Thursday, December 07, 2023

Christmas Dinner Wine Pairings December 2023

Bassenthwaite Lake Station, Cumbria, Thursday 07-December-2023.

Another wine tasting at Bassenthwaite Lake Station. As usual we booked ourselves into the Pheasant Inn for a dinner, bed and breakfast deal. We had an early supper before the tasting so we weren’t drinking on an empty stomach. Luckily we only had a main course.

What we hadn’t realised was that, instead of the usual small plate of cheese and pate, this was a full on food pairing with a small dish to accompany every wine! It was like eating two meals in rapid succession. Fortunately the portions were canapĂ© sized so we managed without being completely stuffed. Mary being dairy free her plates were often different from mine.

Name of wine, Shop or Supplier, Country 

  • Food Pairing 
  • Tasting notes - appearance, nose, palate 
  • Mary’s Notes.


0. Mulled wine comparison Bassenthwaite Lake Station or Aldi  

  • Mince Pie (no alternative for special diets or allergens) 
  • One is a shop-bought tipple, one is home-made using Merlot wine. Cost - £1.99 or £9 per bottle. 
  • a. slight vegetal nose, not very sweet, no distinct flavours (Aldi)
  • b. spicy nose lots of cinnamon, deeper, sweeter (BLS)


1.  Sancerre Domaine Jean Thomas 2021, 13.5% Lakeland Vintners France

  • Smoked Salmon and cream cheese en croute Good match with the Sancerre.
  • Smoked Salmon and chive (DF) Best with the Chablis.
  • Aromatic and pungent, this crsip, zesty Sauvignon Blanc displays the distinct grassy notes of a top-notch Sancerre. A really good pairing for light cream cheese and poached dishes with acidity to cut through and balance any butteriness. 
  • Pungent nose, zesty, slightly grassy, .

2. Domaine Testut Vieilles Vignes Chablis, 2019  France

  • Prawn cocktail Good match with the Chablis.
  • Tofu cocktail (vegan) Best with the Sancerre.
  • Made from hand-picked perfectly ripe Massale grapes (a clone of Chardonnay) Elegant and with perfectly-balanced minerailty, this will develop in your glass as you drink. 
  • Light nose, clean, no oak; smooth, some body, mineral.


3. Wide River Chenin Blanc, 13% Lakeland Vintners South Africa 

  • Sage and onion stuffing ball
  • Veggie sausage in leek (vegan) Best with the Grenache blanc.
  • This amazing value Chenin Blanc is soft, fruity and aromatic with an acidic balance. Its ability to pair with roast chicken and pork and all the trimmings makes it an ideal pairing for stuffing. 
  • Typical Chenin blanc nose; aromatic.

4 Grenache Blanc 172, Selection Parcellaire, 12.5% Lakeland Vintners France

  • Mushroom and Chestnut Arancini Good match.
  • Rich and expressive, this elegant wine has notes of ripe tropical fruits and a touch of lime. With enough acidity to balance, it will pair well with richer vegetable dishes. Contains Mushrooms
  • Rich, tasty, interesting; more complex flavours.


5. Henry Fessy Brouilly 13.5% 2019 Lakeland Vintners France

  • Pig in Blanket Good match.
  • One of the favourites at our recent Beaujolais tasting, we felt this was a perfect Christmas lunch wine with its crisp acidity to cut through the richness of the meal. Medium-bodied and very flavoursome, this fruit-dominated wine has fine tannins and great elegance. 
  • at last month’s Beaujolais tasting.


6 Chateau Corbin 2021, 14.5% Lakeland Vintners France

  • Turkey Yorkshire pudding & rich gravy
  • Veggie haggis in yorkshire pudding & veggie gravy (vegan) Good match.
  • Immensely rich and bold, this amazingly smooth Corbin is full of ripe prunes and plum aromas and smooth tannins. Can hold its own, and enhance, any traditional roast dinner. 
  • at this tasting! Smooth, balanced, complex, lovely.


7. Colosia Pedro Ximinez sherry, 17%, half bottle Lakeland Vintners Spain 

  • Christmas Pudding and brandy sauce
  • Vegan Christmas Pudding (no nuts) and DF sauce Perfect match.
  • An exquisite dark-coloured wine with heady notes of raisins, plums and figs and rich molasses on the palate. Great with Christmas pudding or poured generously over good quality vanilla icecream. Think liquid Christmas pudding flavours! Standard Christmas pudding contains nuts
  • , lovely, refined; Rich, sweet, but not too cloying.


Cheeseboard comprising 

  • Mature cheddar and fruit cake
  • Stilton
  • Rocquefort (sheeps milk) 
  • Torpenhow brie 

8. Hornhead Malbec, 13% Lakeland Vintners France

  • A great-value, soft French red, perfect with stronger cheeses and hearty dishes. 
  • Soft, fruity, plummy; bit sweet.

9. Pocas 10 year old Tawny Port Lakeland Vintners Portugal 

  • This elegant wine is matured in oak and has a bouquet of dried fruits and plums. Enjoy with Stilton, blue-veined french cheese, walnuts or treacle tart some cheese biscuits contain nuts
  • Nice tawny, sweet, fruity, nutty .

10. Mitchells, Clare Valley, Noble Semilion 2018, 10.5% Lakeland Vintners Australia  

  • A silky, well-balanced, South Australian sweetie with intense orange candy and tropical fruit flavours. Ideal with pate or blue cheese. Sublime with Roquefort.
  • Yummy, proper botrytis nose and taste .

At the end the leftovers are put on the bar for people to help themselves.

We were kept company by Poppy, the station lab.

A short stagger back to the Pheasant Inn for a nightcap where I felt like a python who had swallowed a goat.

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