Ask a Sommelier - Christmas Wines
Choosing your Christmas wines? Richard Burton Head Sommelier at The Atlantic Hotel has some expert tips, from making sure your Christmas parties are sparkling to finding the best wines to give as gifts.
Richard Burton - head sommelier at The Atlantic Hotel
Which wine should you serve with Christmas dinner?
'To go with the turkey, you need a rich and smooth Pinot Noir. The one I like best at the moment is an Oregon Pinot Noir, which is superb - velvety and aromatic. Another wine that's making a comeback is a Rioja. The Rioja Alta wines are rather nice classics from good vintages (2001 and 1999 are worth looking out for). Alternatively, a Bordeaux would be a good choice, the 2007 bottles are drinking quite nicely.'
What's a great wine to take to a supper party?
'It's Christmas, so it should be something sparkling! You can't go wrong with a good bottle of champagne, and if it's for a lady, I'd take the Perrier-Jouët Belle Époque which is a beautiful bottle and makes a very special gift.'
What's the best classic Christmas champagne?
'For an elegant champagne that you can drink any time, I'd recommend Moët & Chandon. Ladies tend to prefer Veuve Clicquot, which is a bit softer and fruitier, with nice apricot flavours. My personal favourite? For me it has to be Krug, but I do rather like Veuve Clicquot.'
And for a gift for a wine expert?
'A classic Bordeaux will always be appreciated. If you want to find something special, look for the 2005 vintage - everyone knows that's a very good one! At Ocean we serve an excellent Pauillac Château Lynch-Bages which would be a good gift for a wine connoisseur, and for me the star of the Bordeaux world at the moment has to be Château Pontet-Canet.'
And don't forget…
'Wine is about pleasure and enjoyment, so especially during the festive period, make sure you choose your favourite wines. Enjoy yourself!'