Christmas is not just for the kids! So what is better than a countdown of 12 wines to Christmas Eve? This December, I decided to present my very personal Christmas wine advent calendar to you with 12 wines of Christmas that I have sorted at home to enrich the recommended wines section. In a nutshell: different countries, different tasting notes but always red wine.
To make it more interesting, you will find in each description:
🍷 Something about the wine
🍇 Something about the winery
💡 Some curious fact related to the wine
🍽 Some suggestions for pairing
Let the countdown start!
Mille e una Notte from Donnafugata
Fairy tales, anyone? This wine experience was definitely one! What’s best to start the Christmas wine advent calendar than this masterpiece:
🍷The Mille e Una Notte from Donnafugata is a gorgeous creation made of Nero d´Avola, Petit Verdot, Syrah and other varieties from Sicily. The aromas, the structure and the intense dark/almost black red, can make your day. If you are a fan of cherries, chocolates and tobacco aromas, this is a great option. I ended up many of my busiest days with a glass of this wine, and its elegant, velvety character gave the pinch of lush that one needs after work. Bonus points: this wine has a bit of my heart inside since it was one of the first presents I got on the first dates with the man who stole my heart.
🍇 Mille e Una Notte is produced by Donnafugata using only the best grapes of the year from the vineyards suitable for the wine. Donnafugata founders focus on pleasantness and complexity, so they want to produce wines capable of captivating and spreading happiness. They also want to represent the excellence of Made in Italy by combining art, wine and sustainability.
💡For the curious ones, the palace illustrated on the label is Palazzo Filangeri di Cutò where Queen Maria Carolina took refuge fleeing from Naples, the house loved by the writer Tomasi di Lampedusa; as an addition to the image, the sky gives tribute to the oriental literature capable of recounting 1001 tales.
🍽 This wine can warm up your winter nights, whether a casserole, a grilled dish, or mature cheese.
Merlot from Villa Loggio
A gift from Toscana for my Christmas wine advent calendar! Now featuring this beauty from Italy.
🍷This Merlot from Villa Loggio is an intense, complex, elegant and full-bodied wine I got to know during the Wine Fair in Berlin in 2019. I tried it, and I immediately got caught by the aromas of red fruits, fresh spices, minerals and that strong Italian touch. One thing that really surprised me from this wine was the strong and long-lasting tannins; there was a quite spicy long ending that delighted me; also, the astringency of the wine made it special to me. Additional note, the wine has 14,5% of alcohol, so quite a piece!
🍇 Apart from being a winery, Villa Loggio is also a luxury holiday farm in the middle of an ancient wine estate in Tuscany. Located in Cortona, close to Montepulciano, the winery is known for producing robust red wines. Most of its 50 hectares are dedicated to red grapes, such as Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
💡This wine is called Vulca. Vulca is the name of the most famous Etruscan sculptor. He created the sculpture, the “Apollo of Fiji”, commissioned for the Temple of Jupiter on the Capitol in the heart of Rome.
🍽 The wine usually goes good with beef or lamb. Although my favourite pairing suggestion goes towards any of your favourite collection of cure meat and robust tasting mature cheese.
Cañus Verus Viñas Viejas from Bodega Covitoro
Now comes the Tinta de Toro to enhance the Christmas wine advent calendar. A wine from one of my favourite regions in Spain.
🍷This Cañus Verus Viñas Viejas from Bodega Covitoro @covitoro is a sublime experience of Spanish wine. Made with 100% Tinta de Toro, the wine has a very intense cherry colour and fruity aromas with a vanilla touch. One thing that caught my attention was the outstanding wine tears that the wine left in the glass, quite elegant touch while enjoying it.
🍇 Bodega @covitoro is born as an initiative from a group of viticulturists from the Denomination of Origin Toro, from where the autochtonous Tinta de Toro is from; precursors of this denomination of origin.
💡This wine comes from vines of more than 80 years old. The grape variety is called “Tinta de Toro”, but genetically it belongs to a Tempranillo climatized to the Zamora region in Castilla y Leon, Spain. Also, it is being said that the wine made of Tinta de Toro was the drink chosen for Christopher Columbus´ trip to America.
🍽 This wine is perfect for stews of all types and also red meat dishes. My recommendation: to drink it alone! It is so delicious that it is better to enjoy it with a good conversation.
Zweigelt from Weingut Huber
A Zweigelt for my Christmas wine advent calendar. Today with a delicate piece from Austria.
🍷 This Zweigelt from Weingut Huber @weingut_markus_huber was a great addition to my wine collection from lower Austria. Apart from its ruby colour, something characteristic of this wine is the red berries aromas and soft tannins. Definitely, a wine which is different from what I usually enjoy and prefer in tintos but a great piece to enjoy with an afternoon snack or dinner.
🍇 Weingut Huber @weingut_markus_huber is a family-owned winery that produces wines characterized by elegance, fine minerality, precision and complexity. Their main goal is to produce white wines of the highest quality that reflect their origins. However, their red options are also a top option in terms of elegance.
