MOVIES & BOOZE: Wine for Christmas

Jean Smullen reviews 2013 Bouvet Cremant du Loire and Seguin Manuel Nuits Saint Georges “Vielles Vignes”


The Christmas Movies & Booze is a show I love.  I’m going to feature to very seasonal wines today.  We start with some fizz.. a Cremant de Loire and then a beautiful red Burgundy, JUST the wine to serve with turkey.

2013 Bouvet Cremant du Loire €19.95

Stockist:  Whelehan Wines, Silver Tassie, Loughlinstown

Whelehan Wines in Loughlinstown have created an iconic shop in the old Silver Tassie premises in Loughlinstown, Co Dublin.   This is cutting edge wine retailing, encompassing a wine shop, wine bar and restaurant and their latest addition, a brand new tasting room (upstairs) where they will be offering  private dining, wine education and wine events in 2018.

Crémant de Loire  is made in the Loire from the Chenin Blanc grape. By making a second fermentation in the bottle (methode Champenoise) of a still wine made with a natural high acidity.  Cremant de Loire can be made in Anjou, Saumur and Touraine areas, but most of it is produced in Saumur.

Since its foundation in 1851, Bouvet-Ladubay has become one of the names of the Loire.

This wine is made from 80% Chenin Blanc, 20% Chardonnay.  Chenin Blanc is uniquely suited to the wonderful limestone and clay soils of the region. 

So where do the bubbles come from?  In a nutshell all wines are made through fermentation when yeast turns sugar (in the grape juice) into alcohol and carbon dioxide gas.  Fermentation usually takes place in large vats, so the gas escapes.  With an ordinary wine, that’s the end of the story; however Champagne include another step in the wine making process that involves adding a small amount of sugar and yeast, then bottling the wine, tightly capped to allow a second fermentation to take place in the bottle.  Because the gas can't escape it becomes part of the wine in the form of tiny, delightful bubbles trapped inside the bottle.

Sparkling wine is best served chilled; it is an acidic wine so chilling it brings out the best of its flavours.  A word of caution too, always be very very careful when you open a bottle of Champagne or sparkling wine because the bottle is sealed under pressure and sometimes the cork can explode out of the bottle and hit you in the face, or even worse, your eye, once the wire muselet has been removed.

A few tips on how to safely open a bottle of Fizz, keep your thumb on the cork once you have removed the wire muselet (stopper) Twist the bottle, not the cork, this means you have more control, a word of caution though; you’ll need strong wrists to manage this. Slowly twist the bottle keeping the cork firmly in place with your other hand,  this allows a small amount of carbon dioxide to escape, keep twisting until the cork is safely out.


2013 Seguin Manuel Nuits Saint Georges “Vielles Vignes” €54.00

Stockists: O’Briens Wine off-licences at Ardkeen, Waterford; Ashbourne; Athlone; Ballybrack; Beacon South; Blanchardstown; Quinsboro Road, Bray; Vevay Road, Bray; Carlow; Carrickmines; City West; Clontarf; Dalkey; Donnybrook; Douglas,Cork; Drogheda; Dun Laoghaire; Galway; Glasnevin; Greystones; Limerick; Malahide; Naas; Navan Road, Dublin 7; Navan, Co Meath; Newbridge; Rathgar; Rathmines; Sandymount; Stillorgan and Templeogue.

Burgundy is famous for it’s red and white wines. Situated in Eastern France this is a simple yet complex wine region.  The region has strong historical links with Celtic culture and a long and very complicated fractured history.   From a wine perspective though it is relatively simple. There are two key grape varieties,  Chardonnay for white grapes and Pinot Noir for red. 

In 1861 a formal system was put in place that recogised the quality vineyard areas by designating them as either Premier Cru and Grand Cru based on the quality of the grapes grown on the site in question.   This was largely due to the aspect and position of the vineyards and the different plots of land.  What they call Climats in Burgundy.  Most of the vineyards have limestone soil, originating from the Jurassic period.  They are made up of chalk  soil hills that run through the region of Chablis and down from Dijon to the Cote D’Or  made up of two sections Cote du Nuit , best know for red wines made from the Pinot Noir grape  and Cote du Beaune best known for white made from Chardonnay.

Nuits-Saint-Georges is a town on the northern half of the Côte d'Or wine district. It is known for relatively powerful, complex red wines made from Pinot Noir.  

Seguin Manuel is not quite as widely known as other wines from Nuits-Saint-Georges, however this  producer has been becoming increasingly popular in recent years. 180 years since its foundation in 1824, Seguin-Manuel has been completely renovated since it was taken over in 2004 and their wines are in the affordable spectrum in terms of wines produced in this region.  This is an organic wine, hand picked in small parcels the wine is carefully made. Naturally, it doesn't get any better than this, 2013 was a tricky vintage so this wine is quite light.  It has tonnes of cherry/summer fruits but with that mineral and complex structure so typical of good Burgundy.  

If you want to push the boat out this Christmas and get a good quality well made Pinot Noir from Burgundy to serve with your turkey, then I would recommend giving his beauty a try.

WINE DIARY For wine events check out the wine diary

Make sure you book your ticket for the 21st Annual New Zealand Consumer  Wine Tasting on Thursday 18th January, 2018 at 18:30.  For 2018 we have a new Dublin venue– Aviva  Stadium, home of international rugby in Ireland. The New Zealand wine fair is a superb evening out.  The chance to meet and talk to the producers and find out more about the great wines from New Zealand is not to be missed!!   A great idea for a stocking filler for the wine enthusiast in your life!   Tickets are now on sale priced €15.00

To purchase a ticket CLICK HERE