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The "Christmas" word (2019)

I know we’re not even into November yet, but I’ve certainly started thinking about Christmas and planning for the festivities a bit. Our Christmas will be the usual, slightly fragmented, affair with a couple of days staying with my side of the family in London, and then heading home on Christmas Day to host the in-laws for the 25th and 26th. It’s a fairly small group (4 adults and 2 kids) at ours and as we won’t get home until around midday on Christmas Day, time is a big factor in determining the food choices. I’ll probably just cook a chicken with the usual trimmings, and then do a slow cooked lamb shoulder with dauphinoise potatoes for Boxing Day.

I’m lining up Moscato, Champers, white Burgundy (red Burg is the glaring omission as the other red wine drinker in the group doesn’t like Pinot), claret, Rhone and probably Tokaji for Christmas Day, and probably white Rhone and Rioja for Boxing Day.

Anyone else starting to put a plan together?


I am up in Liverpool for Christmas with my parents but it’s only really me and to a lesser extent my wife that are into the wine. I have tried to go big in the past but we just end up having some fizz and then white wine because it isn’t getting drink quick enough to get to the red (which I then consume the majority of while in a food coma on the couch)


I’ve definitely started thinking about Christmas - I absolutely love this time of year, and the planning around it. This year Chanukah happens to virtually coincide with Christmas, which is a double joy.

We decided to go all German/Scando this year, and make the main celebration on Christmas Eve. Traditionally my daughter is with us on Christmas Eve anyway, and then goes to her dad’s for Christmas Day (I usually join for a bit), so it made sense to make the central event on Christmas Eve. I prefer it anyway - I like holidays to start in the evening (maybe it’s a Jewish thing).

Not sure what the main dish will be - last year we had venison wellington, I suspect this year will be a goose, or turkey or maybe a slow cooked shoulder of pork. There will be a veggie main too (usually mushroom medley wellington thing), to accommodate the girl.

Wine-wise, I ear-maked the 2009 Wiston Estate Cuvee I bought a couple of months ago in the winery, and possibly a Jules Camuset Champagne which I tasted at a recent event in Stevenage and absolutely loved. Depending on the main, we might go for a white Burgundy or a White from Alsace, but my brother in law (who is the only guest) loves reds, so I’m thinking we might open the 1999 Grato Grati. But haven’t really thought about the reds properly yet. Sweet wines will definitely feature - some Madeira, and either a Loire sweet, or a VT from Alsace. Though haven’t made a firm decision about that yet either.

Bring it on! :grinning: :christmas_tree:


We haven’t decided whether to be in America or London, but I’ve mostly planned my meals if we are in London :smiley:

Last year i did Venison Wellington on the day, and I’ll do the same again but this time the more usual beef (simpler and cheaper, the venison was amazing though!). I’m moving the blanc version of Oeffs en meurette (last year with chablis, fabulous but going for a white rhone this time) to Christmas eve, as it takes a bit of time and I want something simpler for the actual day, so thinking of this for a starter, with some kind of Alsace white. Reds tbd. Tempted to retrieve some 2009 claret for the wellington, and not sure what to do for xmas eve. I loved the beef olives I did last time but beef then beef is a bit boring. perhaps duck?

we are usually out to family on boxing day so no plans yet, but the family tradition is ham/cold meats with baked potatoes, cheese, pickles etc and brocolli and cheese soup (i need to get the recipe off my mum, I look forward to it all year!)


The Gary Rhodes (remember him?) Turkey Wellington is a brilliant idea and is also great cold for Boxing Day leftovers too.


I’ll look it up! Although we don’t do Turkey for xmas as we have it at Thanksgiving, so I’m in the mood for something different.

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Don’t know where you’re based in London Tom, but if South/West or ever pass by that way the farm shop at Windsor often has venison on very reasonably as they have to cull so much from the park. I bought a 1.5kg haunch there last week for around £22-24.


Not sure where I am or what will be cooked yet. But I have a white Bordeaux (2014 Chateau Brown) and a Boca Nebbiolo (2009 Le Piane) that are crying out to be drunk!


Tottenham, so pretty much opposite, but that sounds like as good a reason as any for a day trip!

We are away from 22-27 with my in-laws, staying at a cottage in the Cotswolds.

We are doing an ultra-traditional turkey meal on Christmas Day, having Shepherd’s Pie on the 24th and something fishy TBC on the 23rd. Will definitely involve some Pinot with the turkey, something red and robust with the pie and some Chardonnay with the fish, plus Champagne on Christmas Day of course, and likely some sweet wine too.

