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Wine for the Festive Season

As the autumn leaves fall to the ground and the dark days closes in for winter, there is no better time to talk warming, soothing and festive wines.

One of my favourite warming wines is ‘Eileen’, Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Cristom Vineyards in Oregon, USA. The 2013 is deep red with Asian spice and soft red berries on the nose. Silky on the palate before you get Cherry, Raspberry and Star Anise. The marvellous aftertaste is lingering with soft spice and silky tannins with a subtle hint of Chocolate. A perfect wine for cold wintry days. A match made in heaven for winter game or just conversation in front of the fire.

On the soothing wine front I would go for Nelson Estate, Cabernet Sauvignon/ Merlot from Paarl in South Africa. A dark ruby red wine with an aromatic blackberry nose that has a hint of slight smoke. The palate offers a full-bodied yet elegant character with blackcurrant and soft, supple tannins.  To round off this soothing wine you have warm spices on the finish. Goes perfectly with roast beef!

Festive wines are usually regarded to be of the bubbly character. True, but why not try something different to make your taste buds really like you?

Consolation, Antic, Rivesaltes Ambre 1985 Languedoc-Roussillon, France. It is a fantastic versatile dessert wine. The grapes are Grenache Blanc , Grenache Gris, Macabeu and Muscat. The first surprise is on the nose. You get Cognac at first then smoky caramel. Then on the palate you are greeted with warming flavours of fig and dried prunes, all mixed with dark honey and a small hint of Cognac. Supple sweet and light on the aftertaste.  As an aperitif, with dessert or celebrate with some really good cheeses.

To find out more about festive wine at Rockliffe Hall phone the team on 01325 729999 or email