Wine Matching (for the Fantasy Christmas Buffet)
We are delighted to welcome back our friend and Waitrose Wine Expert, Tom Greef who has a few sage words to say about what drinks would complement our fantasy Christmas buffet. Over to you Tom:
Christmas has a way of sneaking up on you. We all know when it will be, the date is always the same and yet out of nowhere it appears! Whether you are winding down at work or just gearing up for it, a complete Christmas Scrooge or wishing it could be Christmas everyday, one thing remains the same, it is a time to catch up with all those friends and family members and enjoy some great food and wonderful drink.
I have chosen some beers wines and spirits from the Waitrose assortment to go with Astrid and Erik’s magnificent Fantasy Christmas Buffet.
People can often be overawed when trying to match food to antipasti due to the sheer bounty of foods and styles available. One of the key things is to not drift too far from its origins. Italian wine seems to lend itself to food, and antipasto is no exception. Vignale Pinot Grigio is a gloriously simple example of the grape. Dry citrus fruit fills the palate with a crisp apple edge. It is great value at £4.99.
Soave’s reputation has had a tough time over the last 40 years. Back in the 1970’s their wine used to be shipped in bulk and either blended or used to make cheap wine and as a result people are still wary of it today. But that is their loss! As the new Waitrose Soave Classico (currently £6.99) is full of refreshing citrus, hints of almond and nectarine and is very food friendly.
If you really wanted to treat yourself to an excellent wine then look no further than Waitrose Ripasso di Valpolicella Classico priced at £10.99. Ripasso (meaning “to do again”) shows that the wine has been double fermented which gives it more body and richness. Match this with cured meats or parmesan cheese and you are onto a winner.
Champagne and sparkling wines are a huge hit this time of year as people look at celebrate coming together. Valdo Oro Puro Prosecco (currently £12.99) is dry in its style but has a slight hint of sweetness, along with citrus notes and a good amount of acidity meaning it would also go well with antipasti.
Hummous and Crudites
Sauvignon Blanc lends itself well to crudités. The crisp fresh bite of raw vegetables matches the clean cut taste of fruity Sauvignon Blanc. Le Grand Ballon Sauvignon Blanc (currently 25% off until 2nd January 2013, priced at £6.19)) is from the Loire and shows notes of lime zest and white currants.
Guacamole and Tortilla Chips
Cusquena from Peru has citrus notes, is fairly hoppy and has hints of caramel. 4x33cl bottles for £4.99. Serve well chilled and watch the citrus cut through any spice and accompany the guacamole really well.
Bruschetta with various Toppings
Any of the above wines already mentioned will go great with this selection here. The Italian whites and reds for such toppings as the goats cheese, tomatoes and red onions. The Loire Le Grand Ballon Sauvignon Blanc would go great with smoked salmon pate also. Gewurztraminer Turckheim (£9.49) is a medium dry wine to accompany the duck pate. You could opt for a dessert wine with this pate however this wine from Alsace is fantastic. It’s packed full of lychee and spice, with great floral textures and can also be used for the Small Bowls of Spicy Hot Nuts, Manchego & Quince Jelly on sticks, Melon Cubes & Black Olives on Sticks, Fried Glace Cherries wrapped in Bacon.
Mini Spiced Mince Pies
Give in to your sweet tooth and try this with a Late Bottled Vintage Port such as Taylors LBV priced currently at £11.20 (until 2nd January 2013). It is rich, packs a massive amount of juicy fruit flavour in as well and is a great partner to the sweet raisin and warming spice of cinnamon and nutmeg!
Chocolate Fridge Cake
Chocolate can sometimes be difficult to match with wine. But fear not! Waitrose Seriously Plummy Maury is on hand to help. Priced at £10.99, this dessert wine has waves of flavour. Candied fruit, rich dark berries with very subtle hints of chocolate and coffee that help match the richness of the cake.
And have a very Happy Christmas. Cheers.