top of page

Ep 5: Wine Times - '12 Bottles of Christmas'

🍇🍷🎄Yes, I know I have gone there.....the C-Word.... 🍇🍷🎄

There is method to my madness, below is what will be appearing on my dinner table over Christmas Day and Boxing Day. This will give you a view or some optionality around where to grab some of these bottles, should you wish to include them at your Christmas table and some ideas around food combos too!

🤔 Feel free to feedback or let me know what you are planning to drink too?

At Christmas time, probably like some of you reading this, we start pretty early and you don't necessarily want to get involved in the 'heavier' alcohol too early in the day - there is a roast to cook after all!

So with this in mind, here are the wines that I will be going with and rationales behind them all too. Enjoy!


  1. 🍷Renishaw Hall - Vintage Cuvee 2017 Sparkling Wine, UK

🍷🎄Founded in 2011 by Kieron Atkinson, after doing 9 years in the British Army, he founded the English Wine Project which supports and champions English and Welsh Wine. Kieron took over the historic vineyard at Renishaw Hall in North Derbyshire, where he looks after the site and produces award winning wines.

🍷🎄This bottle in particular, shows hints of lemon zest, apple, elderflower and citrus fruits. Taste of lemon pie, fresh apple, biscuit, custard cream, doughnuts and cream.

🍷🎄5 years on lees ageing which aids those pastry notes. ABV 11.5%.

🍷🎄Single vineyard walled garden estate, a blend of varietals: Seyval Blanc and Chardonnay.

🍽️ Food wise - this is perfect for when you take an early pigs in blanket from the main course and have it earlier in the day. Or that salty bacon butty for breakfast. For me, it will honestly be as soon as I am showered and up for the day.

🌍 Available directly from their website or in a variety of different UK independents across Derbyshire and Yorkshire.

💵Priced at under £30 a bottle. A great start to your Christmas!!

2. 🍷Domaine Bertrand Ambroise, Coteaux Bourguginon 'Lettre d'Eloise' 2020, Burgundy, France

  • 🍷🎄This beautiful Burgundian Chardonnay via Wickhams is an absolute star. It is grown in clay and silex soils, half the wine fermented in used oak foudres, to add structure and flavour. The remainder in stainless steel. The wine is NOT fined and is lightly filtered.

  • 🍷🎄This has a real steely backbone of freshness with the classic texture of a well made Chardonnay. Soft with a buttery hazelnut.

  • 🍷🎄The winemaker, Bertrand and family have managed to convert their 21ha estate to organics - certified in 2013.

  • 🍷🎄ABV of 13% this is not holding back!

  • 🍽️Food wise, this may surprise you, but this will be my first wine with the roast turkey. I am somewhat of a traditionalist, so it will be turkey for Christmas and this can hold up to the task. I will intro a red next but this pairs a beautiful white meat roast or those having creamy dinner profiles or veggie casseroles for example.

  • 💵Priced at around £28.50 a bottle from Wickhams or as part of a mixed case of 6 for just over £25 I believe.

3. 🍷Valli Pinot Noir, Waitaki Vineyard 2018 - North Otago NZ

  • 🍷🎄Crafting wines in the region of Central Otago since 1993, when there were just 20ha planted - today there are over 2,000.

  • 🍷🎄The Waitaki Valley is the newest and most exciting NZ growing region, first started as a commercialised vintage in 2004.

  • 🍷🎄Soils are limestone based, enhanced by perfume and minerality.

  • 🍷🎄It is slightly cooler than Central Otago, the Waitaki Valley is not cropped heavily and only has around 5,000 vines per hectare.

  • 🍷🎄Think of this as red and black cherries, fragrant, spiced, thyme, nutmeg and floral notes. The palate is wonderfully rounded and delivers a real sweet berry flavour and silky texture. Greatly complimented by spicy nuances and fine soft tannins.

  • 💵Priced at around £42 a bottle from various UK independent importers and newer vintages are available direct. This is a special bottle for a special day.

  • 🍽️Food wise, this will pair with anything you have for main course. So having polished off the White Burgundy, we have advanced to NZ for the Pinot Noir. Valli Winery.

