Christmas is not just for the kids! So what is better than a countdown of 12 wines to Christmas Eve? In order to enrich the recommended wines section, 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. In a nutshell: different countries, different tasting notes but always red wine.
To make it more interestting, 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 that are 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.
🍽 Whether a casserole, a grilled dish, or mature cheese, this wine can warm up your winter nights.
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 that I got to know during the Wine Fair in Berlin in 2019. I tried it and I inmeditalely got caught by the aromas of red fruits, fresh spices, minerals and that strong italian touch. One thing that it 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 Veji” 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 very strong 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 vanille touch. One thing that caught my attention were the very fine wine tears that the wine left in the glass, quite elegant touch while enjoying it.
🍇 Bodega @covitoro is borned as an initiative from a group of viticulturists from the Denomination of Origin Toro, from where the autoctonous Tinta de Toro is from; in fact they were 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 really good 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. Definetly 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 which are characterized by their elegance, fine minerality, precision and complexity. Their main goal is to produce white wines of the highest quality that reflect their origins. Although 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 most common red grape variety in the country. The Zweigelt is a new Austrian hybrid grape created in 1922 as product of crossing St. Laurent and Blaufränkisch grapes.
🍽 This wine will accompany perfectly any type of pasta or dishes with potatoes. However, my favourite pariring 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 a 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, region that produces wines which 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 symbol of Spanish red wine and Tempranillo. In the region, the wines are differentiated according to the degree of maturity and aging time in the barrels, that’s how we get wines in the categories of Joven, Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva.
🍽 This Reserva is perfect for any type of cheese, grilled or roasted recipes. My personal suggestion are 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 belongs 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 the antiques of a Green Granary. They are 100% commited to sustainability via the lower waste of resources and the increase in the well-being of all stakeholders. They work in aspects such as reduction of carbon footprint, usage of 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 a wine from the italian corners of Switzerland.
🍷 This Merlot del Ticino DOC from Castello di Morcote belongs to the wines that I am looking forward to try and enjoy. The wine has a 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… sounds like s really good match for me!
🍇 Located in Morcote, Ticino, the Castello di Morcote DOC vineyards are property of a family of four generations. Basically the Gianini family grows wine in a landscape where wine was vinified as far back as Roman times. The landscape close to the lake as well as the volcanic activity due to the formation of the Alps is good for their grape varieties of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay and Sauvignon, as well as the wild thyme and olives grown in the area. The main goal of the vineyard is to create grapes of high qualiy to produce expressive aromatic wines.
💡 The label of the wine features the Castello di Morcote located close to the Lugano lake in Switzerland. The castle was built on the ruins of a Lombard Tower around 1100 and was then donated to the Paleari family as a reward for facilitating the victory of the Confederate forces in the Battle of Giornico.
🍽 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 a wine from New Zealand.
🍷 This Pinot Noir from Marlborough displays fruit and spieces 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 is to force 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 some 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 indigenous Serbian grape variety Prokupac. Displaying a dark ruby red, this wine has notes of black currants mixed with tobacco and vanilla. Without doubts it was a delight for my taste; the 18 months in the barrique (Serbian and French oak) played in favour to the final wine experience.
🍇 The Rajkovic family combines tradition, love and dedication to produce their wines. Their wine tradition dates from the 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 the Accolade of 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 wine growers. Their work is then focused on making wines which reflect their experience in the 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 after recent technology investments the region also features premiun wines and increasing quality production.
🍽 I would personally pair this wine with a good conversation in a romantic date, no need for more! But if you insist… then a nice lamb or chicken dish will make 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 a oaky touch product pf the 14 months of aging 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 neighborhood (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 reference to the postcode of Neukölln, 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 preferrence 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 favorite 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!