In Spain, the Christmas and New Year festivities go on for longer than in many other countries as Epiphany, which was yesterday, is the principal day for giving and receiving presents. Families have a big meal on Christmas Eve which spills over to lunch on Christmas Day. The same thing happens on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. On the day of Epiphany we go out for lunch with quite a few people on my wife’s side of the family. All of this means that we drink plenty of wine. For Christmas and New Year, if we are in Spain, we go to my wife’s parents’ house and it is my job to provide the wine. The wines that we enjoyed the most were the following:
Leda Viñas Viejas 2005 – a wine from the Ribera del Duero region but outside the D.O. This was a pretty full-bodied wine with a weighty mouthfeel. Lots of fruit with lovely hints of chocolate. This paired very well with lamb.
Aldonia Reserva 2005 – a wine from the Rioja with a nose of ripe red fruit, vanilla and spice. On the plate is was medium-bodied with a silky texture and very elegant.

Esporao Reserva 2008 –  a wine from the Alentejo region of Portugal. Dark fruit, herbs, quite mineral with plenty of body. All in all a very enjoyable wine to match with Iberian pork loin.

Solar de Amézola Gran Reserva 2001 – this is a classic Rioja, very subtle and elegant. Light to medium-bodied, the finish just goes on and on. Lovely red fruit, soft tannins and a mixture of herbs and spices.

Guitian sobre lías 2010 – a 100% Godello wine from the D.O. Valdeorras. Grapefruit peel, peach and dried herbs on the nose. Quite weighty on the palate, a result of being aged on the lees. Wonderful persistent finish

Albariño de Fefiñanes 2010 – this wine from the D.O. Rías Baixas just shows the improvement you get when you drink good Albariño wine after a few years in the bottle. This was floral and mineral with wonderul fruit. It had a honey-like texture on the palate and was absolutely singing.

Well, I wish everyone who reads this a Happy New Year and hope that 2014 proves to be a eventful and enjoyable year with amongst other things plenty of great bottles of wine.