could disappear quite quickly.

It did :man_shrugging:


A Bocca Di Lupo Piemonte partridge feast treat this evening. Highly recommend their at home offering and sorely tempted to order another (perhaps one of the truffle options!).

We greatly enjoyed a negroni and then a bottle of the Massolino Dolcetto alongside. Slipped down very easily indeed, delicious, crisp and balanced (and the only wine we had in from Piedmont!)


Have heroically managed a bottle of Pataille Marsannay 2017 and made a start on Cayetano Palo Cordardo over the last few days.
Both were excellent. The Pataile improved the longer it was opened. Would be interested to hear from seasoned veterans what they think it will taste like, in, say, a decade. I think that’s the end date for it on Vinous. Really enjoyed it right now and thought it fairly priced. Great balance between fruit and other things already.

The sherry is lovely. Have been spoiled of late by the Mark’s and Spencer give away last year. Still have a few bottles left picked up for 5 quid. So this one from TWS is good but not as good as a 5 pound bottle somehow. Strange world.


It looks excellent! I ordered one of the truffle menus for NYE



Christmas starts here for me…no more work until Monday!

Potato and leek pie tonight with our 2014 Chablis GC Grenouilles (M&S bin end)


A thumbs up here for an experiment successfully conducted !

TWS drinking window, until 2022, doesn’t seem unreasonable so there’s no hurry should you wish to keep it longer, but if you do open it, I look forward to reading your thoughts.

I can certainly recommend it with robust white fish dishes but thought it had the weight to handle more substantial fare, like roast pork or chicken, too.

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Had this left over from my WSET L2 course in September. I couldn’t bring myself to open the bottle for a single tasting note then, but Sunday night was the time.

This is dark, not too sweet but not especially concentrated or complex. Will try and get it done before Christmas Day when I’ll move onto this:

Edit: Might hve been a bit harsh on the Graham’s, it’s actually really good and has definitely improced with a bit of air. Lots of concentrated blackberry now.


Starting the evening with a glass of Kir Royale. Kitsch is lovely thing! :cocktail: :grinning:

The other half has just finished working, so we’re officially entering the Christmas Zone. He will soon be roasting some spuds to go with Galician ribeye steaks and some chard, and with it we shall be enjoying a 2008 Weinert Cabernet Sauvignon:

What a beauty! Even more enjoyable than the 2006, with a fine mix of concentrated fruit and signs of tertiary development. It’s virtually opaque in the glass, with just a hint of browning on the rim, and the nose has notes of cassis, blackberries, sweet pipe tobacco, a touch of vanilla and a whiff of menthol.

On the palate this gives lovingly; the fruit is rich and ripe (cassis, plums, blackberries), and notes of tobacco, cedar and clove follow. It’s smooth, but still has a serious tannic grip, and there’s good acidity to balance the richness of the fruit. Texturally it is smooth, but leathery at the same time, somehow, with a good length. It’s developed, for sure, but still got a bit to go I reckon. What a lovely lovely wine, at a lovely lovely price! :+1: :smile: :wine_glass:


How are you cooking the Spanish cow? I love them (I have a 1kg bone-in rib eye in the freezer which will come out for my b’day at the end of Jan), but they are a pain to cook.

I’ve resorted to BBQ only as it’s the only way to avoid filling the house with smoke and setting off all the smoke alarms! They do however taste amazing when you get it right.


Ours is about half as big as yours, and this is our first try - but following the butcher’s recommendations, we had left it at room temp for several hours, seasoned with flakey seasalt and will pan fry in a very hot (smoking) pan. Hope the other half doesn’t cock it up… But he’s quite confident cooking steaks (I’m just confident eating them! :grinning:).

I have opened all windows following your caution! :+1:


This was lovely with a pie made from Sundays leftover chicken. It’s even lovelier sitting in front of the fire* with sleeping baby, listening to A Christmas Present from Polyphony, and toddler in bed. I’d quite like to stay here until the new year tbh.

*on Netflix, but you can’t have everything.