Finding the perfect wine to pair with your Christmas feast is no walk in the Cascine. We asked three of our favourite wine experts to tell us which bottles from Tuscany they plan to imbibe this Yuletide.
I’ll be enjoying a traditional British Christmas dinner, but with a rather alternative Tuscan wine. The dinner is a tricky beast: tender, not super flavourful turkey, salty, chewy pigs in blankets, crunchy roast potatoes, leafy Brussels sprouts. There’s a lot going on. An intelligent, non-egotistical wine is required that does not wish to stomp on stage, tannins and big, full, fruity body booming. I choose a white from Croce di Febo, famous for their exquisite red Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, but instead I’ll be seeking out their small production of Somaio, which glows a little peachy in colour after 15 days of contact with the golden skins. Only 1,300 bottles produced, it has structure and texture as well as subtle flavours of quince, lemon peel and sage, refreshing after each mouthful of food. Made from native Tuscan varieties of Canaiolo Bianco (who even knew that existed?!), Malvasia and Trebbiano, it’s also a delight for veggie Christmas plates.
Sommelier, wine writer + Italian Wine Ambassador based in Tuscany
It’s a difficult one, but I have a wonderful magnum of Sassicaia 1985 and I would love to share that with the people I care about. But I also have some beautiful Sangiovese: Chianti Classico Gran Selezione from Cepparello, Castello di Fonterutoli ‘Badiòla’ and Il Marroneto Brunello di Montalcino ‘Madonna delle Grazie’.
Master of Wine since 2005, Italian wine expert, wine writer + consultant
This Christmas, I want to crack open a nice bottle of Chianti Classico. Actually two. One has to be a—false simple—2019 Castellinuzza e Piuca Chianti Classico Annata. Why? Because this organic cellar always releases so easy to drink and yet complex juicy wines for stunning value. The other wine I’ll crack open is a 1977 Riserva Ducale Oro from Ruffino. I had this bottle three times and every time is like Christmas: spicy and floral with a pomegranate-like acidity and a lovely licorice and forest floor finish.
Wine speaker, writer + educator based in Florence