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So which red for Christmas lunch?

Nowadays Christmas is not just for turkey, so here are a group of luxury red wines to grace and enhance whatever may form the centre piece your Christmas lunch.

After the review of white wines for Christmas last time, the focus now turns to equivalent reds – again pushing the financial boat out to match the season.

Happily, turkey is a forgiving dish – comfortable with a host of wines; so today’s selections have been tailored to work with other main courses too.

There is a clear Scottish orientation to the quoted suppliers – many of whom offer on-line services anyway – but a check on the wine searcher website should help pinpoint other retailers.

Pinot Noir for Père Noël

For those to whom Christmas always means classic burgundy, I would suggest the dark and layered 2009 Digioia-Royer Chambolle Musigny ‘Vieilles Vignes’ Fremieres (£39 at WoodWinters) – which is a great price for something of this quality.

Coney Pinot Noir
Coney Pinot Noir

This wine will captivate you with its textured damson and cherry fruit nicely supplemented by a complex fusion of flavours that include truffle, coffee beans and rose hips.

For a new world pinot, seek out one of the high quality versions from New Zealand – this one is actually from the North Island.

2014 Coney Pizzicato Pinot Noir, Martinborough (£14.99 at Majestic) has an nicely integrated combination of intense, bright raspberry and nutmeg flavours, firm acidity and damson centred depth.

Or for the Beefeaters

If beef is on the agenda, then cabernet sauvignon will seldom be far away and traditionalists will enjoy 2011 Berry Bros & Rudd Pauillac (£19.95 at www.bbr.com).

It has concentrated, but fresh, blackcurrant flavour with contributions from other stone fruits all wrapped in a smooth spiciness and nicely structured tannins.

Alternatively nip next door for the rounded and dense 2010 Saint Julien (£19.95 at www.fromvineyardsdirect.com) with its complex cherry, cassis and chocolate flavours, touches of minty vanilla and beautifully judged balance between acidity and tannin.

Rebus Cabernet Sauvignon
Rebus Cabernet Sauvignon

The New World also does cabernet very well – especially with Western Australian delights such as the silky but delicately textured 2013 Domaine Naturaliste Rebus Cabernet Sauvignon (£21.99 at Inverarity One to One, Glasgow).

It has floral cherry – even loganberry – fruit with lively acidity and only limited tannin so that the red pepper, mocha and vanilla parts of its impressive mix come through clearly.

Game for Christmas?

The Cutlass Shiraz
The Cutlass Shiraz

Despite normally recommending syrah from the Northern Rhone with game, this time I am staying in Australia – but heading into some cooler parts in South Australia’s Adelaide Hills.

There, you can find the floral but savoury 2012 Riposte The Cutlass Shiraz (£17.70 at Excel Wines, Perth) with cinnamon, eucalyptus and cloves to embellish its black cherry centred fruit and little stabs of star anise that enliven the whole package.

For the final Christmas and New Year round up, the next post looks at fizz in its various forms.


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