Christmas lunch

We didn’t actually drink all of these wines on Christmas Day. We had the Touraine Mesland with our lunch and the Puisseguin St Emilion with cheese in the evening.

We drank the Rousset-les-Vignes on Christmas Eve and the rest will be drunk over the next few days.

Before eating we had some sparkling demi-sec rosé Gamay from the Beaujolais as an aperitif. We bought this from the producer, Pascal Guillard, when we were on holiday in Oingt in the Summer. The wine doesn’t have an AOC, it doesn’t qualify. It is 100% Gamay and is called ROZ émoi and is only 7.5% which makes it a lovely refreshing aperitif.

We didn’t have turkey – too big, too dull and too much leftover.

Instead we had a loin of pork, stuffed with Pruneau d’Agen which had been soaked in Armagnac and which I roasted in a pan with some white wine and sprigs of thyme.. I roasted the rind separately, for crackling, and did roast potatoes (using the hot pork fat rendered from the crackling for extra flavour), sprouts and glazed carrots. The gravy was made from the roasting pan juices, plus the prune soaking brandy and some vegetable stock, thickened with beurre manié.

The wine was a 1989 Touraine-Mesland from Philippe Brossillon. The wine was really concentrated, a blend of Cabernet Franc and Côt (otherwise known as Malbec) and it had spent a fair time in oak. Overall it resembled a really good Right Bank claret, rich, mature and with a lovely long finish. We bought this wine in 2009 when we were on holiday in the Loire region and the wine was remarkable then. I think that it probably has a year or two left before it goes over, but I expect we will have finished them off by then.

For pudding, I made individual trifles, with madeleines sandwiched with cherry jam and layered with sour cherries that had been macerating in brandy for a couple of weeks, with the sponges soaked in the brandy too. The topping was mascarpone whipped with vanilla extract and crème fraiche and it was finished off with grated dark chocolate.

We had a little rest after that, it was so rich.

We waited until the evening and then we had cheese and biscuits with the Roc de Puisseguin Le Vieux Pigeonnier 2003 from the Cave des Producteurs Réunis, a wine we bought from the cave back in 2006 and which was nicely mature and with lovely soft tannins, mellow oak and a long finish.

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