Finding the perfect wine is like trying to find the perfect pair of jeans. The choice can balance on a personal preference. However, there are some pressing questions which are universal. What type of wine goes with which food? What's the difference between a merlot and a cab sav? And more importantly; prosecco or champagne?
Choosing a festive tipple for the coming Christmas season can be a minefield, but we have found the perfect solution.
Whelehan's Wines is one of the best wine merchants in the country. It first opened its doors in December 2014 and now imports a wide range of wines which are exclusive to the store.
They are brimming with expertise, which is why we sat down with Martina Delaney, Sommelier with Whelehan's Wines, to talk all things wine and discover her top Christmas recommendations that will make you a wine guru come Christmas Day.
Martina Delaney’s Christmas Tips
"Invest in good champagne. If ever there is a time to splash out and move away from prosecco, it's Christmas. Seek out grower champagnes instead of big brands; there is great value to be found in the €30 - €40 price range in most good independent retailers.
Consider wines that are lighter in body and in alcohol to maximise your enjoyment of this special day.
Once the region of your wine is decided, it’s all about the producer, with small, family-run estates providing wines with a more hands-on & passionate approach."
Christmas Dinner Recommendations
"To accompany smoked salmon, prawns and canapés, it's best to opt for a crisp, vibrant style e.g a Sauvignon Blanc such as a Domaine Pouilly Fumé or a Domaine Sancerre or even a good Albariño. Always opt for the freshest vintage."
"For turkey and ham, a good oaked Chardonnay or a soft and juicy Southern Rhône red would be ideal. For goose, a good partner would be a Premier Cru Pinot Noir from the Côte de Nuits. For those who opt for beef or lamb, a good Bordeaux with some bottle age from vintages 2009, 2010 or 2012 would be a good option or a good Rioja Reserva."
"Tawny Port is a great all-rounder for dessert, as it can be consumed chilled with pudding or room temp with cheeses. As it is an oxidised style wine, it can be kept open for a couple of months."
Martina’s Christmas Wine Picks
Champagne and Port
1. Bénard Pitois Brut NV Premier Cru €34
2. Krohn Tawny Port 10yr old €27.50
1. Château Beauchene Le Petit B 2017 €15
2. Valserrano Rioja Reserva 2013 €25
4. Derey Frères Fixin 1er Cru 2014 €41