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Christmas food and wine pairings with Keith and Arnaud

It is fairly safe to say that we all encounter the Christmas day comedown. Despite a month of magical build up, we invariably end up immobilised on the sofa, feeling bloated and in a drunken haze (by 4pm), asking ourselves: ‘How did it come to this?’

With Christmas day just around the corner, we caught up with Arnaud Compas and Keith Lyon, the discerning wine duo behind the Peninsula’s gastronomic enterprise Vinotech Compass, to give us their spin on the most sublime food and wine pairings.

Arnaud Compas’ Christmas Day

Breakfast

  • Eggs Benedict
  • Scrambled egg with smoked salmon and roasted asparagus
  • Pancetta and crepes, with Nutella, jam and honey

Complimentary rosé wine: Balfour Rosé £30, Bilecart Salmon Rosé £55

Arnaud’s wine verdict: ‘What better than a glass of bubbly to kick-start Christmas day? Balfour Rosé is just spectacular. It’s gently nuanced, the bubbles roll and dance on the palate, and you can taste the red berries, beautiful autumn notes and ripe apples.

Follow it up with a Billecart Salmon Rosé, it’s probably the finest morning treat and it’s a similar profile to the Balfour. It has real depth with aromas of baking bread, yet it is intensely fruity with soft, peachy flavours and fine, long-lasting bubbles.’

 

Photography: Laura Jane Dale

Lunch starters

Oysters and plateau de fruits de mer – crabs, langoustines

Complimentary white wine: Lahn Kerner Vigneti delle Dolomiti 2012, Greco di Tufo from Campania Masseria Frattasi

Arnaud’s wine verdict: ‘Let’s start with a couple of terrific wines that would marry well with a range of light starters. First up is Lahn Kerner Vigneti delle Dolomiti 2012. This stunning northern Italian wine will reinforce the iodine and mineral element of the oysters. It’s an extraordinary combination as it balances the fine meat of the crab and the langoustine. Then, in the same line but with more Mediterranean influence we will move to a Greco di Tufo from Campania Masseria Frattasi.’

Photograph: Laura Jane Dale

Dinner

Lamb rack rosemary sage and baked boulangère potatoes

Complimentary red wine: Stephane Montez Saint Joseph Cuvée du Papy £25

Arnaud’s wine verdict: ‘It is so true that Lamb equals Shiraz – the combination is explosive. For me, the Stephane Montez Saint Joseph Cuvée du Papy comes to mind for this dish.’

Photograph: Laura Jane Dale

Evening accompaniment 

The Cheese board

  • Hard cheeses: Comté, Montgomery, Cheddar, Queso
  • Brie
  • Munster
  • Goat cheeses

Complimentary white wine: Berther Bondet – from the Jura. £27

Arnaud’s wine verdict: ‘The best combination with cheese is oxidative white wine. I will have a Chardonnay from the Jura – Berther Bondet. It is magical. The wine transforms fabulous cheeses into a symphony of new flavours. Gently oxidative, earthy, nutty and quince – it is the climax of the day…’

Keith Lyon’s Christmas Day

Breakfast bubbles

Complimentary sparkling white wine: Domaine Desire Petit Cremant du Jura Brut £18

Keith’s wine verdict: ‘For breakfast with our loved ones, nothing works better than a glass or two of sumptuous bubbles. One of my favourites is Domaine Desire Petit Crémant du Jura Brut. To welcome the guests, I would also serve the same delightful Cremant. This will certainly help in fostering happiness!’

Photograph: Laura Jane Dale

Dinner

The traditional hearty roast with all the trimmings.

Complimentary white wine: Bodegas Naia Verdejo Naia 2015 Rueda Spain £14,

Complimentary red wine: Novas Gran Reserva Carmenere Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Colchagua Valley Chile £15

Keith’s wine verdict: ‘For the big Christmas meal I would suggest the following two wines:

‘Bodegas Naia Verdejo Naia 2015 Rueda Spain. What a gem this dry white is. Crafted from old vines, it has a bouquet of passion fruit and stone fruit. The palate has flavours of ripe citrus, fresh nectarine and peach. Textural with a subtle bitter twist on the bright and long finish. A consummate food matching all-rounder!

‘As for the red, everyone will love this Chilean (Novas Gran Reserva Carmenere Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Colchagua Valley Chile). It’s so vibrant with a huge appeal. The deep coloured classic blend of Carmenere and Cabernet reflects the dark fruit aromas mixed with soft toasty notes. The palate is intensely rich with lots of herbal flavours, including eucalypt. There is a slight salinity, with lots of fruit, dusty clay earth and a beautiful stony finish.’

Photography: Laura Dale Jane

Evening accompaniment 

Assorted Cheese board.

Complimentary dessert wine: Nopera Muscat, Samos Greece £30

Keith’s wine verdict: ‘For Cheese and desserts, nothing works better than a sticky. I suggest this gorgeous nectar – Nopera Muscat, found in the region of Samos in Greece as a half bottle.’

Photography: Laura Dale Jane

 

Disclaimer: The probability of the Christmas day sofa slump is still very high, inevitable even. Arnaud and Keith’s sumptuous menu will just ensure that you succumb to your fate in style.

You can meet the charismatic wine connoisseurs at their wine bar Vinotech Compass, located at the Peninsula Golf Driving Range. For more information, visit the Vinotech Compass.