14th Dec 2019
Master of wine and O’Briens wine director Lynne Coyle shares her selection of the best wines to serve on Christmas day, from something to accompany the nibbles right up to the main event.
With so much to organise in the run-up to Christmas day – perfect gifts for everyone, squeezing every social event into your calendar and making yet another trip to the supermarket because your other half is convinced there aren’t enough cocktail sausages, stocking up on wine for the festivities can be another stress to add to your list.
However, it doesn’t have to be, as O’Briens wine director Lynne Coyle has done all the hard work for us, sharing her recommendations for everything from bubbles to serve with canapés to wines to pair with whatever takes centre stage at your festive table.
What’s even better, is that they are all part of O’Briens festive wine sale, so you know you’re getting great value as well as top quality tipples.
Bubbles to start
If you can’t give everyone a little treat at Christmas, when can you? Champagne is the ultimate luxury at this time of year. Not only does it bring a bit of fun to festive get-togethers, it also makes a sophisticated match for finger food.
This Beaumont des Crayères Grande Réserve has aromas of hazelnut, buttered toast and brioche followed by a refreshing, crisp palate that works beautifully with classics such as roast or smoked salmon, black olive tapenade or anything with cheese.
Beaumont des Crayères Grande Réserve was €36.95 now €29.95.
A perfect pair for starters
Sauvignon Blanc is always a firm favourite, and this Famille Bougrier, Les Secrets De Sophie is a delicious option for Christmas day, guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser. Its crisp, refreshing green apple fruit character makes it a good choice as an aperitif with salty nibbles and for starters such as goats cheese, smoked salmon and mushroom pâté.
Its zingy acidity will cut through the richness to leave an overall freshness on the palate.
Famille Bougrier, Les Secrets De Sophie was €16.95 now €12.95.
An ideal match for turkey
Turkey features on many Christmas tables, so it makes sense to have a wine that complements it perfectly. With aromas of gooseberry, blackcurrant leaf, nettle, and passionfruit, the multi-award-winning Whitehaven Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc has finely balanced acidity and is bursting with fragrant fruit flavours.
It makes an excellent choice to accompany turkey with all the trimmings, jewel-coloured festive salads, and also white fish, for anyone who is planning a different option this year. It is also makes an excellent apertif, so if you want one wine to see you through the day, this is a great choice.
Whitehaven Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc was €17.95 now 14.95.
Something a little different…
If you’d like to serve something a little different this Christmas day, or perhaps you’ve been invited to someone else’s house and would like to arrive with something they won’t already have, then Contrapunto Albariño is perfect. Albariño is native to the Salnés Valley, and grows close to the Atlantic in Galicia, North West Spain.
Restrained and elegant with notes of green fruit and a subtle salinity, Contrapunto is a natural accompaniment to oysters, mussels and shrimp, ideal if you have seafood on your menu. It’s also suitable for vegans, handy if you have a range of requirements at your gathering.
Contrapunto Albariño was €18.45 now €12.95.
For turkey-free tables
Whether you’re opting for beef as your main course, or have a nut-roast as a veggie option, this Château de Girard Cuvée Arthur is a warming festive red that will make a great accompaniment. Grown in Minervois in the South of France, this classic blend of estate grown Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre, exudes a vibrant purity of fruit.
Notes of spice, plums and cassis, this versatile wine matches also matches perfectly with game and hard cheeses, so you can also save it until the cheese board makes an appearance.
Château de Girard Cuvée Arthur was €19.95 now €12.95.
A vegan-friendly red
Rather than worry about remembering which wines are suitable for everyone and which aren’t, going for a vegan-friendly wine can make proceedings much easier. This Longview Yakka Shiraz is from a family-owned single estate in the Adelaide Hills, Australia where the grapes are picked by hand.
Full of cool restrained fruit flavours, with lifted aromas of raspberries and plum, it’s a good accompaniment for seasonally spiced duck, roasted aubergines and Coolea cheese from west Cork.
Longview Yakka Shiraz was €19.95 now €15.95.
O’Briens are Irelands largest family-owned drinks retailer with 34 shops around Ireland and an online shop. They have an exclusive range of over 1,000 wines imported directly from over 180 wineries worldwide. Many of these are family business too; making theirs one of the most authentic and exciting and well-priced ranges of wine in the Irish market.