The Wine Advent: 11 December: Wines as Gifts
The Wine Advent is a series of 25 posts in the run up to Christmas day where I will give you an insight into my favourite festive wines. Follow me on Twitter or Like my Facebook page to ensure you don’t miss opening up the advent!
Buying a wine for someone is always a gamble. If you’re not sure what sort of wine that person usually drinks then the best thing you can do is ask his/her family and friends. If not even they know, then here’s my four “safe bet” wines that most people love.
When it comes to red wine, the juicier wines like Beaujolais, young Pinot Noir or new world Shiraz tend to be the best options. Wines like Tempranillo (famously used in Rioja) are also good but can sometimes be a little too oaky for some. However my absolute favourite red that many people enjoy is Rhone, especially Grenache-dominant wines.
For me, the most satisfying of these is L’Arene des Anges Costieres de Nimes (£8.99, Waitrose Cellar). Brilliant strawberry and cherry fruit, a lace of spice and a supple medium body makes this a succulently smooth red wine. It’s very versatile with food too, especially a wide-range of cheeses.
Prefer something organic? I’ve already recommended it before in the Wine Advent but Tsantali Organiki Cabernet Sauvignon (£9.49, Waitrose Cellar) is always a hit.
Torres Viña Esmeralda (£8.50, Waitrose Cellar) is the first thing that comes to mind for white wine. It’s not too dry, it’s not sweet, but it’s plenty fruity. From vineyards on the East-coast of Spain, the wine has a mediterranean aura about it. The bouquet is tropical with peach, mango and lime. On the palette it’s hugely quaffable, with grapefruit freshness and honey on the finish.
However if you know the person likes dry white wine, then for me it’s worth digging a little more money out your pocket and getting a beautiful Chablis. Chablis ‘La Pierrelée’ 2012 (£14.95, The Vintner) is beautiful. Fresh, light, bone-dry and yet smooth and with a long finish, this is Chablis at it’s finest – and cheaper than most too.