4. 🍷Barolo Peironte DOCG 2009, Italy

  • 🍷🎄Somewhat of a side step after the Pinot Noir. Christmas is about happiness and most importantly family time to be shared together. Well in which case this fits the bill. I have picked this Barolo because it was in my late father's garage. Not going to lie, I have no idea if it is still going to be particularly good. It is a Marks and Spencer's special and indeed pretty hard to find these days.

  • 🍷🎄This did however, back in the day, win a Silver at the International Wine Challenge back in 2014 - but suspect ageing wasn't really what it required to improve the profile given it was a youthful expression.

  • 🍷🎄It is 13.5%, made of course from 100% Nebbiolo grapes and I visited the region last summer - beautiful and jaw dropping are understatements of the region. It is a youthful styled Barolo - hmm we shall see....

  • 💵Rough pricing is around £15 a bottle, so not breaking the bank but something which hopefully still shows good nuances of Barolo. Marks and Spencer

5. 🍷Orange Solaris 2022, Denbies, Surrey UK

  • 🍷🎄Orange wine, not in colour, but in style, this is a white wine but made the way of a red! The Solaris grapes are macerated for 7 weeks before pressing from the skins.

  • 🍷🎄This is best served slightly chilled - hailed by Tom Hewson as the Innovation of the Year. They made only around 12,000 bottles of this.

  • 🍷🎄Wax topped rather than foil capped.

  • 🍷🎄This brings with it notes of good old pineapple and a nod of guava, pomegranate and a hint of lychee. The tropical depth of fruit on this is truly remarkable and when tasting this on The Andy and Olly Show Denbies episode, blew me away!

  • 🍷🎄Now if we were in France in some parts, they would have their cheese course ahead of their dessert, so that is what I am implementing. Mainly because of the next wine, but this will go superbly well with lighter cheeses think - softs, semi-softs, hard cheddars but not goat or blue.

  • 💵🌍Priced at £28.25 a bottle on Denbies direct website, this is a great wine and adds something different to your Christmas line up - I think it could well end up even being the star of the lineup! Denbies Wine Estate Limited

6. 🍷Sticky Shiraz, Lancaster, Swan Valley, Western Australia

  • 💵This is available directly from Australia at around $42 AUD per bottle, but can be bought via UK importers for between £17-20.

  • 🍷🎄A fortified Shiraz made from old vine Shiraz fruit.

  • 🍷🎄This is decadent, rich, opulent liqueur that would compliment any Christmas pudding or in our case Yule log dessert.

  • 🍷🎄This is a very aged version and is my last bottle, as I was out there way back in 2013!

  • 🍷🎄Lancaster is legendary for being laid back and a really chilled vibe. So perfect for after you now feel exceedingly full from all that delicious food.

  • 🍷🎄One of my ALL TIME favourite vineyards, GLOBALLY. I have to go back again soon to taste more! Lancaster Winery.

That rounds out my Christmas Day wines, what will you be drinking?


  1. 🍷Sparkling Shiraz, Bleasdale Langhorne Creek, Australia

🍷🎄Anyone hungover or overindulged? Probably a large portion of you. Well I present to you the Sparkling Shiraz from Bleasdale - a non-vintage sparkling that is made purely from Shiraz grapes.

🍷🎄Full and rounded, rich with dark berry fruits, silky tannins and a velvety palate.

🍷🎄Bleasdale is Australia's second oldest family run winery founded way back in 1850 - that's right, even before I was born!

🍷🎄It is uniquely Australian, the wonderful deep colour and blackberry laden for me stands up to anything....including that hangover if required. You could quite feasibly even finish your meal with this as it would be a great addition to cake eating too!

🍷🎄At 13.5% ABV there is plenty to set you up for your Boxing Day wines. If you are not setting up for a second roast, then maybe a BBQ - Australia style is also a great accompaniment to this wine.

💵This can be bought from the Wine Society at the superb price of £12.76 a bottle - a MUST!

