Festive Selection 2023 – A Case of Yule

(Our annual apology to J Mitchell.) If you have been lucky enough to attend either one of our Case of Yule tastings in the last few years, or you dropped in for our free festive wine tasting a week ago, this format will not be a surprise to you. What we do is break the festive period and the ‘Big Day’ into different aspects and suggest wines for each occasion.  Here’s what we suggested this year:


It starts with a Pop!

Discuss: The Big Day starts with fizz… End of discussion(.

Mas Maci Brut Nature, Cava £14

A great value cava made with 0% added sugar at the second fermentation in the bottle to give deeper, yeasty flavours that can easily pass for something much more expensiver…

Beaumont de Crayéres, Champagne £29
Magnum £64

Our ‘house’ champagne selected because it’s great value with none of that cheap Champagne acidity and loads of rich toasty, brioche flavours.

Heidesieck & Co, Gold Top Vintage Champagne, 2018 £38

Fantastic value for a vintage Champagne, a couple of years ‘on the lees’ before fermentation gives a beautiful creamy texture to fine, buttery Burgundian notes

Right 2 Party (© The Beastie Boys)

Wines for slurping with the neighbours, slurping over an impromptu mid-week supper or just slurping in front of the telly on a quiet night in.

Our House, House Wines £11
(Case of 6 £60)

Rise & Vine’s house wines are labelled with an illustration of a bay-fronted, Victorian house. If you live in a neighbourhood anywhere like ours, then there’s a very high probability that Our House looks like your house, so why not make Our House your house wine?  We’ve a smooth, crowd pleasing red and a zingy, grapefruity white.

Romarion Chardonnay £12

Great value oaky Chardonnay from the South-West of France. It’s not Meursault, obviously, but it gives you classic buttery Chardonnay with enough acidity to keep it refreshing.

Prisma Monastrel £13

Round, chewy and satisfying red from Jumilla in Spain that definitely punches above its weight

Something Fishy?

Smoked salmon? Oysters? Fish finger sarnie? Whatever floats your trawler, these are wines to make even the most truculent mermaid sing for her supper.

MOKO Sauvignon Blanc £17

Not that lukewarm, acidic swill that they’ll serve you in the pub, but a proper Marlborough Sauvignon where crisp, grassy acidity is balanced by richer tropical undertones.

Txomin Etxaniz Txakoli £19

Nope, we didn’t slip on the keyboard, it’s Basque. (Nope. We didn’t slip one of them on either.)  Tingly crisp yet creamy wine from the Spanish Northern Atlantic coast.

Santini ‘Campo alla Casa’ £24

Extraordinary wine for this price point, a Bolgheri ‘supr-Tuscan’ white blending 80% Vermention with 20% Sauvignon to make a wine that is smoky, nutty, earthy, crisp and super-expressive

With the Bird…

The challenge of a traditional Christmas feast is that the delicate white meat of the turkey breast demands a lighter wine, while absolutely everything else, “all the trimmings”, risks over-powering a delicate wine.

Three Lions Pinot Noir £17

Perfectly balanced Pinot Noir from Mount Barker, just inland from McLaren Vale in South Australia, full of cherry and strawberry fruit with a smoky, silky finish

Barbera d’Alba, Giulia Negri £31

Known as ‘Barolo Girl’ by her peers and made famous on Stanley Tucci’s ‘Searching for Italy’, Giulia makes the most enthralling and captivating wines

‘Les Grandes Vignes’, Marsannay £34

This is serious Burgundy, sour and riper cherry flavours play off each other while the long smoky bacon finish is the perfect foil for any pig in any blanket

Turkey Sarnie

The day after the big one and all you want to do is lounge on the sofa and eat leftovers. Well here are some wine suggestions equivalent to kicking off your shoes and sinking back into the cushions.

1612 Grand Viognier £19

A big wine from the bottom of the Rhône Valley, opens with refreshing crispness that balances deep golden tones of apricot and peach

‘Élégance’ Saumur Blanc £23

Earthy, mouth-filling Chenin Blanc from the Loire Valley, with lovely rich, tropical flavours coming through at the finish

Valenciso Rioja Blanco £24

Remarkable white Rioja. If you’ve never tried white Rioja before, think about how the Riojans (is that a word?) like to age their reds in oak barrels for deep, rich, round and woody flavours, well this white has all that plus honeyed nutty tones.

Going deep…

And then, of course, there’s something bigger when the cheese comes out (or when you’ve just got in from a long walk on the Scrubs / or just lit the fire and you’re settling in…)

‘Menagerie of the Barossa’ GSM £21

GSM – Grenache, Shiraz, Mataro – is the new world’s interpretation of the classic Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre combination made famous in the Southern Côtes du Rhône. Deep, black berry fruits, earthy leatheriness and peppery spices are given a lift by higher notes of menthol/eucalyptus

Chateau de Sigognac, Médoc £22

Classic  right bank Bordeaux where the characteristic crisp, blackcurrant flavours have been smoothed out initially by the Medoc’s sandy soils and then by the judicious use of oak barrels and vats to mature the wine

Immortelle, Côtes du Roussillon £22

Soft and supple yet remarkably powerful handmade, limited edition wine from the South West of France

A Sweet Ending

Never – NEVER – dismiss a good sweet wine! We don’t think it should be syrupy. We looked for deep, rich, sweet flavours countered by some acidity to take your cake to the next level!

Daschbosch Old Vine Hanepoot 37.5cl £16

Hanepoot is the South African name for Muscat d’Alexandrie – one of the world’s oldest (and bestest) sweet grape varieties with a history going back to antiquity. This little bottle offers intense sweetness perfectly balanced by crisper, citrus acidity.

J Laurens, Méthode Ancéstrale Sparkling £15

From the South West of France, a sparkling demi sec – a wine that is dry-but-sweet or is it sweet-but-dry? Delicate white peach and pear flavours balanced by an equally delicate acidity and complemented by equally delicate bubbles all go to make something light and delicious to pair perfectly with cake or Christmas pud.

Pedro Ximenez Sherry, Port of Leith Distillery 37.5cl £19

Literally – OK not literally – but literally tastes like liquidised Christmas cake… deep, dark and sweet in an oh-so-grown-up and sophisticated kind of way

There we are – the soup to nuts of Christmas wine pairing unless you’re looking for the perfect pairing for KFC in Tokyo (yes, it’s a thing). All – as you’ll have noted – available from this friendly,independent wine store!

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