December 15, 2021

Christmas Letter

By Ben Whitfield
Christmas Letter

In my little restaurant world, festive exuberance started in earnest in early October and in London it has been nigh on impossible to get a table anywhere decent, at a vaguely civilised time, for weeks. ‘We can offer you 5.30pm or 11pm, sir’ is oft heard through stifled giggles on enquiry, and if you have been lucky enough to snag a table in the Christmas build up, prices are up, and what staff are in situ are stretched to breaking point. That is if they have been working at said restaurant for more than two hours. Not ideal.

Good stocks of wine at home – essential

And now, the dreaded arrival of the oddly named ‘Omicron’, cancelled trips to and from Europe and beyond, enforced mask wearing making it tricky for Jack Frost to get anywhere near your nose, and generally the government getting themselves in the usual seasonal muddle.  Surely Christmas won’t be cancelled again, but what better time to start thinking about wines stocked up at home for the coming weeks for entertaining, sharing with friends & family?  It is most certainly timely to be thinking about wine as presents and starting to anticipate answering the door on joyous wine deliveries.

A list of wines curated with every occasion at Christmas in mind - vital

Buying wine for the Christmas period can be challenging. One may need to be all-things-to-all-men/women/uncles/in-laws, and you will need to buy in volume.  Why should you compromise on what you usually buy?   It is pleasurable to provide a variety of wines over Christmas, not to be stuck with the same wines for Christmas Eve as for Boxing Day.  The selection of wines on offer right now are mind boggling.  Whitfield Wines is your one stop shop for all the holiday imbibing eventualities.

Pairing wine at Christmas - non-traditional

From a pairing point of view, the best way to think about wine for Christmas is as another element on a table groaning with goodies. Turkey is likely to be the centrepiece on Christmas Day, but it is also a blank canvas.  It’s all the other delicacies before, during and after the big day that need to go with the wine! Wine at Christmas must be festive and celebratory, not dusty and stuffy.   Aromatic, delicate whites are good to have, fruit-driven burgundies that can be fresh and focused or rich and powerful; for reds, red-berry driven, sophisticated, perhaps younger Pinot Noirs or a ‘glou-glou’

Beaujolais Cru; Christmassy blends of Grenache from Northern, and Syrah from Southern Rhône feel comforting; Young Nebbiolo and velvety Sangiovese are often seen as winners, more vibrant, fruity and perhaps hedonistic than traditional older Bordeaux blends

Thank you and Happy Christmas,