2. 🍷Dry Riesling, Kunster Kostheim Weiss Erd, Rheingau 2020, Germany

🍷🎄Taken the edge off the hangover, we are starting to feel human once we are following up with a Riesling.

🍷🎄Up steps my UTILITY wine - this is the wine that I personally love for everything. It has enough body that it can marry with many foods but it also has the wonderful mixture of fruit content, minerality and perfumed petrolic themes that make it so delicious. It is of course, the Kostheim Weiss Erd Riesling 2020.

🍷🎄At 12.5% ABV it still has a decent amount of alcohol and that is due to the long daylight summer hours for sugar accumulation in the region.

🍷🎄Note the GG on the label - Grosses Gewachs -showcasing the quality of the top rated vineyards at the heart of Kunstler's holdings in the Rhinegau.

🍷🎄Fermented to dry, yet quite luscious with flavours of peach and apricot, mineral, honey and flint - it is a delight in a glass.

💵 This will set you back around £23 a bottle - available direct or look out for alternatives like Dr. Loosen who are more widely available.

3. 🍷Beaujolais Nouveau, Domaine Bel Avenir 2023, France

  • 🍷🎄Ok so following up the Riesling, we now have something which may well have been seen A LOT over the last few days - Beaujolais Nouveau - Les Beaujolais est arrive - once more!

  • 🍷🎄This one is from Wickhams - Domaine Bel Avenir in La Chapelle de Guinchay, some 3km east of Chenas.

  • 🍷🎄Clay, granite and limestone soils with loads of challenges to the 2023 harvest which have been well documented, this is spritely, youthful and a perfect dive into after the Riesling prior to main course on Boxing Day!

  • 🍷🎄The bright reddy-pink wine which is packed full of vibrancy, strawberry and cranberries dancing in the mouth and a touch of sharp or early picked raspberries too with some of that candied feel to it.

  • 🍷🎄Early drinker before you require the food - or a subtle version with a selection of nibbly starters.

  • 💵 Not converted to Beaujolais yet? You soon will be with this one! Available via Wickhams at the price of £14 a bottle or if you mix any size for £12.60!

4. 🍷 Pinot Noir, Lyme Bay 2020, UK

  • 🍷🎄One of THE best red wines in the UK! FACT!

  • 🍷🎄Taking grapes from the premium sites in Crouch Valley, Essex - this brings hand in hand, vibrancy with 30% aged in new oak.

  • 🍷🎄The result is complex and intense array of black cherries, raspberries and that notation of bramble that you so often find with Pinot Noirs underpinned with a slight subtle oaking.

  • 🍷🎄It is 100% Pinot Noir from the Dijon and Spatburgunder still wine clones and harvested between October 3rd and October 20th in 2020.

  • 🍽️ This is your perfect start to the main course (even fish dishes) and is a delicious - dare I say it, Burgundian style English Pinot Noir which we love to see. I bought this directly in the taproom down in Devon, but you will find it is in a large majority of the UK independent retailers across the country.

  • 💵 This will be typically just shy of £30 a bottle if you can find it, the 2021 is available if not and we all look forward to tasting the 2022 soon too! Lyme Bay

5. 🍷Chateau Les Vimieres Le Tronquera, Margaux 2014, France

  • 🍷🎄Since 1984, the chateau has been a family run vineyard and is the property of the Boissenot family. They have helped improve the quality of around 180 different properties in the Medoc.

  • 🍷🎄The dark fruit, depth and power of this wine with concentrated ripe tannins is formed beautifully and integrates to provide some liquorice, earthy, blackberries and crushed stone with some lovely rosemary herb nuances. This will 100% be my main course accompanier.

  • 🍷🎄Interestingly Merlot based yet situated on the Left Bank of Bordeaux, this punches above its weight and has a beautiful long finish, balance and depth to it.

  • 💵 🍽️ A real food wine! This comes in at mid £20s which is a bargain and ABV of 13.5%. Available from Laithwaites. Laithwaites Wine

6. 🍷 Domaine Madeloc, Banyuls, France

  • 🍷🎄The finale, nearly all over....sad times.

  • 🍷🎄However, not before I bring out one more....who you gonna call (no not Ghostbusters) BUT...

