Take away all of the materialistic stuff tied in with Christmas and what the day should really simmer down to is spending great quality time with your family (and friends). To share a bottle of wine with your close ones on the day is a sign of togetherness. It brings the people you share it with closer in a purer fashion, that’s why this Christmas it shouldn’t just be any bottle of wine you share with your loved ones at the table, it should be a bottle of natural wine.
The fundamentals of the natural wine movement are simple; transparency, community, togetherness and always quality over quantity… almost identical to the fundamentals that Christmas is built on – which is especially why you should be drinking natural wine this Christmas.
Here’s my top five natural wines you need to try over the upcoming festive period;
Ben Walgate’s ‘20 vintage of the ‘Rosé’ is nothing short of outstanding on all fronts, I highly recommend starting your day off with this on Christmas. I’ve got no doubt this will make your hangover from the night before a thing of the past, if you were lucky enough to get away without a hangover… I’d still start your day with the Rosé, here’s why; An absolute Pinot bomb if you’ve ever seen one – 40% Pinot Noir and 60% Pinot Blanc, all of which come from the winemaking region of Essex, just outside of the hustling & bustling part of London. The appearance is sort of pale red with a discreet, orange hue almost like a glass of cranberry juice with a touch of water added. A long, pleasant finish with reminders of figs and freshly peeled orange skins right the way through. Guaranteed to perk you right up for the festive antics once the day grows old.
Available at The Sourcing Table for £32.90.
Pol Opuesto El Otro Lado
Only to be served chilled, this orange wine gives of loud flavours of Lychee juice topped up with sweet and crunchy apricots. This wine shows truly how winemakers can optimise skin contact to a completely legendary degree. That’s why you wanna be sipping on the ‘El Otro Lado’, preferably with the main meal on Christmas day, firstly because it’s a bit of a show stopper in terms of appearance so would fit perfectly on a crowded dinner table bringing vibrancy just from being in a wine glass. You want to be drinking a bottle of the El Otro paired with your Christmas dinner because of its acidic, crunchy flavour profile… guaranteed to cut through just about any dish on the table.
Available at KASK Wine for £25.00.
Gentle Folk Vin De Sofa
With Gentle Folk’s ‘Vin De Sofa’ I’d wait until the desert stage of the meal to be cracking this one open. Best way to enjoy it? Put the Vin De Sofa in the fridge whilst you’re eating your food, then take it back out of the fridge at the washing up stage of the evening to let it breath for 10-15 minutes and then pour away for whoever fancies it! The addition of Pinot Gris to this year’s vintage brings a touch of caramelised berries to the initial taste, raspberry jam vibes from start to finish with a uniquely mouthwatering aftertaste (thanks to the Merlot!) the ‘ Vin de Sofa’ is a pun on the French wine term Vin de Soif – “Soif means thirsty, sofa means chill”. A wine of refreshment to drink anytime.
“We don’t like to define our styles or wine making techniques, we just make wine in the way we feel is right for the grapes and season and most importantly, with maximum drinkability and enjoyment in mind.”
Milan Nestarec Forks and Knives
A very fun yet sophisticated red wine produced by a highly talented, yet straightforward guy – Milan Nestarec. Here he is quoted in explaining how best to enjoy his ‘Forks and Knives’:
“Wine to be smashed along with some food – nothing more, nothing less.
Serve thoroughly chilled.”
Milan’s Forks and Knives is a juicy, fruit-forward red wine produced from Pinot Noir, some Blaufränkisch, Cab Sauv & Cab Franc all grown in the Czech Republic. When it comes to flavours the F&Ks is insanely carbonic, think of an incredibly minimal, barely noticeable sparkle that’s purely designed to be chugged. This juicy red wine could be a nice alternative to the orange ‘El Otro Lado’ I suggested drinking alongside the main part of your Christmas meal because of it’s well-rounded, approachable ability to pair with almost any style dish or cuisine!
Available at Buon Vino for £30.00.
Boracchio Pash Rash Pét-Nat
As humans we naturally save the best things in life till last, just like stand up comedians who end with their strongest material or controlled firework display’s finishing with the biggest boom of them all, that’s why you gotta save Boracchio’s ‘Pash Rash Pet Nat’ for last during your Christmas meal. Simply labelled ‘Australian fizzy pink wine’ by the producers at Borachio, this sparkling delight is so much more, a mouthwatering blend of Pinot Noir and ‘friends’ i.e Savagnin and Chardonnay. The Pash Rash is exactly what you want to be drinking to cap off your Christmas Day meal in taste and style, flavours are reminiscent of tangy sparkling lemonade combined with a fistful of old school sherbet sweets, what’s not to love?