Drink in the Holidays

Start a new Christmas tradition with these festive wine that is sure to warm the soul

There’s no such thing as “Christmas wines”, however, most people tend to change the type of wines they drink during the festive season, and also tend to spend more for them.

The first change is the increase consumption of sparkling wines. Christmas is the best time of the year for Champagne houses because most people go deep into their pockets to buy Champagne, a product that is already quite overpriced.

If you want to enjoy a good sparkling wine, start looking outside Champagne. France has great sparkling wines made outside the Champagne area and at a fraction of the cost, check the crémant.

Italy would be a great choice for a great champagne alternative; but forget prosecco and get yourself a bottle or two of Franciacorta. And don’t forget Spanish Cava, which can be exceptional. You can also find interesting sparkling wines from California and Australia; avoid the cheap ones and you may be positively surprised.

The big dinners demand a good aged Bordeaux, or perhaps not. Again both Burgundy and Bordeaux are overpriced, and quality has been decreasing for the last few years. So again, start looking at other wine producing areas in France. For example, Cote Rotie or Chatuneauf du Pape, although probably not cheaper
than Bordeaux, produces amazing wines. Vacqueyras, Gigondas and the whites of the Loire Valley will bring lots of pleasure for less money.

If you are a Bordeaux lover, give Rioja wines a try, if you do your homework you will find them to be of similar quality but 30 to 70% cheaper. You can also have a look at Ribera del Duero and Navarra (all of these areas in Spain) for amazing good value wines. In Italy you can find great Nebbiolo wines (avoid Barolo if you are on a budget) as well as wines from Brunello de Montalcino or Taurasi that will make you forget the entire buzz about Bordeaux.

If Burgundy is your preferred area, you are not in luck for finding good substitutes. However, New Zealand Pinots are getting better and better, and so are those from Oregon and Washington. And if you want an alternative, look for quality Mencia from Bierzo, a hidden jewel that not many know.

In general, less well-known areas and less well-known grapes are likely to offer you more pleasure for the money, so be adventurous and try new things.

Share this story, choose your platform!

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on tumblr
Share on google
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on vk
Share on email
About the author:

Leave a Comment

Behind the Label

Is French wine about to hit bottom? France has the worldwide reputation for producing the best, and usually, the most expensive wines in the world. The five first growths of Bordeaux, also known as the Grand Crus, even though they are mass produced in the hundreds of thousands of bottles, easily reach astronomic prices around

Read More »

From a Virtual Restaurant to your Dining Table

No longer must restaurateurs rent space for a dining room to serve diners, Oi speaks to Rukmini Makkar about her new business What inspired you to start FEURO, and what does ” FEURO ” mean? Saigon is a vibrant melting pot of cultures, and has a wide array of delicious cuisines to offer, the founders

Read More »

Eat More Vegetables

Exploring Vietnam’s best vegetarian ingredients For many, Vietnam is a paradise for vegetarians of all kinds. Restaurants roll out a vegetarian menu for the first and 15th of every month for those looking for a bit of soul purification. Home cooks revel in a huge assortment of fruits and vegetables, changing with the season. And

Read More »

A Good Rose Is Good

Rosé rules. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Rosé wines are some of the most undervalued wines in the world. There are no particular reasons for this other than perhaps ignorance and misunderstanding them. In Asia, rosé wines are considered bad because “they are made from the bad red and white wines

Read More »

Chinese Comfort Food

Longstanding establishment Café Central opens a new location in District 5 Among Saigon’s most prominent food & beverage groups, WMC has long been known for its range of restaurant styles and signature menus that are always designed to appeal to broad tastes in dining. This year, the group has launched its latest venue by returning

Read More »

Staying In Is The New Going Out

ONHA.VN brings you the Paragon of Restaurants into your home, backed by high-end technology and culinary talents. Speed POS is a payment transactions and inventory software & hardware provider, as well as training center, servicing F&B, Retail and Hotels. First and foremost, Speed POS has become a household name within the world of restaurants, fast

Read More »