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Monday 7 October 2019

Classic Christmas Wines From France

Three French wines for Christmas

I recently - only half-jokingly - suggested to Fiona Beckett that just four different wines is not enough for a moderately expansive meal and found that I would need over half-a-dozen.

In practice, multi-wine meals are complicated to organise, quite a special occasion and mostly shared with fellow wine enthusiasts.

For a set-piece such as Christmas with a general audience, three wines can be perfectly fine; an aperitif, starter and main.

At Christmas, I tend to keep the food simple and the wines classic - it is not a time to start being adventurous.

Calvet Crémant de Bordeaux Brut NV (Ocado, £11.95) Sémillon / Cabernet Franc blend, delicate florality, crisp, crunchy orchard fruits with fresh citrus, a touch of brioche, fine mousse and an elegant minerality. Very adept.

Thoroughly enjoyable and Good Value.

Serve as an aperitif or match with light seafood starters, such as prawn vol-au-vent.

Calvet Réserve Sauvignon Blanc, Bordeaux (Waitrose £9.39) expressive, aromatic and fresh with lemongrass, citrus, white stone fruits, white pepper, pithy lime zest, grapefruit and flinty, saline minerality; supple and textured, concentrated and long.

Thoroughly enjoyable.

Match with a plate of antipasti, monkfish in a herb broth, Roulé or white meat, such as roast chicken.


Abbotts & Delaunay Mourvèdre 2017, Languedoc (Majestic £8.99) deep and intense with dark fruits, violets, black olives, dark-green herbs and spice; textured, concentrated and inky with a muscular core; supple and fresh with perfectly ripe, very fine tannins.

Drinking nicely now and will improve further with age.


A versatile red, match with roast chicken, Christmas turkey or red-meat dishes from burgers to roast lamb.

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