Seasonal Wines – Fantastic Bourgogne and Christmas Entertainment:
When Sopexa and the Bourgogne Wine Board (BIVB) asked me to take part in a little wine pairing just before Christmas I was, needless to say, very enthusiastic. I love wines from Bourgogne – Chablis, Côte de Nuits, Côte de Beaune, the Mâconnais and more. So, of course, I agreed without reading the small print.
Try the wines and tell us which Fantastic Creature you think it is like.
Well, I haven’t seen Fantastic Creatures and where to find them. But, I was spending Christmas with friends who I knew would have done so – and I thought it would make for some interesting conversation!
Of course, what I forgot to do was to take the instructions with me – and I couldn’t remember whether we were pairing the wines with fantastic creatures or with the characters from the film. The result is, we’ve done both – though I think Eddie Redmayne may just have been paired with everyone’s favourite wine for completely the wrong reasons!
We started with Chorey-lès-Beaune, 2013, Joseph Drouhin on Christmas Eve. Chestnut and apple soup to start, a salad of beetroot and goats cheese snow using a recipe from Great British Chefs and then a Swedish Hygge buffet, with meatballs, celeriac fritters, salad, fishcakes and more.
The wine, we thought was earthy, warm and relatable. Very easy to drink – it paired particularly well with the chestnut soup. We decided the character it was most like was Jacob Kowalski, the baker – a down-to-earth character with a sense of fun. If it was a fantastic creature – well, it has to be a Graphorn. Very rare, this beast has a thick skin – a hide that is tougher than a dragon’s and can repel most spells.
You can find it at Waitrose, priced at £17.49
Next, on Christmas Day, with a Christmas lunch of Gravadlax with Lime Sorbet and then Roast Goose for the meat eaters and Halibut for the pescatarians, we indulged in our next bottle
Mâcon-Milly-Lamartine Clos du Four, 2014, Christophe Cordier paired beautifully with the Gravadlax and the pescatarians continued to drink it with the halibut. With a citrusy sharp top note, this was a beautifully dry wine which we thought was more complicated than it seemed on the first mouthful. It was apparently, Percival Graves, a stickler for the rules with an astringent sense of humour. If it is a creature – well perhaps it’s a Thunderbird, a rare flying creature with six wings, that is highly sensitive to danger. Find it at Majestic, £13.99
Santenay Les Charmes, 2013, Domaine Belland was everyone’s favourite wine. We enjoyed it with cheese on Christmas day evening. A lovely, soft, and toasty wine, this one was voted Eddy Redmayne (or rather, Newt Scamander, the hero). If it was a creature, we thought it might be the ashwinder – a serpent born from the ashes of magical fires – or perhaps just ashwinder eggs, which are red and give off intense heat. Frozen, these eggs can be used in a love potion or eaten whole as a cure for ague. On sale at Majestic, £25
Our final wine, Crémant de Bourgogne Blanc de Blanc, NV, Cave de Lugny, was a light, smooth and sophisticated sparkling wine with notes of honeysuckle and elderflower. We thought it was just like Seraphina Picquery, head of the Macusa. Or, if it was a creature, well perhaps an Occamy, a plumed, two-legged serpentine-bodied creature with wings that may reach up to fifteen feet in height which is particularly protective of its eggs, made of pure and soft silver. We enjoyed it as an aperitif – it’s perfect to drink on its own. Find it at Waitrose, £13.99
We thoroughly enjoyed tasting the wines and trying to work out how best to pair them. Now, I just need to see the film!