A Christmas tippleby Barry Smith / December 12, 2013 / Leave a comment
Published in January 2014 issue of Prospect Magazine
For many people the holiday season is an invitation to indulge. There are friends to see, parties to attend and some will face the marathon of a Christmas lunch. Hard, then, to imagine drinking in moderation. But all is not lost. Slow drinking, like slow cooking, will serve you well, and the secret to drinking slower is to drink better. To sip a wine that captures your attention will give you more pleasure than drinking several glasses of an indifferent wine that has nothing to say.
If you are hosting a party, consider giving your guests something unusual like a Jurançon, or a Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh Sec. Expectations are so low on such occasions that the blend of Gros Manseng and Petit Manseng, with its richness and freshness and flavour of unsweet pineapple, will set your grateful guests talking.
Of course the usual offering at festive times is Champagne, and if you are keen to taste the wine beneath the fizz choose a vintage like 2004, which shows depth of character and a rich palate. If it’s mostly the bubbles you are after, why not try a good Prosecco? For an apéritif, it is fast becoming the sparkling wine of choice. The price point is right and so far the quality is good. Will it remain so? As demand has risen authorities in the Veneto approved an expansion of the DOC region where Prosecco may be grown. Perhaps quality will be maintained but for now it is best to stick to wines from the heartland of Conegliano and Valdobbiodene.