Dear Santa

Dear Santa,

All I want this year is a truly beautiful Christmas.

Regrettably some of my children/staff no longer believe in you; don’t worry I do.

One minute they were cute, small and believing, and the next thing, they were lanky, long and whining.

So this year I am requesting a few treats from a few of my favourite wine shops to make our Christmas all the more special. I thought I might take advantage of you being none the wiser of the kid’s sudden state of awareness and ask for extra gifts. As is the tradition, I still plan on feeding yourself and the reindeers………

 So to help you save a little time in selecting my wines, I thought I would recommend a few of our favourites for you to grab as you run from store to store looking for my presents.

For my Bubbles

 Riondo Prosecco @ €12.99 a light frizzante wine with lots of flora notes and a clean and delicate finish

Marques De Monistrol @ €17.99 A Spanish Cava Brut which is fresh and crisp, dry in style with notes of apple and herbs. It has a delicate finish and makes a great aperitif.

Mansard Brut Champagne@ €35.99 Blended with the three main champagne grape varieties, Pinot Noir gives elegance and length, Pinot Meunier gives body weight and Chardonnay contributes aroma and finesse. Excellent value, perfect for Christmas and when you want value and a touch of excellence.

For my Whites

Woodhaven Chardonnay @ €12.99 a fruity, well balanced wine that can be enjoyed with friends and family on any occasion.

Lionel J Bruck Vin De France Sauvignon Blanc 2013 @ 9.99 A beautiful steady yellow colour. On the nose flowers and blackcurrant buds with a nice complexity. A buttered wine with a simple and long lasting ending.

Lionel J Bruck Chablis 2013 @€17.99 A very typical pale hue with a glint of green. It has an attractive and expressive minerality, steely yet with a presence of ripe, white fruits. Fine structure, ripe fruits, nicely rounded out but with a little backbone of grip and very decent acidity.


For my Reds

Les Gravieres De Margaux 2012 @ €24.99 this wine offers notes of black cherries, currant, tobacco, herbs and some fresh liquorice. Medium bodied with soft fine grained tannins that grip nicely on the long finish.

Lionel J Bruck Pinot Noir 2013 @€9.99 this is a beautiful red in colour with aromas of cherry and small red fruit. It is complex and rich with elegant tannins and great length.

Lionel J Bruck Nuits St George 2009 @ €37.99 A classic pinot noir, ripe strawberry and cherry fruit, creamy new oak. An intense vegetal nose, rich and full flavoured.


Cemin Du Pape, a Chateauneuf Du Pape @ 19.99 A Christmas classic, from the Rhone valley, this wine has a spicy influence on the nose. A very aromatic and well balanced red that reveals notes of blackberry, cheery and spice, due to the blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mourverdre and Cinsault.


And for a little tipple late in the evening


Sauternes de Rayne Vigneau 2003 @27.99 An extraordinary wine, the palate is elegant, full and filled with notes of honeyed pear, apples, apricot and exotic fruits.


Croft LBV 2007 @22.99 there is a reason that Croft was awarded “wine of the year 2014” by the wine spectator last month, it is because they produce elegant, wonderful ports. The LBV is a great example of their wines. Only produced in years in which the harvest has been very good, this is a very approachable port, ready to drink, with good colour and attractive fruity, rich taste.


I will leave you a little cup of my famous mulled wine as a tipple. I hope you enjoy it, but keep the recipe between us!!

2 unwaxed oranges
1 lemon, peel only
150g  sugar
5 cloves, plus extra for garnish
5 cardamom pods, bruised
1 cinnamon stick
A pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

A pinch of allspice
2 bottles of fruity, full bodied red wine
150ml ginger wine or ginger beer


  1. Peel and juice 1 orange, and add to a large saucepan along with the lemon peel, sugar and spices. Add enough wine to just cover the sugar, and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved, stirring occasionally. Bring to the boil and cook for 5 – 8 minutes until you have thick syrup.
  2. Meanwhile, if you’re serving the mulled wine immediately, stud the second orange with 6 vertical lines of cloves, and then cut into segments to use as a garnish.
  3. Turn the heat down, and pour the rest of the wine into the saucepan, along with the ginger wine. Gently heat through and serve with the orange segments as a garnish.


From me and all the staff here at Fine wines, we wish you all have a merry, safe and festive Christmas.

Ps if you want to add a bottle of whiskey here are a couple of my favourites


The new Powers Three Swallow release @ 44.99, A revival of the old style Powers single pot whiskey. It is matured primarily in American bourbon barrels where these characteristics are amplified and complemented with strong wood character. Marrying with a small sherry aged component gives aged component gives Powers Three Swallow Release balance and finesse.  

Redbreast 12 year old @ 69.99 A 100% heavy pot still whiskey with a high sherry ageing percentage. One of m all time favourite Irish Whiskeys. ‘Stupendous nose….just a sip is enough to fill your mouth with a multi-layered attack of malt and pepper plus a few sherry notes with the pot still arriving on the 2nd wave and refusing to budge…this is a marvellous whiskey’ Jim Murray A Taste of Irish whiskey.