21/12/2014 – Two wines suitable for Christmas day

Two wines suitable for Christmas day
Two wines suitable for Christmas day, chosen with easy availability in mind: both are stocked by major retailers with physical stores, now that pre-Christmas deliveries are generally unavailable.

Wolf Blass, Silver Label Chardonnay 2013, Australia
A great exemplar of ‘the new Chardonnay’ from Australia, not over-oaked, not over-ripe, but majoring on fruit and freshness. There’s a gentle, crushed almond and oatmeal note to the nose, before a palate that is relatively lean compared to the old Australian model, focused on apple, citrus and minerals, but with enough texture and delicate toastiness to give breadth and wide food-matching appeal. A nice wine for smoked Scottish salmon this Christmas, but with the weight to take on roast turkey for those who prefer a glass of white. It’s £12.99 in Tesco.

Wakefield, Clare Valley Shiraz 2013, Australia
A wine that in some ways is very traditionally Ozzy Shiraz, but with a lovely earthiness and savoury character to match up to its abundant black fruit: blueberry, damson and blackcurrant. There’s also a touch of mint or eucalyptus, but that earthiness comes through. Balanced, fruit forward and rich on the palate, it has the dryness and hint of muscle to take on roast beef or venison very nicely, but is soft enough in terms of tannin structure to make it a very decent red wine-lovers choice for turkey too. It’s £12.99 in Majestic.