THE first of this year’s “festive wine” press releases landed in the Tipping’s Tipples pigeon hole this morning. I suppose its seemingly untimely arrival is to cater for magazine writers, who have deadlines months in advance, but it is just too early to me.
For goodness sake, I am listening to the Test Match, the doors and windows are wide open and the schools are not back for three weeks.
If, like me, you cannot contemplate hanging your stocking on the wall just yet, remember that the summer is not over. There are plenty of wines suitable for sunny season supping too, although the three wines I have picked this week will also fit a Yuletide theme.
For a cheeky summer lunchtime tipple, or a Christmas dinner aperitif, there is Araldica Moscato d’Asti 2012. This is a very approachable, lightly sparkling and sweet wine from the Monferrato hills of north-west Italy. It has floral aromas and flavours of grape, peach and exotic fruit, with a fresh acidity that balances the sweetness. It is also relatively low in alcohol at five per cent abv.
Tesco has just added a Slovenian wine to its own label range, Tesco finest* Riesling 2013 which is from the region of Štajerska.
It’s a good basic example of the grape; crisp, clean tasting and dry with bright, palate-cleansing flavours of lemon, lime, peach and some mineral notes on the finish. It will work very well with most fish dishes, including that smoked salmon on Christmas Eve.
A good bottle of Beaujolais is an excellent choice for a summer red, it is a lighter alternative that tastes great when chilled. It also makes an amazing partner for roast turkey and the trimmings.
Waitrose lists a suitable contender, Bouchard Père & Fils Fleurie 2012. It has soft tannins and floral notes with crunchy flavours of red cherry, raspberry, rosehip, spice and anise. Incidentally, the same supermarket is offering 25 per cent off all wines when you buy three or more bottles, until Tuesday. So it could be a good time to stock up.
Have a very merry Christmas but do enjoy the rest of the summer first.
Araldica Moscato d’Asti 2012, £9.99 from Virgin Wines 17/20
Tesco finest* Slovenian Riesling 2013, £7.99 at Tesco 17/20
Bouchard Père & Fils Fleurie 2012, £11.99 at Waitrose 17/20