White wines will make an obvious choice for the traditional Christmas lunch - roast turkey and all the trimmings. To balance out all the rich flavours, Chardonnay with its oaky richness and creamy lactic acid will help out with the meat that can sometimes be on the dry side while the minerality and acidity will cleanse the palate and allow you to wade through the trimmings effortlessly.
When it comes to Chardonnay, white Burgundy might sound like an obvious choice, but with a smaller budget and looking further afield, you can find yourself a few gems!
We stayed within the Old World territory with our first Chardonnay - Andreas Tscheppe makes his wines in the southern Styria near the border with Slovenia. Growing his vines on terraced vineyards, that are cultivated biodynamic, each plant has its place here and every living thing is taken into consideration in the belief that the vitality and complexity of the soil are the basis for expressive wines. The vineyards are invigorating places to visit, full of flowers and insects. All the grapes here are harvested by hand, followed by gentle pressing and filled in oak barrels.
The Salamander Chardonnay with its eye-catching label design is youthful, full and rich white wine. Coming across quite smokey on the nose suggesting Andreas' flirtation with the danger of reduction. Reduction well-tamed. Complex and concentrated with green and stone fruits. Plenty of ripeness but with a good strong line of acidity. Balancing out the Christmas lunch food amazingly.
Our second choice of Chardonnay comes from Adelaide Hills, South Australia. Ochota Barrels winery is run by Taras Ochota and his wife Amber. He’s a surf dude with an enology degree and a wealth of experience in winemaking. All of the grapes for this wine are hand harvested at night. Their "Slint Vineyard" Chardonnay is delicate with white flowers and orchard fruit. It has got plenty of tension in the structure and the little oakiness is perfectly lowering the pitch of the citrus with some buttery creaminess on the finish. One quirky thing we must mention, check out the felt-tipped numbers on the back labels - this is a truly artisanal outfit!
Hope you will pick up some ideas for your festive table.