  • 🍷🎄Domaine Madeloc !!

  • 🍷🎄Why? Because they produce a wonderful Banyuls - aged partly in glass bonbonnes which are exposed to the sun to achieve 'rancio' characteristics and part in old foudre, the Banyuls Robert Page is a blend of 90% Grenache and 10% Grenache Gris from the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France.

  • 🍷🎄Traditional style of a VDN - Vin Doux Naturale - a sweet fortified wine, which is complex with aromas of baked plums, dried figs, bitter orange, coffee, vanilla and spices. It is layered, opulent and indulgent.

  • 🍽️ Rounded and week, yet fresh and nutty finish. It is a brilliant pairing for blue cheese or a cheese plate that you need to polish off and one which will hold if there is any of that Yule log left too.

  • 💵 Available from Le Bon Vin in Sheffield at £19 a bottle!

🙌 That's my collection for the dinner table over Christmas and Boxing Day too!

🤔What do you have on your table this Christmas?

If you need help or suggestions for what pairs with what food - shout! Here to help!


On the week (as at 11:55 23/11) changes:

EQUITIES: ⬆️ FTSE 100 up 0.03%; ⬆️ DAX up 1.1%; ⬆️ S&P up 1.2%; ⬇️Nikkei 225 down -0.26%; ⬆️ Dow Jones up 0.08%;

COMMODITIES: ⬆️ Brent Oil up 0.09%; ⬆️ Crude Oil 0.05%; ⬆️ Gold up 0.1%; ⬆️ Silver up 0.01%; ⬆️ Copper up 1.6%

BONDS (in yield terms): ⬆️ UK 2yrs higher 0.159%; ⬆️ UK 10yrs higher 0.075%; ⬇️ German 10yrs lower 0.0325%, ⬇️US 2yrs lower 0.01%; ⬇️ US 10yrs lower 0.062%;

🎉 Thanksgiving holidays (happy holiday to those celebrating it) dovetails the week of markets news. Riksbank do not hike, so stay in the camp of many of the global DM economies in pause territory. OPEC meeting is rescheduled after disagreements between member participants and hopefully we are one step closer to a sustained pause in the Middle East situation.

In the UK, the Autumn Statement brought a sigh of relief for those in the wine industry with a 'freeze' on alcohol duty (although I fear this is only a temporary reprieve) and for businesses a 2% cut in national insurance. Pensions potentially the biggest winner - at least above the current inflation rate! 🤷♂️

Nothing to change my near term view of divergence between US and UK. Think UK is still looking the weakest of the DM economies and with the OBR actually starting to agree with me too (forecasting growth to be at only 0.7% in 2024) it is not surprising the UK government is trying to 'ease conditions'.

Interestingly, I still see the US coming back with a further hike in interest rates, especially following their delivery of the last meeting's minutes with the members appearing to recognise the inflation forecast is skewed to the upside.


Many articles to choose from that drew my attention this week: Treasury Wine Estate's acquisition of Daou vineyards for the sum of $900m; Pernod Ricard's desire to dispose of some of their wine assets; Bordeaux introducing a lightweight bottle; Austria embracing 'green' agriculture were just some of those hot topics and of course the UK wine industry does not face another damaging tax rise.


For those in the wine industry, you will know that there has long been a debate on whether Australia can keep using the 'Prosecco' name. Well after 4 years of disputing it for the Singapore market, the Prosecco DOC Consortium (Italy) has won the legal battle. Ultimately meaning that wine in Singapore called 'Prosecco' can only come from the Italian region. Big News! 🙌



  • SHEFFIELD - *NEW* MONTHLY WINE TASTING EVENT - will be coming Feb 24! Look out for more details in future editions.

  • *NEW* PODCAST Series 3 - The Andy and Olly Show - starting again in Jan 24.

  • *NEW* PODCAST - 'What Wine Is Sat On Your Table Tonight?' - will be starting in Jan 24 - a new series - more details and amazing high profile guests coming soon too.


Andy a.k.a. The Northern Wine Guy

3 views0 comments


bottom of page