This Saturday we went to the Wine Society's Christmas Food and Wine Matching at their base in Stevenage. The event was hosted by the societies head of tasting Ewan Murray and food and wine writer Fiona Beckett. There were 10 wines which were each served with a morsel of food traditionally served at Christmas.
1) Nyetimber Brut Classic Blend, 2005 – Served with smoked salmon.
The flag bearer of British wine is a stunning sparkler that more than competes with the best Champagne can throw at them. It's creamy, vanilla, sweet almond and citrus. As well as the smoked salmon this wine would work well with crab, poached fish, lobster and even fish and chips for a decadent treat.
2) Pouilly Fumé, 2008, Seguin – Served with Goats Cheese.
This Sauvignon Blanc works really well with Goats Cheese. The wine has been produced without any Oak. The nose is stone fruit, leafy and minerality. The taste is very crisp acid which cuts through the cheese brilliantly.
3) Grosset Watervale Springvale Riesling, 2009 – Served with curried turkey patties
From Clare Valley in Australia this Riesling is a perfect foil to spicy foods as well as smoked fish. The nose is full of lemon and lime and the wine has a very fresh, clean taste.
4) Iocalia Vermentino di Sardegna, 2009 (Melis) – Served with charcuterie
While instinct might lead us to match a light red with charcuterie this Sardinian white worked very well. The acidity of the wine cuts through the fatty meat wonderfully.
5) Ravenswood Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel, 2007 – Served with Christmas turkey and trimmings.
The wine offers a little bit of everything it is Spicy, Creamy and Fruity and will complement the turkey while having enough backbone to stand up to some of the traditional accompaniments. The alcohol levels are high like a Rhone valley red but the nose is much sweeter.
6) The Society's Exhibition Martinborough Pinot Noir, 2008 – Served with Brie.
From the south east corner of New Zealand's north island this full and savoury wine is brimming with cherry. Brie and pinot noir is a great combination.
7) De Martino Legado Reserva, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2008 – Served with Organic Cheddar
A very ripe wine, cassis, mint, smokey, spicy with dried fruits and some vanilla. From the Maipo valley in Chile which is the region where they grow most of the Cabernet Sauvignon.
The Society's Viejo Oloroso Dulce – Served with Stilton
Made by Sanchez Romate bodegas in Jerez this Medium Dry sherry is sweetened with Pedro Ximenez. The combination is good with the sherry offering a rich burnt taste, figs and good levels of acidity.
9) Henriques & Henriques Malmsey, 10 years old – Served with Christmas Pudding
Malmsey is quite a sweet Maderia. It has been fortified with spirit and will therefore last for a long time.
10) Maydie Tannat Vintage, 2008 – Served with Chocolate Fudge Brownies
This unusual wine matched the chocolate well but wasn't really to our taste.