Marrakesh, Morocco

We’re on the road in Marrakesh this week, so we’ll keep it short (they’ve been making wine here since the Phoenicians invaded around 4,000 years ago. More on that in a future missive.)

But we did want to touch base about your wine selection for Christmas next week.

If you prefer, you can skip directly to the tasting video at the end of this letter, where Julien will guide you through optimizing (and maximizing) your wine drinking during the Christmas season.

A quick preview:

He recommends starting with a white (13% alcohol and lower) or rosé (Domaine Ollier Faugères from our French shipment). For reds, he has a few wines in mind (including one from your French shipment that members have been raving about).

But my biggest takeaway was what he had to say about champagnes. If you weren’t able to snap up some extra bottles of Moutard, from our French collection, at pre-tariff prices, don’t rush out to buy an expensive champagne from your local shop here in the US.

Julien offers two great value alternatives – Cabard (Spain) and Crément (France) – that you can find at a fraction of the price. He also reveals why you’re likely drinking champagne at the wrong time (hint: it’s not a dessert wine).

(Side note: do yourself a favor and stop drinking your champagne from a flute. Not only is it unwieldly and rather silly looking, the intensity of the bubbles completely destroys any subtlety in flavor. If you’ve never been a “champagne person,” go ahead and give it a try in the same glass you use for a big red. You might surprise yourself.)

Before we let a Frenchman take over, a couple thoughts from one American to another:

That Christmas goose is not turkey. Geese use their wings and get a good work out doing so – thus goose’s gamier meat. Thus, you can go with a slightly heftier wine. Try out that Télégramme Châteauneuf-du-Pape (if you don’t mind sacrificing the amazing bottle it’s going to become as it ages).

Should you opt for ham, then you can kick things up yet another notch: Bordeaux, merlot, malbec (on the younger, more frsesh fruit side).

And now, we’ll let Julien take over as he details how to select wines for the Christmas season... including what kind of white or rosé to lead with... why you might look to Portugal and New Zealand... which three wines from your French collection you should serve... and how to buy sparkling wine as good as any champagne but without the high price...

Merry Christmas!

Bonner Private Wines

Bonner Private Wine Partnership