💡Around 1/3 of the Austrian wine-growing area planted with red wine varieties has Zweigelt on it, making it the country’s most common red grape variety. The Zweigelt is a new Austrian hybrid grape created in 1922 to cross St. Laurent and Blaufränkisch grapes.
🍽 This wine will accompany perfectly any type of pasta or dishes with potatoes. However, my favourite pairing for it was homemade bread and black olives tapenade.
Reserva 2012 from Bodega Palador
Today a la Rioja! One Palador with style! Pleasing my senses with a Reserva from the Rioja region, a perfect complement for the Christmas wine advent calendar.
🍷 This Reserva 2012 is a mix between ripe fruits, elegance and roasted oak. Once you pour the wine, the aromas of blackberry, cherry, oak and herbs invite you to take the first sip. Made of a combination of 95% Tempranillo and 5% Graciano, the wine has quite fine tannins and a touch of vanilla at the end of the experience. Verdict: quite a good representation of Rioja wines.
🍇 Bodega Palador de Valdelana is located in the heart of the Rioja Alavesa, a region that produces wines that are among the best ones and are regularly awarded top ratings at international tastings. Palador focused on the varieties of Garnacha, Mazuelo, Graciano, and of course Tempranillo.
💡For many people, Rioja is a symbol of Spanish red wine and Tempranillo. In the region, the wines are differentiated according to the degree of maturity and ageing time in the barrels; that’s how we get wines in Joven, Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva.
🍽 This Reserva is perfect for any type of cheese, grilled or roasted recipes. My personal suggestion is grilled vegetables!
Red Wine Blend from Ricci Curbastro Farm
A wine from Curtefranca DOC to enjoy the Christmas wine calendar. Now an Italian wine.
🍷 Today’s wine is a blend of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Barbera. This wine was a bday gift and belonged to the list of wine that waits for me to try in a couple of months. It is being said that the wine has a dark ruby red, aromas of wood, ripe fruit and a mix between acidity and softness.
🍇 Ricci Curbastro Farm comprises a farm and a cellar, a wine museum, a farmhouse, and a Green Granary antiques. They are 100% committed to sustainability via the lower waste of resources and the increase in the well-being of all stakeholders. They work in aspects such as reducing carbon footprint, using the energy from the sun, protecting biodiversity with the endangered breed of chickens, Romagna hen, saving energy with led lighting, using less water, recycling, and basing all on organic viticulture.
💡Curtefranca refers to white and red wines produced in the northern Italian province of Brescia, Lombardy. Red wines from the region should have a bright red colour, fruity smell, herbal notes and alcohol content of at least 11%
🍽 This wine goes well with red meats, cold cuts, and aged cheeses.
Merlot del Ticino DOC from Castello di Morcote
A castle and fine wine for the Christmas Advent Calendar. Now featuring wine from the Italian corners of Switzerland.
🍷 This Merlot del Ticino DOC from Castello di Morcote belongs to the wines I am looking forward to trying and enjoying. The wine has an intense cherry red colour and a bouquet of dark red fruits with spices. Additionally, the wine is described as very fine, velvety, full-bodied with balanced tannins… It sounds likes a perfect match for me!
🍇 Located in Morcote, Ticino, the Castello di Morcote DOC vineyards represent a family of four generations. Basically, the Giannini family grows wine in a landscape where wine was vinified as far back as Roman times. The landscape close to the lake and the volcanic activity due to the formation of the Alps are good for their grape varieties of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay and Sauvignon, and the wild thyme and olives are grown in the area. The main goal of the vineyard is to create grapes of high quality to produce expressive aromatic wines.
💡 The label of the wine features the Castello di Morcote located close to Lugano lake in Switzerland. The castle was built on the ruins of a Lombard Tower around 1100. It was then donated to the Paleari family as a reward for facilitating the victory of the Confederate forces in the Battle of Giorno.
🍽 This wine goes well with red meat, mushroom-based dishes and particularly with rabbit.
Pinot Noir from Clos Henri
Adding to the Christmas Advent Calendar a Pinot Noir from @closhenrivineyards. Now featuring wine from New Zealand.
🍷 This Pinot Noir from Marlborough displays fruit and spice aromas, featuring mainly cherries, strawberries and plums. Its character is elegant with a hint of minerality in the experience.
🍇 Clos Henri is a vineyard established by Henri Bourgeois from Sancerre, France. His family has been traditionally growing Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir for ten generations and brought all this knowledge to New Zealand. In their vineyards, the vines are planted to a higher density than is normally seen in Marlborough, but which is traditional in France. This forces competition between the vines, which makes them work harder to produce high-quality, concentrated berries.
💡 Marlborough is New Zealand’s most important wine region. It is a dry, sunny region that produces more than three-quarters of all New Zealand wine. The most popular variety over there is Sauvignon Blanc. In recent years, the region’s earliest Pinot Noir vines have come of age and are now producing first-class wines.
