Exceptional wines for the coming times

Christmas is coming! The goose is getting fat, please put your pennies in Raymond Gleug’s old Panama hat!

Saturday, 20th November 2021, 6:00 am

Lord knows, I need them. And yes, dear tipplers, you have permission to strike me down right now and to use my lean, muscular frame as your own personal trampoline.

But the truth is that someone had to say it first.

Enter, therefore, the fearless R. Gleug, who for his next trick will point you in the direction of some exceptional wine at very fair prices for the oncoming mayhem.

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An Occasional Tipple With Raymond Gleug

It’s never too early to start preparing for Christmas, folks.

Most of you will end up eating turkey as usual.

People are boring, it’s a fact. For me, turkey seems a bit of a dry old bird so I’m much more likely to be found eyeing up the local geese. Nonetheless, I am here to serve you, not to pontificate.

So why not moisten your own drab bird a little by matching it with a glass or two of today’s Wine of the Week, the finely scented, delightfully dry and satisfyingly savoury 2020 Alsace Riesling (£7.99, Lidl)?

This complex white has a vibrantly aromatic bouquet, full of pear and herb flavours before a fruity, citrussy palate and a clean tingly finish. Plenty of lemony zip and almondy bite, it will be a very easy-drinking and nicely priced companion to all your festive fare.

Of course, before you get to the turkey, you’ll want to crack open a bottle of bubbly to wash down the appetisers.

Today’s second recommendation, the effervescent, nuanced and ferociously crisp Bissinger Champagne Premier Cuvee Brut (£19.99, also Lidl) is perfect for parties and special occasions.

Brimful of citrus and green apple flavours alongside hints of brioche, this extremely well-priced fizz expertly blends Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay and is a very welcome mouthful of summer that’s guaranteed to brighten up even the bleakest of wintry days.

Lovers of red, I will never forget you. Today’s final recommendation comes from the superb M&S Found range which champions lesser known grape varieties made by growers who employ sustainable practices.

The 2019 Found Mazuelo Rioja (£8.50) has a full-frontal attack of ripe raspberry and blackberry flavours alongside soft tannins and dark floral aromatics which leads to a delicately spiced palate before a rich, lingering finish. Robust enough to withstand the strong flavours of goose, it will also be a fine companion to grilled lamb chops on a cold winter evening.

Now, if you’re reading, Santa Claus (and this applies equally to you Mammy, Daddy and my darling wife, the illustrious Madame G), there are some books I’d like this year- PM me for details- as well as a puzzle by Escher.

I’d also like to go to London to see Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure.

And if there’s still room on your sledge, a digital radio would be nice. An electric toothbrush too. And a voucher for Next or M&S so that I might update my loungewear.

That should do it.

Some decent wine with my goose in good company wouldn’t harm either.

Yes, we’re officially in the mouth of Christmas, or nearly there.

We dodged the worst of it last year, thanks to the Covid pandemic, but there’s no escaping it now.

So let’s eat, drink and be merry!

Till next week, tipplers, sante!

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