My French father-in-law is quite a generous chap.

To begin with, he allowed me to marry his only daughter, which is no small thing.

But also, every time we visit, he opens incredible bottles from his cellar (he has about 1,000, stored in a perfectly conditioned environment – a proper French “Cave à vin”). And every year around November time, he lets me order from his wine club my annual wine stash, which gets delivered to his home in Paris.

As we’re paying my in-laws a visit this Christmas, I just cannot wait for the wine bonanza that will come with it.

First, the wine club order:

  • CHÂTEAU D’ARGADENS, Bordeaux supérieur, 2012: this is the best example of a red wine from the Entre-Deux-Mers region, a region which is normally known for its dry whites. I couldn’t find it in the UK, but if you’d like to try a wine from this region, try Chateau L’Orangerie Bordeaux Rouge 2014.
  • CHÂTEAU TOUR SAINT FORT, Saint Estèphe, 2005: St-Estephe are one of my favourite Bordeaux wines, full of depth and body, great with red meat.
  • NUITS-ST-GEORGES 2011: a burgundy that can probably be left for a few years, but that brings out the amazing flavours of the Pinot Noir grape.

Then, my father-in-law’s cellar… Who knows what he will bring out this time, but he is a fan a few wines that are worth discovering:

  • St-Estephe: like me he loves the strong character of this Bordeaux appellation, and in the past brought out Chateau Cos Labory (60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc). Absolutely amazing!
  • Côte-Rotie: the oldest Rhone valley wine is one of France’s most beautiful too, with tannins and a long finish, red berries and truffle flavours, it goes perfectly with red meats in sauce and game.
  • Hermitage: a celebration of the Syrah grape (also known as Shiraz). In good years, the Hermitage can rival the best Burgundy and Bordeaux wines. A full-bodied wine, spicy and powerful, dark red in colour with rich aromas, and blackberry and chocolate flavours.
  • Chinon: probably the best red wine from the Loire valley, it is ample, powerful and can age for many years (30 years and more). It normally has +75% of Cabernet Franc, which brings red fruit flavours with soft tannins, and is brought to another level of quality by the limestone soil of the region.
  • Meursault: house to the Chadonnay grape which produces glorious white wines. Golden in colour with a near green shimmer, it gives flavours of honey, citrus and hazlenuts and you’ll rarely have tasted a better white wine.

I wish everyone a merry Christmas, and if you can make it a Wine Christmas by trying the above like me, even better for you!

Ho! Ho! Ho!