The main issue for me is how high-end to go - if it was with my family (who appreciate good wine, indeed are responsible for me doing so) then I’d push the boat out, but my f-i-l doesn’t appreciate anything decent and drinks very fast (sometimes it feels like I get one glass out of every bottle and he drinks the rest!). Last Christmas when they came over we did beef and I served a Guigal St Joseph, which hit the sweet spot… something to ponder!


Whether to serve your “best” wine is a problem at Christmas. We will be, most likely, six adults no children on the 25th although we could be only four. Only my wife and I appreciate any “decent” wine, the rest just drink anything put in front of them and don’t appreciate it in the least. Anyway will be some Champagne to start with, pinot noir and chardonnay with the turkey and possibly PX with pudding.


I have been thinking of ordering this for Christmas. I had a Rully recently and I really enjoyed it


To be honest, if one is planning to enjoy the usual traditional ‘all the trimmings and sauces’ Christmas meal, drinking anything too fine is a pure waste. We generally keep the main meal wines very decent but not too expensive and drink good claret with cheese later in the day, to savour!
Good Cotes de Castillon or Pecharment normally fits the bill for the main meal. Something from 1990 (while stocks last) with the cheese later.


Not thought about it…

We are at home over Xmas this year and will have a wine loving couple over for dinner as we do most months. Simple roast (not turkey), Champagne as aperitif, decent red with some age with meat and sticky with dessert, as usual.

Because it’s Xmas, might lash out and get some crackers… (ones that pop, not biscuits)


I’m getting excited about the idea of choosing wines now! Last year we ended up drinking Rioja Gran Reservas from Luis Canas on the day and then tonnes of port in the evening, after the success of M&S crazy sales Port is sorted for this year, just the main event wine to sort.


Have started to think this through

We have six with us on the day itself so need two reds with the turkey… was thinking Swartland grenache followed by a CNDP, possibly Mont Redon 2012 but could go PN, in which case either the Brundlmayer or a Bellene or Haisma red burg. I have some Suduiraut 2007 halves for dessert. I have no fizz in reserves so will be trying a few new things this year - I want to try the Boizel but maybe some good Cava or ESW as well. Everyone likes their whites on the zingy side so some dry Riesling will feature; and we normally have a pork stew of some kind on Christmas eve so that is likely to be southern Rhône, odds on the Jaume Clos des Echalas or Grande Romane Gigondas. My parents being down will mean some manzanilla and I am tempted to have some port as well.

Views on TWS fizz options would be appreciated - I don’t really enjoy BdB and like champagne to be dry and slightly biscuity. No commitment to champagne per se


Christmas is in Hungary as always, we will have a Good go at my stash there… Mostly Hungarian wines… some Bordeux blends, some Pinot Noir and Zweigelt for reds, rich dry Harslevelu and Furmint for whites. Need to find some decent fizz… there are some good Furmint based ones in Tokaj, but will do some research. We rarely have sweeties there, but I have a bottle of 1994 Prager Hollerin Auslese from the Wachau stashed away, which cannot hide any longer.


Sounds great ! Can I come ?? :wink:

Christmas…mmm, by far my favourite time of the year, and this year will be even more special; for the past 20 years we’ve spent most Christmas days away from home, at either my parents or the outlaws, but this year we get to spend Christmas at home, just me and my two ladies (but its moral as one of them is my 10 year old daughter :slight_smile: ). So, extra special wines as they’ll be appreciated… :wink:
Christmas Eve, post panto and Nottingham ‘Winter Wonderland’, whilst peeling spuds, beating together Brandy Butter and building Devils on Horseback will be Musar, either a 2003 or an older one if I can source it at a reasonable price.
Christmas Day -
Relaxed present opening with nibblies - 1989 Boizel Champagne Joyau de France
Xmas Lunch -
Lobster & Prawn Cocktail - 2009 Clos Des Papes Chateauneuf-Du-Pape Blanc
Roast Turkey & Trimmings - 1990 Jaboulet Aine Crozes-Hermitage Domaine De Thalabert (and probably more of the Clos Des Papes Blanc)
Xmas Pud - Buller & Son Rutherglen Rare Tokay
Boxing Day -
With the traditional leftovers (cold collation as my mum calls it), smoked salmon, various cheeses and, frankly, whatever anyone fancies, we’ll have 2008 Leflaive Bienvenue Batard Montrachet, 2009 Hanzell Vineyards Sonoma County Pinot Noir and 1989 Chateau La Tour Blanche.
I should also mention that apart from the Rare Tokay (which is majestic with Xmas Pud) and the Musar, all wines are TWS sourced :slight_smile:

Not that I’ve put much thought into it you understand :rofl:


These guys are quite reasonable for Musar but nothing older than 1999.