Tag Archives: Christmas Pudding
It is that time of the year again – the run up to Christmas when mail boxes are bombarded with supermarkets’ publicity for all kinds of Christmas fare, including wine suggestions for the festive season.
There is always a good selection of Champagnes on offer to suit all tastes and pockets, including multi-buy offers, which, incidentally, are now being outlawed in Britain in an attempt to combat and reduce binge drinking! No fear of that in France, where we are constantly reminded to drink in moderation.
But in this article, I want to put on one side my favourite tipple and recommend a good pudding wine to accompany the traditional British Christmas Pudding. This year, we are spending Christmas with friends in ‘Blighty’ and the New Year with family in France.
It is not easy to match a pudding wine with such a rich end to the traditional British Christmas dinner, but I think that a Maury from the Agly valley (inland from Perpignan) in the Roussillon wine region of South Western France will fit the bill. Maury, which was granted its ‘appellation d’origine controlee’ (AOC) status in 1936, is a fortified wine and the French equivalent of Port. It is a red wine, mahogany-coloured and made essentially from Grenache grape varieties, at least 75% of the wine being composed of Grenache Noir.
Maury is a ‘vin doux naturel’ and is vinified in a process which is similar to that of Port, except that its initial aging is in large glass jugs, known as ‘les dames jeannes’. The wine also benefits from later aging in old oak casks for up to 15 years, as well as some bottle aging. It has an ABV of 16%.
My younger brother-in-law, who is a connoisseur of and introduced me, a number of years ago, to the delights of the Languedoc-Roussillon wines, gave me, for my Birthday last year, a couple of bottles of a 1992 ‘vieille reserve’- produced and bottled by the ‘Vignerons de Maury’ described by the celebrated Master of Wine writer, Jancis Robinson, as the finest wine co-operative in the world – and I shall be opening one of them to accompany this year’s Christmas Pudding. I cannot wait to do so and I shall open the other bottle at New Year!
So, why not try some Maury yourself and ensure a fitting and memorable end to the Christmas Dinner, with an explosion of flavours from the combination of the richness and spiciness of the pudding and the robustness of the wine, which will not fail to delight the taste buds!