Tuesday, 7 November 2017
Four Christmas Wines From Virgin
Four wines for Christmas from Virgin
A Special Day in the CWB household gave me an opportunity to road test some Christmas wines from Virgin.
The food was not especially Christmassy, but if you are looking to create a multi-course sense of occasion with accompanying wines, you could do worse than start with this classy line up of fullsome en rama sherry, vibrant English fizz, structured Italian red and complex Loire sticky.
With canapés; olives and roasted almonds
Bodegas Hidalgo La Gitana en Rama, NV, Spain (£16.99 - details here) intense, pungent and concentrated en rama Manzanilla sherry; nutty, floral and bone dry with dried apple fruit and a citrussy finish. Long and elegant.
Good - absolutely demands tapas-style food. Drink now.
With starters; asparagus and parma ham gratin
Bolney Bubbly, NV, Sussex (£22.99 - details here) yeasty, nutty brioche and orchard fruits; well-structured and elegant with a fine mousse. Creamy, citrussy and floral.
Good - works as an aperitif, with light starters or mackerel fillets. Will further improve with age.
With main; beef cobbler
Il Cascinone Rive Barbera, 2014, Piedmonte (£15.99 - details here) black cherries, plums, spice and violets with a dusting of cocoa; very fresh and well-structured and elegant with firm, very fine tannins. Good underpinnings.
Good - needs rich, red-meat dishes.
With dessert; spiced apple and vanilla cake
Domaine Baumard Coteaux du Layon Carte d'Or, 2015, Coteaux du Layon (£11.99, 37.5cl - details here) floral and savoury complexity; rich, honeyed and waxy-oily with pineapple, overripe melon, sweet lemon and candied orange peel. Very precise, fresh and lively. Utterly delicious and could age for many years.
Very Good - match with a range of lighter desserts such as cakes, pastries and fruit tarts (but not Christmas pudding).