Christmas on a budget

Christmas in November? Yes, it did initially feel a bit strange getting all festive mid November to make this December edition’s deadline, however Jacques Scott’s specially chosen value-for-money Christmas wines soon got the party in full swing.

Most people’s purse strings have been well and truly stretched to the max this year, and so with more of us deciding to opt for entertaining at home this Christmas, the Journal has teamed up with Jacques Scott to bring you four excellent wines (sparkling, white, rosé, red) and a fine ruby port, all for just CI$90.95, all of which have been carefully chosen to ensure that they will bring festive cheer to any Cayman home this year.

Lindauer Brut Cuvee from New Zealand (CI$20.99) is the perfect wine to inject a bit of fizz into the occasion. Harvested early in the ripening cycle, the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes that make up this crisp and full flavoured sparkling wine add citrus and strawberry notes respectively.

“It’s a great sparkling wine with which to welcome guests as it lends itself perfectly to some nibbles such as smoked salmon and crackers as well as simply enjoyed by itself,” advises Jacques Scott’s Lee Royle. “For a sparkling wine it is also great value.”   

Many people will be familiar with New Zealand’s Sauvignon Blanc phenomenon and Matua Valley (CI$17.99) from the country’s Marlborough region is a perennial favourite.

“It’s popular here in the Caribbean because it is loaded with tropical and citrus fruits on the nose with a nicely balanced acidity and flavours of passion fruit on the finish,” Jacques Scott’s Paul McLaughlin says. “A lovely wine again that can be enjoyed by itself but it lends itself equally well to a lovely seafood first course.”

Balancing the wine selection out nicely, Chateau Minuty “M” from Provence, France (CI$13.99) is a fruity delicate rosé, made from a blend of Grenache, Tibouren and Cinsault grapes.

“This is an incredibly good value wine that will accentuate Christmas Day appetisers such as crab or shrimp dishes, as well as smoked salmon or gravlax,” Lee says.

Christmas Day lunch is of course the focal point for many people on the day itself, and thus you need a versatile wine that will stand the course of turkey with all the trimmings (roast potatoes, carrots, brussel sprouts, parsnips, cranberry sauce, bread sauce, stuffing and the like).
Sokol Blosser’s Meditrina (CI$18.99) from Oregon in the States is an interesting blend of Syrah, Zinfandel and Pinot Noir grapes, and as such the blend pleases the palate on so many fronts.

“Each grape brings different characteristics to the wine,” Lee explains.

“The core of the wine is brought about by the lush berries from the Syrah, while the Zinfandel creates the structure with its spicy tannins. The Pinot Noir is earthy and elegant.”

A great all-rounder, the Meditrina (named after the Roman goddess of wine and health) is a really turkey-friendly wine.

Mince pies, Christmas pudding, fruit cake – all traditional sweet finales to the day’s feasting and what better way to bring out all the heady fruitiness of such desserts than with a glass or two of Sandeman’s ruby Port (CI$18.99). Sandeman has an incredibly long history intertwined with port, with the George Sandeman, company’s founder, having first shipped ruby Porto wines from Portugal in 1790. Nowadays their Port is still made in the traditional way, to be rich, round and full flavoured, an elegant and fruity round off to your Christmas lunch celebration.

Here’s wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from the Journal and Jacques Scott teams. 

Hot off the press! Buy all five wines and get a further 15% off. So, all five for just CI$77.31 – truly spectacular value.