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The Confidential Christmas Wine Choice

Phil Hamer has put his nose in enough glasses this year to know what might be best this Christmas

Published on December 11th 2007.

The Confidential Christmas Wine Choice

Having trawled through the region’s independent wine shops this year, and experienced an earth-shattering amount of different flavours this is the Confidential Choice for the choosy wine lover. These five wines should see you through the festive season and keep the tastebuds happy and fulfilled into the New Year.

Dr Loosen Blue Slate Riesling 2005
This is a delicious palate refresher from the Mosel made by the 2005 International Wine Challenge’s white wine maker of the year. The perfect aperitif but Riesling, arguably the most underrated grape variety, also has sufficient residual sugar to accompany flavoursome buffet foods. £7.50

Available from from Winos, Oldham, 0161 652 9396, and The Vineyard, Ramsbottom, 01706 822213.

Shivola Frizzante NV
Prosecca is fast replacing Cava as the more reasonably priced alternative to Champagne. This is a blend of two grape varieties 55% Prosecco and 45% Vespaiolo and at 11% is lighter in alcohol than many sparklers. Perfect for quaffing at any time it also goes well with fish and seafood. £6.50

Available from Heroes Deli, Norden, nr Rochdale, 01706 861239.

Carme 2006
Some of the finest reds currently produced are hailing from Spain’s Ribera del Duero region. I t is of course home to the famously rare and expensive Vega Sicilia but this is a uniquely fruit driven wine that is immediately enjoyable and will go perfectly with the most ambitious Christmas feast. £17

Available from Evuna, Deansgate, City, 0161 819 2752. If you want to really splash out they also have Valbuena, Vega Sicilia’s second label, at £145.

Tempus Two Moscato 2007
Moscato it can be argued is the only wine to accompany Christmas pud and this example is quite eclectic in that it is made in South Eastern Australia. At 8% volume it is light and delicious. £7 50

Available from Portland Wines, Hale, 0161 928 0357.

Niepoort LBV Port 2001
This has much of the finesse and power of vintage port but can be immediately poured and doesn’t require decanting. No Christmas is complete without port and this is a brilliant and very reasonably priced example. £12 99

Available from Love Saves The Day, Deansgate, City, 0161 834 2266.

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