No one says it out loud, but you will be judged for the wine you break out, so stock those fridges and cellars with the sessionable, the versatile and the unique to make this year’s Christmas boozing one to remember. For expert advice, we turn to Matthew Lamb, group beverage manager for The Lo & Behold Group and resident sommelier of its wine curation platform, Clink Clink.
You’re going to be drinking…
“Champagne! I’m a bit of a Champagne nut and can always find a good excuse to open up a bottle or two. The obligatory Champagne breakfast starts the day off with a few friends around for Christmas ham on toast. Olivier Collin’s stash at Champagne Ulysse Collin is nothing short of spectacular, and the richness of his Les Maillons is the perfect morning starter. With lunch looking like an array that’s mainly seafood, have some interesting chardonnay examples from around the world, including Domaine Valette (Maconnais, France), Sailor Seeks Horse (Tasmania, Australia) and Bell Hill (Canterbury, New Zealand). I brought over a few bottles of By Farr Pinot Noir (Geelong, Australia) and arranged for a touch of home to do virtual cheers with the family over Christmas lunch.”
A wine that’s one-size-fits-all
“Having long been the ‘wine guy’ for family & friends, it’s great to put together a selection for them. I’ve found that Rosé Champagne is incredibly versatile with so many different foods as you see on a big Christmas dinner table, and always a hit with lots of people.”
(Related: Where to get your turkeys for Christmas 2020)
A wine for each course
“Vouette & Sorbee’s Blanc d’Argile is the perfect way to start things off. It’s like drinking chablis with bubbles – absolutely perfect with oysters and other fresh seafood. I must say that I have a real soft spot for Burgundy and a bottle of Arnaud Tessier Meursault never fails to delight as a follow on. Raj Parr is making some incredibly exciting examples of what’s possible focused around freshness and detailed expression, as opposed to a bigger is better mentality. I can see a few bottles of his Evening Land Pinot Noir coming out over the festive season.
Personally, Radikon is one of those benchmarks for skin-contact styles and works so well across a diversity of food, especially with his Ribolla Gialla. For dessert, I like to mix things up a bit and finish on a pear cider from Eric Bordelet with his Poire Granit, of Normandy in France. It’s not sickly sweet and a light effervescence to help bring you back to life after a big meal.”
Champagne Ulysse Collin, Vouette & Sorbée, Arnaud Tessier, and Evening Land are available from Clink Clink.
Radikon is available from Italian Wine Club.
Eric Bordelet is available from Analogue Wine Merchant.