Wine Courses Corporate Wine Events About Private Wine Events Blog!

Back to archive

30th December 2014

Christmas Drinking Round-up

Some goodies from the cellar

I have a stash of old vintages and old wines that have followed me around, and are currently being stored at a place that is going to move, so even assuming that they may be happy to continue to store them in the new cellars, it seems like a good idea to prune some, rather than buying yet more bottles!

So, this Christmas seemed like an ideal opportunity to make a start as I was invited to some friends for (a delicious!) Christmas day lunch. Good wine is always even better when shared with good people...

Penfold's Kalimna Bin 28 Shiraz 1990
This wine only cost around £5 back when I bought it not that long after starting working at Oddbins. I wasn't expecting much to be honest. But on first pouring this has the fresh fruit of a wine much younger, which soon gave way to bramble jelly with dried fruit quality. I opened this on 23rd December, it had lost it by the next day, but mysteriously there was only one glass left...

Billecart Salmon 1989 Champagne
Golden colour but still perfectly fizzy. Honeycomb and praline, with straw and baked apple. Just about perfect. A great way to start Christmas day with friends. I have always loved Billecart-Salmon - all their wines are great (and still are!).

Grand Pontet St Emilion 1985 Bordeaux
I was a bit worried this might be a bit past-it, but no. All the forest floor and spices you'd expect but still plenty of soft red fruit, and reasonably full bodied with good balance and length. Not spectacular, but delicious and significantly better than expected.

Maculan Acininobile 1990 Veneto, Italy
A half bottle of this which I have kept for goodness knows how long. Quite deep and brown in colour but with a youthful and still oaky nose of pure botrytis. A little vin-santo-ish oxidation on the palate which certainly worked, adding a nuttiness to the marmalade and fruitcake flavours. Perfect with the pudding.

Sandeman 1977 Port
Great year, mid to good house house (certainly at the time), but a wonderful surprise. Lots of rosehip and cough mixture along with sweet spices and a plum flavours. Nicely balanced. A bit on the light side, but we finished the whole bottle - can't remember that happening last (there were three of us).

We walked to the pub in the afternoon and also knocked off a couple of pints (well, half litres) but remarkably no gueule de bois whatsoever the following day. Result!

Happy New Year! Slainte mhath!


Well, what a plethora of beauties to enjoy! And with friends too, what could be better? The £5 at Oddbins (in Wimbledon village perhaps?) made me smile too! [Adrian Pennelli, 19th May 2015]

Add comment
Your name
Your email (optional, will not be published)