O Little Star

It was Middle Boy's first ever nativity play today. As always, we were asked to bring mince pies to be handed out to parents & grandparents afterwards. And for once, instead of resorting to my usual bribery accepting of donations from my mother/mother-in-law I thought I'd make my own. Bad decision: pastry went wrong, pastry cutters went AWOL and I went a bit sweary. Next year, I'm back to fake baking. As for the play, it was one of the sweetest things I've ever seen. Left me with a warm glow, helped by the mulled wine.

Now, a few of you have been asking for Christmas wine recommendations (so organised). Obviously, some wines work better than others with festive grub - Chardonnay, Semillon or Viognier are good if you want white with turkey; for reds then Pinot Noir or something from the Rhone is a good bet. But given there are so many potentially delicious combinations, if you tell me where you'll be buying your wine and what your main ingredient is (turkey, goose, beef, veggie) I can give you specific wines to look for. Simply email details (where/what) and I'll send you some recommendations. I'll be buying mine next week; any sooner and I'll drink them.

Current white in the fridge: Grüner Veltliner 2011, £8.99 if you buy 2, Majestic
Imagine Sauvignon Blanc, but not so shouty and with something of a white pepper kick to it. That, to me, is what this is. Still aromatic, but slightly more florally fragrant than Sauvignon. I know you know what I mean. Made from the Gruner Veltliner grape, this is made in the Wachau region of Austria, and is just lovely. Crisp, dry, memorable. One to have a small glass of as you stare at the fridge and wish it could magically produce supper for you. 

Current red in the rack: Quinta do Crasto Douro 2010, £10, Tesco.com
To Portugal, specifically to the steep slopes of the Douro Valley where the vineyards of Quinta do Crasto lie. It really is one of the most breathtakingly beautiful wine regions in the world, and its most famous export - port - has left everything else slightly struggling for attention. Until now, that is. Portugal is turning heads with its non-fortified red wines and this place is one of the best. Made from Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz and Touriga Franca (all grapes used in making port) this is a brambly gem. Loved cold beef and chips almost as much as I did. 

Peace out, winos x

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