F4Y Christmas wines suggestions
Christmas is coming, and everybody is looking for some suggestions for their Christmas presents. Wine is undoubtedly something guessed, but which is the right wine to give as a present? Wine is a way of living for those people who love enjoying life and want to capture the beauty of it. Here you can find a useful guideline to choose the right wine.
1) Avoid any pre-packaged basket with a lot of products in it. Wine is a precious gift, and it is better not to mix it with other stuff, avoiding the risk of downgrade it. Choose your wine considering your personal budget – please avoid the extremes: do not buy either the lower or the highest price. It is easy to find a very good wine having a good quality/price ratio, but in this case it is important to know the wine, the winery and its background. Otherwise you should look for a suggestion from an expert.
2) It is better to buy more bottles of wines rather than choosing only a very expensive one; this way you give your friends the opportunity to taste something new and interesting with a good quality/price ratio. It is very easy to choose an extremely expensive and world-famous bottle of wine, whereas it is way more difficult to find a competitive-price wine which is also intriguing, a niche product and, above all, of good quality.
3) Choose vines from different areas. It is interesting to buy either a red, white, sparkling or, why not, also a dessert wine. Give the opportunity to taste different wines, to understand their production process and, above all, the different philosophies of the producers in order to discover something new.
The keyword is “surprising”. Choose something new and original!
According to wine lovers, Christmas means sparkling wines. This is the period of the year when people love drinking bubbly. Bubbles make people feel happy and they perfectly match with Christmas food, such as smoked salmon, foie gras, oysters, prawns, raw fish and many other delicious traditional dishes. All over the world sparkling wine is the soul of the Christmas dinner: no bubbles, no party!
There is another reason why I sometimes buy “bubbles” and it is the ritual of the Champagne sabrage – the art of uncorking a bottle of Champagne or sparkling wine with a saber. This tradition was brought into vogue in France by the royal guard of Napoleon. They used to celebrate their victories in the field or a promotion to the rank just uncorking several bottles of Champagne with their sabers. Nowadays, it is still considered a noble gesture reserved for special occasions. It is a nice tradition that can breathe new life into a dinner with friends or make a special occasion more important.
Please find below a short list of my favourite sparkling wines.
- Krug Grand Cuvée: Krug Grande Cuvée represent the Krug’s philosophy of craftsmanship and savoir-faire. A blend of around 120 wines from ten or more different vintages, some of which may reach 15 years of age. Blending so many vintages gives Krug Grande Cuvée its unique fullness of flavours and aromas, its incredible generosity and its absolute elegance - something impossible to express with the wines of just a single year. Its exceptional finesse is the result of another six-year stay in the cellars. It takes over twenty years to craft each bottle of Krug Grande Cuvée. It is the first prestige Cuvée that is re-created every year.
- David Léclapart L’Apotre Premier Cru Blanc des Blanc (100% Chardonnay): Léclapart’s production is quite limited, around 10 000 bottles annually. The trio l’Amateur, l’Artiste och l’Apôtre are all blanc de blancs – 100% Chardonnay – and are distinguished by an increasing proportion of oak – 0%, 50% and 100% – adapted to the substance and weight of the respective wine. The grapes are grown bio-dynamically and the wines do not receive any dosage, i.e., they are bottled bone dry.
The extremely dry palate is something I find characteristic for Léclapart and probably an important factor in deciding whether you like them or not. Nose with ripe yellow apple, strong mineral notes, peach, a hint of smoke, some honey, the oak can be detected but is well integrated. Palate with yellow and green apple, noticeable minerality, slightly earthy and salty, long aftertaste with mineral. No signs of oak on the palate. Could develop some more.
- Corbon Brut d’Autrefois: Corbon is a family-run farm located in Avize, the heart of the Cote des Blancs, in the main area of Champagne. They produce their wines only using their own grapevines. Their top quality Champagne is Brut d’Autrefois – 80% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Noir. I totally fell in love with it three years ago, and still nowadays it has renewed its coup de foudre. Brut d’Autrefois is a “cuvée perpetuelle” with a 7-year refinement on yeasts. This wine had fascinated me for its dry and essential taste, its deep and vertical character, its strength and vigour. It has a long-lasting taste and it is dynamic in the mouth, with a wonderful balance and a persuasive pleasantness. The Corbons say it is perfect for a “repas de fête: foie gras aux figues, magret poélé” (“festive meal: foie gras with figs, magret poélé”). Everything about this Champagne is marvellously perfect. It shows a pale straw yellow colour and the bouquet is fine, thick, elegant and crispy – it will delicately enchant your nose with its white flowers and dried fruit scent with hints of acacia honey, citrus and salty notes reviving the cuvée.
- Giulio Ferrari “Riserva del Fondatore”: Cru d’auteur. This is the label identifying the best Italian sparkling wine in the world, able to meet the challenge of time and become truly legendary. A Chardonnay with delightful golden highlights against a background of brilliant yellow. The perlage is extraordinarily fine and persistent. An intense and complex bouquet, with marked minerality and enriched with exotic scents. Hints of white chocolate and hazelnut give way to balsamic notes and intriguing tones of spices, beeswax and honey. Sumptuous suggestions arise from its creamy, velvety body, with hints of acacia honey accompanied by notes of exotic fruit. Over ten years of ageing on yeasts gives a finish of great complexity, which amazes you with its elegance and freshness.
- Cavalleri Franciacorta Brut Blanc des Blancs: The cuvée is a blend of wines from the DOCG hillside vineyards around Erbusco, Brescia. Most of the wines are from the harvest preceding the tirage, whereas approximately 20% are older vintages cellared at cool temperatures. The Brut is the perfect standard-bearer of the DOCG Franciacorta wines, eloquently expressing their dedication to producing Blanc de Blancs of great elegance and finesse, wines with considerable cellaring potential.
- Haederburg Pas dosé: 85% Chardonnay; 15 % pinot Noir. This wine is produced in the Northern Italy, near the Austrian border and it is the quintessence of elegance.
Colour: Clear and bright, straw yellow.
Nose: Intense, lingering with a marked scent of yeast.
Flavour: Dry, with fine vigour and great liveliness, balanced.
Perlage: fine and continuous.
ENJOY YOUR CHRISTMAS BUBBLES!!!
F4Y wishes you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!