Whatever you had planned for Christmas last year, we had the ideal wines to celebrate the festive season with.
With a day of great food to look forward to, we had a few pointers for matching wine to your dishes. First up was weight and intensity. If you had a rich, meaty lunch planned, then a robust red with lots of flavour was ideal, that way the wine would have as much impact as the dish. On the other hand, if fish was on the menu, we suggested serving a wine that wouldn't overpower it - like a light neutral white. And then the we gave you a few more specifics for Christmas Day itself.
The crisp, fresh notes of our Blanc de Blancs Champagne and Taste the Difference Prosecco went great with the rich salty flavours of smoked salmon and scrambled eggs, perfect for a festive breakfast. Or if you were looking for something a bit lighter, you could have plumped for the delicious combination of real Clementine juice and sparkling wine in our Taste the Difference Bucks Fizz.
Last year we chose two wines to complement your Christmas roast. A pair of Rioja wines from Bodegas Muriel - a white and a red - which would go just as well with turkey, goose or duck. If beef was on the menu, a rich Shiraz like our Taste the Difference Gimlett Gravels Syrah (the other name for Shiraz) from New Zealand was also available. Or for lamb, a fine, mature Claret like our red Bordeaux Taste the Difference St. Emilion that had plenty of body.
Did you serve up a slice of Christmas pudding, a scoop of trifle, or a couple of mince pies last Christmas? The perfect accompaniment to their richness would have been the sweet floral fruitiness of a dessert wine. The same goes for cheese - Sauternes from France is a match made in heaven with Roquefort. And our dessert wine of choice in 2011? Our Taste the Difference Sauternes, produced exclusively for Sainsbury's by the famous Château Guiraud.
Port makes a delicious addition to any Christmas. As you might
guess, it comes from Portugal and is a fortified wine, which means
that grape spirit is added to halt the fermentation process before
all the sugar has turned to alcohol, hence its sweetness. Up to 18
grape varieties can be blended to make the wine.
There are several different types, depending on how the wine is made and aged.
Last up is the Late Bottled Vintage which also comes from a single harvest but is aged for longer in oak casks and filtered before bottling so it's ready to drink earlier than Vintage Port. LBVs are rich with sweet blackberry fruit flavours like those in Sainsbury's Late Bottled Vintage Port.