Virtual Wine Tasting - Christmas with Shropshire Wine School
Shropshire wine school has partnered again with Frazier's for their Christmas Wine Tasting. Buy the wines here and book the tasting at the link above. Sit back and enjoy three excellent evenings learning about wine.
Join us for an online Christmas-themed wine-tasting event in the four weeks leading up to the big celebrations.
Wine Wednesday goes all Christmassy as we sample some traditional style wines associated with Christmas. Some are tried and trusted favourites others a little more “left field”.
Week 1 – November 29th
This week we start the celebrations in the only way possible, with some bubbles. However, just to be a little different, instead of Champagne, we will sample one of England’s best sparkling wines in the form of a Nyetimber. This Sussex-based producer has been winning awards and beating Champagne in blind tastings, so let’s see just how good it is.
Next up, before lunch its time for an aperitif. Sherry is what many of us might turn to, but again, sticking with the slightly different theme, we will sample one of the most underrated styles of wine in the form of a Madeira. There are four “classic” Madeira styles and ours is the driest of them, made from Sercial. Bottled after an average of ten years in cask.
- Nyetimber Classic Cuvee NV Brut, Sussex, England, Retail Price £29.99
- Henriques and Henriques, 10-year-old Sercial Madeira, Retail Price £24.99 (50 cl)
Week 2 – December 6th
This week we start to look at wines to accompany Christmas lunch. The two wines selected are designed to match up with either goose (Riesling) or rib of beef (Barolo).
Goose used to be the traditional fayre before people discovered turkey (an American import) and is still often found on Christmas tables across Europe. What better to accompany it than a bone-dry Riesling from a Grand Cru vineyard in Alsace?
For those of us who love red wine, especially with plenty of tannin, a rib of beef makes a lovely Christmas lunch. Barolo from Piedmont in Italy fills this brief superbly and is a real special occasion wine.
- Chateau de Riquewihr Riesling Grand Cru Schoenenbourg 2020, Retail Price £23.45
- Manfredi Barolo DOCG 2017, Retail Price £26.45
Week 3 – December 13th
Of course, many people enjoy turkey on Christmas day, and this week we look at the two classic wines for turkey, namely Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Although both grape varieties hail from Burgundy in France, our Chardonnay is (in my opinion) an outstanding wine that delivers top level Burgundy character without breaking the bank, a superb South African wine.
For our Pinot Noir, we do feature a top-level Burgundy wine from Nuits St George in the Côte de Nuits. This would work equally well with goose if a red wine is preferable.
- Hamilton Russell Chardonnay, Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, South Africa, 2021, Retail Price £38.45
- Nuits St Georges AC Bertrand Ambroise, Burgundy, 2018 Retail Price £46.95
Week 4- December 20th
After the main course we have dessert to consider and perhaps some cheese at some point. For our sweet wine, instead of the classics such as Sauternes or Tokaji, the wine picked for accompanying dessert is from Australia. It shares the same main grape variety (Semillon) with Sauternes and is also made using grapes affected by Botrytis. However, it’s a fraction of the cost of the famous sweet wine from Bordeaux. A super succulent and sweet botrytis affected dessert wine displaying characteristic honey and marmalade concentrated fruit flavours balanced by crisp acid on a lingering luscious finish.
Finally, Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without some Port. Although ruby-style Port is deservedly popular, for me an aged Tawny is so much more interesting. Our Port has been aged in barrel for an average of twenty years and makes a fantastic accompaniment to both chocolate-based desserts and hard cheese such as Gouda, Manchego and mature Cheddar. Its superb bouquet is a complex marriage of ripe, plummy, mature fruit, warm spicy overtones of cinnamon and butterscotch and subtle oak nuances.
- Mitchell Noble Semillon, Clare Valley, South Australia, 2018 Retail Price £11.50 (half bottle)
- Fonseca 20-Year-Old Tawny Port Retail Price £39.99
This course is delivered via “Zoom”. The wines are supplied from our friends at Frazier’s Wine Merchants and can be ordered via the link below at the special discounted price of £212 including delivery, a saving of over £30.
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