A traditional Christmas? That’s so last year….

Monday, December 7th, 2009

Saint Clair_Marlborough_Pinot NoirIf there’s one good thing to come out of the credit crunch it’s the opportunity for us to rethink what we do and the way we do it. This is great news if you’re adventurous by nature, but it may be a bit daunting if you’re a pure bred traditionalist.

When it comes to wine for festive entertaining it’s no different. It’s really easy to get stuck in a rut, weighed down by the security of the tried and tested and under the cosy blanket of tradition. For example, Pinot Noir is widely considered to be the perfect red for a standard British Christmas dinner, and if you’re über traditional then you’ll choose one from Burgundy, the home of Pinot Noir. But if you’re ready to listen to your adventurous side there are loads of great alternatives out there to help you spread your wine wings this Christmas and which, importantly, are 100% credit crunch compliant.

Popolino Rosso 2008 from Sicily is a perfect example at £4.95 from Marks & Spencer. This is the best under £5.00 red wine that I’ve come across in a long time, it’s lovely and light, fruity and aromatic with spiced plums, blackberry fruit and a sweet smokiness on the finish.

But if this is a bit too off the beaten track, or doesn’t seem special enough for impressing the relatives then a great half way house is the excellent Saint Clair Pioneer Block 14 Pinot Noir 2007 from Marlborough, NZ. This wine is a charmer, ripe black cherries and sweet spices jump out of the glass with some alluring wintery undergrowth aromas. It’s a perfect example of a pinot noir that would satisfy even the most traditional of palates. Buy it online for £13.99 from www.nzhouseofwine.co.uk

Miss Bouquet’s top tip:

Don’t feel afraid if stepping out of your wine comfort zone seems uneasy at first. With a bit of time it may end up suiting you more than you think. Start by adding it to your list of new year’s resolutions for 2010, at least we both know they’ll be a chance of you keeping to this one!

This article was printed in the December issue of The Notebook, Kensington & Chelsea, visit www.sw5notebook.com.

Monday 7th December 2009

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