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What Sam will be drinking at Xmas this year…

A very big benefit of running a wine company is that you are spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing stuff to drink at home. You might expect me to write this, but I do genuinely drink pretty much all of our wines at home in Cambridge. OK, I’ll admit that there are some I don’t have (maybe even one or two I almost dislike…), but those ones generally sell well and we’ve got bills to pay, so sod it.

Christmas is surely the highlight of most people’s ‘drinking year’, so we like to follow suit. Here is what I will be getting stuck into this year…


I’m always extremely partial to Billecart-Salmon Champagne, so I’ll be opening a bottle or two of that – maybe even a pink one. I’m also loving our new S African fizzes from Graham Beck – both the Brut and the pinkie. We’ll def get a couple of them going.


Telmo Rodriguez’s Basa Dry Rueda is practically my favourite new white on our list this year – and ridiculously good value, too. It’ll be fab with smoked salmon on Xmas Day. I’m not sure what my brother is cooking, but if it’s turkey, I’ll drag out a bottle or several of Domaine des Deux Roches Pouilly-Fuisse (I have a few older bottles knocking about). It’s oaked Chardonnay from southern Burgundy and is utterly flipping lush.


If it’s turkey, I think I’ll do a bit of red Burgundy, too – something from our mate Guillaume Guiton – maybe his Ladoix 1er Cru. If it’s anything else (goose, beef), I’m going Italian – almost certainly the Produttori di Barbaresco 2008 and probably some Marchesi di Barolo Sarmassa 2008 as well. Out of everything I’ve opened for various client tastings this autumn, the Barbaresco stands out as the most amazing wine of all – it is so sexy, has so much character and flavour, yet retains an almost feminine, ethereal side to it. Apols if that sounds like a load of wine w**k, but I think the reds of Piedmont (made with the Nebbiolo grape) are just about my favourite thing in wine.

The other Italian option I might go for is Bibi Graetz’s fab Soffocone di Vincigliata. It’s like an uber-uber-Chianti Classico, except he can’t call it that ‘cos he doesn’t follow all the rules. I like people who don’t follow rules. Two fingers to the bureaucrats, I say. And even better – the word ‘soffocone’ means blowjob in a local Tuscan dialect and the label has a smutty painting on it (painted by Graetz himself). So you can’t help but smile and giggle when you drink that stuff – which is surely what drinking good grog is all about.


Also in Italy, we have an amazing sweetie – the Altro Moscato from Marchesi di Gresy. Not sure if I have any here in Cambridge – if not, I’ll be going for the Cauhape Jurancon from down in the SW of France, in the foothills of the Pyrenees.



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