White wines often play second fiddle to hearty reds at Christmastime, but there are many occasions during the holiday season when you should be making room on your festive table for a bottle of white. This handy guide will help you find some magical whites to accompany this year’s celebrations:
A great white for your Christmas morning toast – Bolney Wine Estate Classic Cuvée
Toasting Christmas morning with this top-notch traditional method bubbly is a delicious way to start the day in style. From the village of Bolney in West Sussex, Bolney Wine Estate Classic Cuvée is a mouth-watering English sparkling wine made from the classic Champagne blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Light and elegant enough for mid-morning sipping, the sweet apple and brioche notes are reminiscent of a festive crumble.
A great white with canapés – Schloss Johannisberg Gelblack Riesling Trocken 2020
A refreshing white wine with laser acidity can be a much-welcomed alternative to the traditional yuletide heavy reds and spirits. Thanks to its ripe fruit aromas and piquant palate, Schloss Joannisberg Gelblack Riesling Trocken 2020 is a divine match for many common canapé ingredients like salmon or Asian flavours.
A great white to serve with a seafood starter– Pascal Bouchard “Le Classique” Chablis 2020
Chablis is the quintessential wine to serve with seafood starters because its vibrant zesty character acts almost in the same way as a squirt of lemon juice, brightening up the flavours of a traditional prawn cocktail, pan-fried scallops or oysters on the half shell. Pascal Bouchard “Le Classique” Chablis 2020 is a great, old-school Chablis: flinty and citrusy with saline notes evocative of sea air.
A great white to serve with traditional roast turkey – Care for Wild Bushvine Chenin Blanc 2019
A creamy, fuller-bodied white that exudes oaky richness is a splendid match for your Christmas roast turkey (and bread sauce). South Africa offers exceptional value for this style of wine – particularly if you opt for one made from the country’s old Chenin Blanc vines. We adore the concentrated Care for Wild Bushvine Chenin Blanc 2019 with its barrel-induced depth and richness, which underpins delicious stone fruit flavours.
A great white to serve with glazed ham or Boxing Day curry– Famille Hugel Estate Gewurztraminer 2017
One of the best wines to pair with glazed ham is Gewurztraminer from the French region of Alsace. Voluptuous and aromatic, it’s a gorgeous match with the sweet-salty meat. Try the beautifully expressive and off-dry Famille Hugel Estate Gewurztraminer 2017, with its aromas of wild flower honey, rose and exotic lychee. As this is an intensely fruity wine, it can also handle a bit of spice, making it a great option to drink alongside your Boxing Day leftover turkey curry.
A great wine to serve with puddings and blue cheese – Lions de Suduiraut Sauternes 2018, Half Bottle
The sweet and unctuous Sauternes is match made in heaven with most desserts but especially tarte tatin, mince pies or Christmas stollen cake. The dried apricot, honeycomb, marmalade and blossom notes in this botrytis-affected Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc blend work well with puddings containing almond and marzipan flavours. Our favourite is the Lions de Suduiraut Sauternes 2018, which comes a handy half-bottle option. This Bordelais liquid gold is also sublime paired with salty blue cheeses, like Roquefort or Stilton. The sweetness of the wine contrasts with the distinctive salty tangy of the cheese without being overwhelmed.
By Catherine Fielden