Wine Trends: You ultimate guide to Christmas 2016 wines
Ah, Christmas! Such a joyous time of year. It can be a little stressful in the build up, trying to get the right presents for people, making sure you have everything set for the big day, placing little elves on shelves, and even fighting with your father in law as to who gets the cookies and milk (or beer as we did in our household) that the kids left out for Santa. Christmas is pure magic. So what the hell do we drink on Christmas to capture the magical spirit? Well, we thought about it, we drank about it, we put on our ugly sweaters and hammered down the wines that make Christmas, Christmas!
One wine we definitely agreed on that made Christmas just awesome was Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The amazing thing about Châteauneuf-du-Pape is just that it is such a special wine ti begin with. It is a typical Rhone valley blend, most Châteauneuf-du-Pape being made up of Grenache, Mouvedre and Syrah. The Grenache gives you good juicy, leathery flavors, the Mouvedre adds body and character, the Syrah brings some spiciness to what essentially amounts to Christmas in a frikkin bottle. Gamy, jammy, spicy, like a veritable Christmas feast. And so it should be, with the history of the village running deep in Catholic sentiment, after the Pope briefly moved the Holy Capital there. Châteauneuf-du-Pape is also pretty special in so much as it is pretty pricy, with decent stuff starting around $30, but the good stuff really starting around $100.
Red Bordeaux is all the rage, the mastery, the history, the craftsmanship of these wines that goes back centuries make the region perhaps the most famous wine region in the world. Deservedly so, because when they make something good, they make something out of this world. They are the ultimate expression of tradition and terroir, but beyond that they create moments that will live long in your memories just by how good they are. The stuff of legend, that will help you remember this Christmas for a very long time. So if you are looking for the good stuff, seek out Bordeaux from 2009, 2010, and 2005 for some of the very best wines in the world.
Are you starting to see a trend here? We really believe that the best wines for Christmas are French wines, because they are a celebration of tradition, of family, of heritage. Everything you could want from a lighter red wine you will find in Burgundy, either from the Pinot Noir you see in much of the region, or from the Gamay you find from Beaujolais. Even if you prefer a white wine, Burgundy also produces some of the best Chardonnay in the world. The great thing about Burgundy, for both red and white, is that price point really does not matter because you can enjoy some of the best wines in the world whatever your budget. Burgundy is all about where you are from, so a perfect wine if you have made a long trip home to see your family.
For some reason in my family we always kicked off Christmas lunch with some Champagne, because it was a feast, and because it was special. As the years went on we experimented with Champagne style sparkling wines from South Africa (Methode Cap Classique) and sparkling wines from California that boasted the names of some of the big French Champagne houses. Regardless of where it was from, Champagne and other traditional style sparkling wines are perfect to punctuate any celebration, and if your family likes to treat Christmas like a party then these are the wines for you.
Other wines we love for Christmas include Pinot Noir from Oregon and New Zealand, Zinfandel from California, and Bordeaux style blends from just about anywhere in the world. The point is not to tell you what bottle to go out and buy, because we cannot be certain of the selection you have in front of you. Rather we want to inspire you so that you can make the decision, and be happy with it. Remember that the wine should grab your heart, and cement the memories this special day will undoubtedly create. Merry Christmas from all of us here at Vynl.