Lorcan O’Brien, Wine Communications and Content Manager, O’Briens Wine
With the festive season upon us once again our minds inevitable turn to the social events we host or attend at this time of year. So, to keep things simple I have compiled some of the best wines from your local O’Briens to help you negotiate all your needs this Christmas period.
If you are hosting a party over the festive season there are some wine buying guidelines I recommend you follow to keep your guests happy. Firstly, choose a crowd-pleasing wine for both reds and whites. I recommend you serve a fresh and fruity wine in a dry to off-dry style that will please as many palates as possible.
To ensure you serve a good-quality wine without breaking the bank, picking a lesser-known grape or region could be an affordable option. Two hot favourites to recently hit the O’Briens shelves are the Wildflower Pinot Grigio and Wildflower Pinot Noir from Romania. Made with two of the most popular and recognisable grape varieties, these wines offer unbeatable value for money at €8.95 (down from €13.95). The Pinot Grigio is full of ripe melon and green apple fruits while the Pinot Noir is bursting with sweet cherry and strawberry flavours. Add in the attractive packaging and we have a festive party delight.
Alternatively, the Domaine Duffour from the Gascony region of southern France is an aromatic and attractive white wine made from the Colombard grape variety. Crafted by a father and son team, Domaine Duffour would be a delicious crowd-pleaser with crunchy red apple and tropical fruit flavours balanced by refreshing acidity. For the red wine drinkers, I highly recommend our perennial customer favourite Porta 6. This Portuguese stunner boasts vibrant bramble and plummy fruit and a touch of Christmas spice on the finish. At €9.95 each it is not hard to see why these two wines are some of the most popular on our shelves.
If you’re looking to put a little fizz in your festivities O’Briens have you covered with some excellent Italian sparkling wines. Our top-selling Arcobello Prosecco Frizzante (2 bottles for €20) and brand new Mitò Frizzante (€8.95 down from €11.95) both offer great value for money with bright pear and peach fruit flavours. Ideal to serve as an aperitif or to ring in the New Year.
Ultimately the entire festive season revolves around the Christmas day dinner. As the highlight meal of the year, here are some wines to help make your Christmas day dinner unforgettable.
To match a wine with the traditional turkey and ham it is important to remember that the sauce you serve is as important as the meat. If you prefer darker meat from the bird and lather your plate in rich gravy I recommend a big rich red wine to match. Our Rinforzo wine from the south of Italy is made from grapes that are partially dried in the baking Puglia sunshine. This drying process concentrates the flavour intensity in the resulting wine. Full-bodied, smooth tannins and bursting with dark cherry and mocha flavours, Rinforzo is a deliciously hedonistic festive wine (€14.95 down from €20.95).
Alternatively, if you prefer fish or a lighter cut of turkey with a cranberry or bread sauce on Christmas day, I recommend a fresh white wine with a good line of acidity to refresh the palate. The Insight Vineyard Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc at €12.95 (down from €18.95) would fit the bill perfectly. With bright fresh citrus and tropical passionfruit flavours, this wine is a wonderful example of why Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc is such a popular food-friendly wine style.