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Home News > December 2019 > SWA Christmas Menu 2019

Each year the Christmas festivities provide the perfect platform us to showcase some of our medal-winning wines. So what SWA winners will our team be choosing this year?

Christmas Eve dinner by Micaela Martins Ferreira, competition director

Our Christmas Eve is always full of joy, family chatters and food everywhere. There will be 20 people around my table this year eating traditional Portuguese Bacalhau (salted cod) plus hundreds of puddings and cakes, so it’s always tricky to please everyone’s palates! I think Eschenhof Holzer, Zero-G, Grüner Veltliner 2018, Wagram, Austria (£8.90, Berkmann Wine Cellars, Gold and Food Match) will satisfy my family over the main meal, its pureness and mineral notes will help us maintain a clean palate. Moreover, at our extensive table of puddings we never neglect a bottle of Port, this is a special Christmas for all of us so I will choose C. da Silva, Dalva, 20 Year Old Tawny NV, Douro, Portugal (£34.20, Matthew Clark, Gold). It will make the night very cosy. Happy Christmas!

Christmas breakfast by Chris Losh, competition chairman

Christmas breakfast chez la famille Losh tends to be a thoroughly civilised salmon and scrambled eggs affair – something special, but light enough that you can still manage your body-weight in food later on in the day. Typically, we’d be looking for a cheeky little non-vintage Champagne like Charles Heidsieck or Pol. But in an atypical fit of patriotism, and to celebrate the fact that our domestic wine industry is one of the few things to be optimistic about in the UK at the moment, I think this year I’ll stay British. There’s loads of great English fizz in the SWA Gold List, but for me the Hattingley Valley, Classic Reserve NV (£19.20, Enotria & Coe, Gold) is a stand-out wonderful wine for the money. Made by the lovely Emma Rice it’s fresh, zesty and balanced, with a moreishly creamy mousse. The perfect start to the day.

Christmas lunch by Christine Parkinson, head of judging

Last year we had a venison pot roast that was such a success we are staying with it. The deep flavours of the meat really need a wine with character, but also some generosity, as venison is fairly lean. This is the perfect excuse to open an Amarone, and this year I’m choosing Zenato, Amarone della Valpolicella Classico, 2015, Veneto, Italy (£35.15, Eurowines, Gold and Critics Choice). Yes, it's a big wine, but this is Christmas - there's time for a snooze later if needed! Plus it's a really Christmassy wine, a sort of savoury prelude to the Christmas pud, with ample, gentle tannins and just about every Christmas flavour you can think of, from prunes to chocolate.

Christmas pudding by Amy Seabrook, head of marketing

Following my favourite lunch of the year, where I will inevitably over indulge, I think I’ll opt for a simple pud; a warmed mince pie and ice cream. Taking me back to a trip to Budapest in May this year, I will pair this with a small glass of Gold winning Tokaj, the Szepsy, Szamorodni, 2013 (50cl, £38.09, Top Selection, Gold). This complex wine has delicious notes of apricot and quince on the palate (Christmas in a bottle) and will be an ideal match with the almond in the mince pie. Perfect for sending me into an afternoon slumber.

Christmas supper by Ed Warr, events producer

After hours of supping banging wine and fizz I want to move on to something that will. One, pair with my carry around cheese board packed with all the blue and strong hard cheeses you can shake a cheese knife at. Two, something loaded with citrus freshness and a little sweetness to help give me a second wind, and with Albourne Estate, 40 Vermouth NV, England (£14.38, Sheridan Coopers / The Winehouse , South Downs Cellars, Gold), we can get on to the cocktails until the early hours!

Boxing Day leftovers by Jacopo Mazzeo, news editor

It’s 26 December. You and your family have made Bacchus proud over the past couple of days of ritual madness. You’ve eaten like there’s no tomorrow. You’ve also chugged a deplorably high number of special-occasion bottles, including that 2011 vintage port you were too afraid to crack open last year. Once peacefully resting on their side in your cellar, those sleeping beauties are now lying lifelessly inside the glass recycling bin.

The festivities are starting to take a toll on you. If you want to reach New Year’s Eve in one piece, it’s time to give your palate a break from all those palate-coating tannins. It’s time to unleash the power of a mineral-driven Riesling. The Dreissigacker, Morstein Riesling, 2014 (£40.02, Liberty Wines, Gold) will serve the purpose. With its elegant nose of citrus, stone fruits and spices and well-balanced natural acidity, it would pair well with the wide range of leftovers from yesterday’s gargantuan food feasts.

With a bottle like this, the celebrations are far from being over, especially for you: make the most of Boxing Day’s relaxed atmosphere to grab everyone’s attention and start pontificating on the greatness of Riesling.

New Year’s Eve by Francesca Turra, sales executive

It's has been a very long time since I celebrated New Years Eve due to working as a sommelier in my previous job, however my Italian family normally tuck in to fish based dishes on this exciting night. I would pair them with one of my favourite grape varieties, a Pinot Noir. Calera, Pinot Noir, 2016, California (£23.55, Top Selection, Gold) would be a perfect choice for my family’s bouillabaisse fish soup. It’s a classic style, quite complex with a precise and firm tannin giving the right structure and weight to the dish.