I dreamed of a pink Christmas and wow, Ayala Rosé was my present

Xmas wineThe Christmas day food and wine for our intimate gathering of four was simple. KISS philosophy food. Glazed ham and a splendid selection of fresh summer season salads followed by roasted summer stone fruits, fresh cherries, chick pea meringues (interesting!!) and home-made apple pie. The wine, keeping up with the theme that had started on Xmas Eve, was of course rosé.

Already I can hear some of my chardonnay and pinot loving friends exclaim with disdain, “Rosé for Christmas Day.”

Well actually I had the best of everything, rosé, chardonnay, pinot noir AND champagne because it was rosé champagne made predominantly from chardonnay with the addition of pinot noir. It was the gorgeous Champagne Ayala Brut Rosé Majuer all pretty in pink foil and label.

Champagne Ayala Brut Rosé Majuer won a gold medal at the 2016 New Zealand International Wine Show and because I didn’t want to get my notebook out at lunch I’ll use the notes I wrote when I tasted back then it in September. I thought it the palest of pink in the glass with a fabulous bouquet redolent of rosehips and red cherries with an enticing savoury / saline allure. Full in the palate with a creamy backbone to the vibrant rich flavours. Spicy and zesty with lots of bubbly vigour and verve yet a very definite although delicate strawberry focus and a crisp dry finish with an earthy/citrussy zing. Summed up as “yum” back then, summed up as “yum” on Xmas Day.

Joan, who doesn’t like wine usually but in the spirit of the season always has a sip, even asked for seconds when it was offered. That’s top class champagne for you. Just delicious.

Champagne Ayala is imported into New Zealand by Negociants New Zealand and can be found at the best wine stores. Expect to pay about $80, possibly more. The product sheet says it is a blend of 50% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Noir including 6% of still red wine (which no doubt imparts the delicate pink colour) and 10% Pinot Meunier. It has an average 3-years ageing on the lees, the dosage (sweet liqueur added) is 7g/litre and alcohol clocks in at 12%.

As for other wines on Christmas Day – there weren’t any – just a glass of bubbles at lunch and another later at dinner – my least alcohol imbibing at Christmas since I discovered wine was such a glorious drink.


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