🍽 This wine is perfect to accompany red meat and oily fish.
Prince from Braca Rajkovic
Now the Prince! A great Prokupac from @braca_rajkovic, featuring a wine from Serbia.
🍷 Prince from @braca_rajkovic is a wine made from the indigenous Serbian grape variety Prokupac. Displaying a dark ruby red, this wine has notes of black currants mixed with tobacco and vanilla. Without a doubt, it was a delight for my taste; the 18 months in the barrique (Serbian and French oak) favoured the final wine experience.
🍇 The Rajkovic family combines tradition, love and dedication to produce their wines. Their wine tradition dates from 1834, although it is being told that this tradition is more than a century old. The Rajkovic family is the bearer of one of the oldest awards for wine in Serbia since their ancestor Milos Rajkovic received King Aleksandar I Karadjordjevic in 1933 for wine from the autochthonous grape variety of the Rskavac.
💡 Prokupac is a red Serbian wine grape characteristic for its high sugar levels prior to harvest and hence the high levels of alcohol that follows its fermentation.The Prokupac is widespread in Serbia because it is resistance to low temperatures, it does not require much care and it has high sugar content.
🍽 This wine is a winner for mature cheeses, spicy and roasted dishes, lamb and my favourite pairing prosciutto.
2011 Calmel & Joseph Minervois Les Terroirs
Now featuring a piece from Languedoc-Roussillon. Time for a noble bottle from France.
🍷 This 2011 Calmel & Joseph Minervois Les Terroirs is a blend of 60% Syrah, 40% Grenache. This red rich, intense wine features plums and dry figs aromas. The wine is quite powerful, intense but it has a soft finish.
🍇 Founded in 1995, Calmel & Joseph is a Maison de négoce specializing in Languedoc-Roussillon wines from private wineries from across the region. They believe in the potential of the region; hence they develop close relationships with winegrowers. Their work is then focused on making wines that reflect their experience in winemaking.
💡 Minervois is an appellation for distinctive red wines from the western Languedoc in France. The most popular grapes cultivated in the region are Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre.
🍽 The best pairing suggestion for this wine is lamb, wild meat and salamis.
Sol de Chile Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon – Syrah
The sun of Chile shines on a December day! Featuring now the best expression of Chile.
🍷 The Sol de Chile Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon-Syrah is a gift to the taste buds. Coming from the Maule Valley, this wine is a good balance between smooth and tannins. The wine experience includes a mix between blackberry, oak and tobacco. A full-bodied wine yet quite smooth and light to drink.
🍇 Viña De Aguirre produces wines that carry on the magic of Chile’s sun. Being a 100% family company with a strong agricultural tradition, the vineyard has the following pillars trust, responsibility, respect for the environment and teamwork. The vineyards are located in Villa Alegre, in the heart of the Maule Valley, one of the iconic wine regions in Chile.
💡 The Maule Valley was one of the first areas in Chile where vines were planted. According to history, the start of the viticulture there dated from the colonisation time. The valley is known for massive wine production; however, the region also features premium wines and increasing quality production after recent technology investments.
🍽 I would personally pair this wine with a good conversation on a romantic date. No need for more! But if you insist… then a nice lamb or chicken dish will do wonders.
Kiezwein redwine from Weinmanufaktur Berlin
Celebrating Christmas with German wine and a quite personal story! Christmas Eve arrives with the German wine that responsible for making me fall in love.
🍷 The Kiezwein Redwine is the masterpiece from @weinmanufaktur_berlin made with Portuguese grapes. Featuring a ruby red colour, the wine has strong red currants, and cherry notes that end with an oaky touch product of the 14 months of ageing in French barriques. Being a perfect mix between fruity and smoky, the wine is quite elegant with velvety tannins.
🍇 @weinmanufaktur_berlin transports the identity of Berlin in a wine. It associates the neighbourhood (Kiez) with togetherness. Drinking Kiezwein is to share a piece of Berlin with your loved ones while telling your best stories from the city; it is a unique experience made from Brandenburg grapes paired with the Berlin charm.
💡 The label of this wine features the Berlin map and the number 44 as a reference to the postcode of Neukölln, the area of Berlin where the wine brand was originally created. Additionally, Kiezwein was the reason why I gave my phone number to the man who’s now the love of my life…I think I was hunting a wine story.
🍽 This wine pairs good with a ham and cheese platter, as well as roasted/grilled dishes. My personal preference goes to aged Gouda cheese and, of course, a delicious Christmas dinner.
I hope you all enjoy these Wines of Christmas countdown. Feel free to share your favourite wine in the comments below or send me a DM on my Instagram! I will be happy to try it too! If you are a beginner in the world of wine, get your knowledge upgraded with the following wine basics for beginners. Also, if you are interested in more content related to wine, visit this blog section and check new articles every month! Merry Christmas!