Wine buyer Jennifer Docherty MW selects three wines for her Christmas wish list.
'Tis the season to be jolly and indulgent, and what’s more indulgent than a luscious dessert wine to finish off your festive meals this Christmas? At Liberty Wines we are fortunate enough to have an international team, so we’ve selected the best of their Christmas dessert traditions and found the perfect sweet wines to round off the meal.
While our instincts may veer towards red wine when the temperature drops, there are many whites that can uplift winter’s rich and hearty flavours with their texture, acidity and complex character. It is the skill of the winemaker that brings out these characteristics with the use of winemaking techniques, such as lees or oak ageing, the use of amphorae and skin contact.
David Gleave MW comments on the 2017 vintage in Italy, the smallest vintage since 1947...
Amarone is a bold, intriguing style of wine from the Valpolicella region in the northeast of Italy. Its opulent mouthfeel and concentrated dried fruit and spice aromatics make it an excellent all-rounder, pairing perfectly with meaty, full-flavoured main courses as well as rich, chocolatey desserts and punchy cheese plates. It is made using dried grapes and typically has a ripe, full-bodied profile, with flavours of cherry, black fig and chocolate, developing meaty and leathery notes with age. If you’re after one wine to suit the whole meal – easing the transition from mains to sweets and cheeses - then Amarone is it.
Port has always been a traditional tipple at Christmas time, so much so that some would believe a Christmas dinner isn’t quite complete without the highlight at the end of the meal - cheese and a luscious Port pairing. It’s for this reason that retailers and restaurants are stocking up on Port in advance of the Christmas surge. Although we agree there is something quite special about a fruity LBV and a tangy Stilton, this festive season we believe it’s time to drink outside the box!
In 1997, Cazes did what many thought controversial at the time – they became fully certified organic and biodynamic. Described as a family of “Avant-Gardist” winemakers, Cazes has continued to farm according to biodynamic principles with great success. This year sees them celebrate their 20th biodynamic harvest as one of the largest certified estates in France.
The UK is having a love affair with Mexican food and drink. Last December, The Guardian noted the increase of Mexican restaurants in the UK including Breddos Taqueria, Corazón and El Pastor. These establishments boast impressive tequila lists displaying the diversity within the agave spirits category displaying its potential beyond margaritas and shots. Tequila has become a unique and interesting alternative to fine scotch or cognac, particularly aged tequilas made for sipping neat over ice.
Like Champagne and New Year, port and Christmas go hand in hand. Its distinct warming, rich and generous character make it wonderful addition to any festive celebration and its beautiful packaging gives it a tremendous potential for gifting.
Aussie-born Jane Eyre-Renard was working as a hairdresser until a conversation in 1998 with a client (who happened to be the wife of wine writer, Jeremy Oliver) led her to her to discover her true calling in life - winemaking. Working in both Burgundy and Australia, she has garnered a reputation for creating wines that really sing and display a true sense of place. As such, we are excited to showcase Jane Eyre's wines from both continents. Read more on Jane's intrepid journey from hairdresser to global winemaker.
The 2017 vintage is Mark Shannon and Elvezia Sbalchiero's 20th for A Mano and looking great for both red and white varieties...
In advance of our Autumn Portfolio Tasting tomorrow, David Gleave MW reflects on how the industry has changed since Liberty Wines was founded in 1997...