I love Christmas. The carols, decorations, Christmas trees, presents (especially presents!), bloke in red suit and white beard, the Queen’s speech, falling asleep in front of the afternoon film whilst the kids play harmoniously with new toys (or fight one another on the PlayStation – or in person). I even quite like the visiting relatives and in-laws.
My favourite part of all though is Christmas dinner – the turkey, stuffing, pigs in blankets, roasties, sprouts and all the trimmings – not forgetting the homemade Christmas pudding. I also love the preparation, the cooking and the amazing smells that emanate from the kitchen.
There is only one problem with Christmas, and perhaps it comes with being a lawyer, but each year I want it to be perfect and ideally more perfect than the last. I can cook a turkey to perfection and I’m proud of my roast potatoes and gravy – but the one thing I struggle with is the wine.
Maybe it was all those OTT wine reviews in the 80s by the likes of Oz Clarke and Jilly Goolden with their verbally-dextrous descriptions; most of which I still don’t understand.
What good fortune then to be asked by BQ Magazine to review two wines that had been especially chosen by Sainsbury’s for their Taste the Difference range to accompany Christmas dinner.
Sainsbury’s experts tasted 40 different styles of wine with a traditional Christmas dinner to find “the optimum pairing” – they feasted their way through more than 20 roast turkeys in the process! BQ magazine kindly provided me with the 2014 selections.
FIRSTLY THE WHITE
Vinedos Barrihuelo Rioja Blanco. This is stunning! – a young pale looking wine with hints of lemon, lime and even pineapple (I know it sounds odd, but it really works). It’s very refreshing with a long finish – a great all-rounder that would go well both with the richness of a smoked salmon starter and the turkey. Certainly a wine for the Sherwood Christmas table.
THEN TO THE RED
Vinedos Barrihuelo Rioja Crianza presents with a stunning colour of rich, dark red fruit and is accompanied with the very smell of Christmas…smoked chestnuts and cranberries, spices and dark berried fruits with a taste to match. This is a warming wine delivering a sense of quiet contentment. This too would be perfect with the Christmas turkey but would also stand up to goose or game if that’s your preference. It has a sensational taste from the off, but it definitely mellows in the glass and decanting would undoubtedly allow it to open up into a real Christmas cracker!
Sainsbury’s are not stupid and what they have done with these two wines really does work, so get some bottles of the white and buy the red by the trolley load. Perhaps the Sherwood household will complete the Spanish theme and swap the breakfast champagne for Cava!
Wines provided were Vinedos Barrihuelo Rioja Blanco (£8) and Vinedos Barrihuelo Rioja Crianza (£8) available at Sainsbury’s.
Our BQ Bulletin emails will land in your inbox at 7.30am, Monday to Friday, with a mix of the latest local business news, national news, and features to inspire you. Sign up here!
Click here to read our privacy statement