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White wines for Christmas

Over the next few weeks you will be planning lunches and dinner for family, friends and colleagues so here are some tips to help you choose some white wines for Christmas that will make each occasion special. 

To get proceeding underway you will need to stock up on sparking wine, something that is an affordable crowd pleaser as well as something a little more special.  If you would normally buy Cava, this year you may want to try a Rose Cava from Requena.  Also, a good Prosecco from Italy works on many levels, smooth, off dry and fruity and good value for money.   For something a bit special you try a vintage Champagne, two of my favourites are Roederer and Lallier.

A cocktail made with a sparkling wine is a great way to get the party started, try a Kir Royal, Cava or Champagne with a touch as cassis, seems very 1970’s but is coming back in fashion.   

Seafood will be on every menu between now and new year so having the right wines is important.  An aromatic Albariño with lively acidity is the perfect grape to accompany seafood.   You should have a good Fino or Manzanilla, which are perfect partners to a wide range of seafood as well as being an excellent aperitif.  If you haven’t tasted the sherries from Fernando de Castilla I recommend you do so.  If you are feeling adventurous and want to surprise your guests with you knowledge of wines from further afield, why not try a Fiano from southern Italy, or a Torrontes from Argentina, with its zesty citrus and peach flavours, both of which will add a bit of international flair to the occasion.

If you are serving fish, particularly an oily fish such as salmon, you will need a white wine with good acidity to counterbalance the fish.  A Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand is a guaranteed success and is phenomenally popular served with fish all over the world.  Another wine to consider is a cool climate Chardonnay from Australia or Chile, which will have the crisp acidity to cut through the fish oil. If you fancy something with a little more complexity try Riesling from the Mosel in Germany.  Closer to home here in Valencia, a well made Merseguera is an ideal partner to local seafood from the Mediterranean, one of my favourites is Finca Calvestra from Bodegas Mustiguillo.

Finally, it’s always worth stocking up on a few fortified and sweet wines. An amontillado sherry goes wonderfully with cheese  When buying a sweet wine, go for something light and delicate, such as a Late Harvest Muscat from Chile.  If you budget can afford it buy a Sauterne, it will add another dimension to the dessert or cheese selection.

Next week I will share with you some tips on which red wines to consider.

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I am a Northern Irishman based in Valencia. My career in wine began more than three decades ago, in London. I am the founder of TheWinePlace.es, an online store, where wine enthusiasts can enjoy a selection of international wines and Verde Marte, a company dedicated to exporting Spanish wines. Also, Thewineplace.courses, an "approved program provider" of the courses of the prestigious WSET. I share my passion for wines through my media work writing weekly columns for the Spanish newspaper El Mundo and 5 Barricas, an online wine magazine.

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