Festive tipples

Matthew Jukes tips four bottles for the Christmas table.

2010 Crozes Hermitage, Alain Graillot, Northern Rhne, France (£19.95, Yapp Brothers 01747-860423, Yapp.co.uk).

One of the estates that appears in my book (see below), Graillot's pure, unadorned, sensationally accurate syrahs are a wonder to behold. Still managing to sell for less than £20, this is one of the unmissable and iconic flavours of the season. Drink it with game or mature cheddar!

2008 Rotenberg, Domaine Marcel Deiss, Alsace, France (£34.50, Lea & Sandeman, 020-7244 0522, Leaandsandeman.co.uk).

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Another of the estates in my glorious 100 Deiss shuns the rules of the Alsatian Appellation system and wilfully makes field blends from his stunning vineyards. He insists that this captures the pure essence of the soil and he is right. Rotenberg is therefore a riesling/pinot gris amalgam and there is nothing to touch it on this earth for sheer beauty and fascination. The heavenly aroma and rich, luxurious palate should be twinned with bombastic, Michelin-starred, creamy dishes or fondant-style pts and rillettes.

2010 Peregrine Pinot Noir, Central Otago, New Zealand (£25, buy two bottles, reduced to £19.99 until 4 February, Majestic).


One of the stand-out pinot producers in New Zealand (with four stars in my annual classification), this is a sensational, sensual red with a haunting aroma and a singular desire to be your number-one choice for turkey duties this Christmas. Take advantage of the multi-buy opportunity and you will be buying it for £3 less than you can from the Peregrine cellar door in Central Otago!

2001 Fortnum's Single Cask Malvasia Madeira, Barbeito, Portugal (£23.50, 50cl bottle, reduced to £19.98 per case, Fortnum & Mason, 0845-300 1707).


My fortified wine choice of the year. This is such a complex and mind-bendingly delicious wine I could just sniff it for an hour, such are the layers of intrigue in the glass. Lighter than port and more accommodating food-wise, too, this stunning wine will go with Christmas pud, mince pies, cheese and choccies and also, most importantly, with every single TV show you fall asleep in front of during the entire festive season.

The best wine gizmo

Pourvin Light Professional decanting device (£49.99, www.pourvin.com).


I am not one for wine gizmos, preferring a solid corkscrew and an unfussy decanter as my main collaborators in the wine game. But this ingenious torch-like device is the best new piece of wine paraphernalia I have seen in a decade. Forget smoking candles and wayward sediment this sturdy chap hugs the neck of the bottle, giving you an uninterrupted view of the wine as you decant. It is fail-safe and it even turns off when you right it. Genius.

Two of the year's best wine books


This is an insanely grand piece of vinous publishing and it could only have been assembled and delivered with such pomp and ceremony by our very own Jancis Robinson, OBE, MW. It is, quite literally, everything that has ever been discovered about grape varieties and their inter-relationships and it comes packaged in a breeze-block sized hard cover containing no less than 1,242 pages of wonder. More than 1,400 grapes are explained within and this makes it the most phenomenal tour de force ever, covering this complex and oft-confused subject.

Wine Grapes by Jancis Robinson, Julia Harding and Jos Vouillamoz. Published by Allen Lane (£120, reduced to £76.80 at Amazon.co.uk, and £78 at Waterstones.com).


This is the first book I have published in six years in Britain and, leaving the annual guide format behind (because all my weekly wine recommendations appear gratis on my website), I have written a thoroughly self-indulgent magnum opus. In 100 Most Iconic Wine Estates I introduce you to the century of greats who have become the foundation for all of my own wine knowledge. I am certain that this book will inspire you to delve even further into this gloriously hedonistic subject and, as always, I am delighted to be your guide.

100 Most Iconic Wine Estates by Matthew Jukes. Published by Quintessentially Publishing (£35, reduced to £25.50 on Amazon.co.uk; £35 from Quintessentiallygifts.com if you would like the book personalised and signed).

Matthew Jukes is a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition's Communicator of the Year (www.matthewjukes.com).

Matthew Jukes

Matthew Jukes has worked in the UK wine business for well over three decades and during this time has written 14 wine books.  

Matthew regularly lectures, judges, speaks at wine conferences and runs masterclass tastings for both corporate and private clients all over the world. Matthew is also the creator of his ground-breaking initiative, the One Day Wine School, an indulgent day of tasting and learning first performed in 2006.

He has been the MoneyWeek wine correspondent since 2006 and has written a weekly column for the Daily Mail’s Weekend Magazine since 1999. His four highly-acclaimed, annual wine reports – the Burgundy En Primeur Report, the Bordeaux En Primeur Report, the Piemonte Report and the 100 Best Australian Wines – are published on his website, www.matthewjukes.com.

Matthew is one of the world’s leading experts on Australian wine and, with Brisbane-based wine writer Tyson Stelzer, runs an annual competition in Australia to find ‘The Great Australian Red’.  He was made Honorary Australian of the Year in the UK at the 2012 Australia Day Foundation Gala dinner. 

Matthew is a winner of the International Wine and Spirit Competition's Communicator of the Year Trophy.  His thoughts, recommendations and tastings notes are followed very closely by the wine world at large.