A Christmas Tipple at The Wine Club

This month’s Wine Club meeting on 12th December saw our annual homage to Christmas, this year centred around wines to go with each and every course of Christmas Dinner: from a bone dry Cava with the canapés to a delicious tawny port for the stilton and nuts.  To highlight the Christmas Dinner theme an enormous dining table was laid out in the village hall and a small-but-perfectly-formed Christmas meal, including turkey with all the trimmings, was served to every person at what turned out to be a very popular meeting!

The first wine of the evening was a Cava: “Cava Conde de Haro Brut 2016” (supplied by The Wine Society).  This is a seriously good Cava from Muga in Rioja, fermented in bottle and aged for two years just like Champagne.  As already mentioned, it was a bone-dry wine and went very well as an aperitif with the canapés,

Next up was a Riesling:  “Stepp Riesling (Trocken) 2017”  (supplied by Naked Wines).  This is a very clean and crisp wine from Pfalz in Germany and complemented the prawn salad perfectly.  The vineyard has a high limestone content resulting in high calcium content in the grapes, leading to a delicate but persistent minerality.  It’s also dry and very fruity, packing “a punch of fresh flavours” according to one reviewer.

The next two wines, one white and one red, were both served with the turkey and there was much debate as to which accompanied it best!  These wines were:

Domaine Coche-Bizouard, Meursault Ormeau 2013”   (supplied by The Wine Society).  This is a dry white Burgundy produced in the Côte de Beaune sub-region.  This is a lovely wine with nicely balanced acidity.  There’s definitely some peach flavours in there and also hints of oak and vanilla.  We also found out that even though this one was around £30 a bottle (it is for Christmas dinner, after all 😊), it offers very good value for money as similar wines usually cost around 50% more!

Savigny-lès-Beaune Premier Cru Lavières, Domaine Camus-Bruchon, 2008”   (supplied by The Wine Society).  This is a medium-bodied pinot noir wine from the Burgundy region of France.  It went very well with the turkey which isn’t a strongly flavoured meat and so needs a delicate wine which won’t over power it.  This wine is nicely mature (as shown by the orange colour at the rim), the fruit has sweetened on the nose, and the tannins are beginning to soften on the palate.  Gorgeous!

The penultimate wine saw the appearance of the long-promised “wine to go with chocolate” by Debbie Paul 😊.  To meet this challenge Debbie introduced us to a Greek dessert wine, “Samos Anthemis”, from the island of Samos.  Luscious and sweet, this rounded muscat had sumptuous hints of honey and baked-orange aromas.  On the palate it’s sweet with apricot, caramel and nutty flavours. Perfect with tarte tatin, blue cheese or chocolate!

And finally, there was the “Oscar’s 10 Year Old Tawny Port”  (supplied by Naked Wines) to go with the selection of cheeses on offer.  This is an elegant, intense, long and delicious tawny port, and its balance and refinement could easily be that of a 20 years old port.  But no, just 10!

All-in-all a very sociable and festive evening made at the Upton Village Hall.  We are there every month, so if you are interested in coming and trying an evening of tasting (most people who come have little in the way of expertise, but lots of enthusiasm) then have a look at our website (https://uptonwineclub.com) or send our chairman a note (ku.oc.ooaynull@yelgnal.nai)

Hope to see you all on 16th January for the first Wine Club meeting of 2019.

Nick