Deck the halls, bring out the tinsel and enjoy a winter wonderland or two in The Cotswolds, yes Christmas is upon us. Time to navigate your way through the cluttered attic to locate the tree.
I love seeing my family at Christmas and, for many families, it’s the most important event of the year. If you’ve drawn the short straw and it’s your turn to host, there are a number of challenges to contend with. Whether it’s keeping the traditionalists at bay by serving the biggest turkey one can find in the supermarket, keeping the sprout-hating children happy or managing the vegetarian mother-in-law on the big day.
Fortunately, choosing Christmas drinks is the one big decision I get to make without any i nterference. I’ m always on the hunt for interesting, quirky and delightful tipples which will make my families faces display the look of complete satisfaction.
With so many choices on offer it is hard to know where to start so here are my feast of fabulou s drinks to add a touch of pleasure during the yuletide season.
…The welcome fizz…
San Leo Prosecco Brut NV Magnum , Italy
Prosecco, cava or English sparkling wine, everyone loves a bottle of bubbles during the festive season, especially when welcoming in the family in the run up to the big day. We’re spoilt for choice when it comes to festive fizz, but this popular prosecco is sure to cater for everyone’s tastes, plus its magnum size adds to the wow factor. Its aromatic bouquet, gentle bubbles and fruity flav our with plenty of zing also provides a perfect base for many sparkling wine cocktails. Add a splash of peach juice to make a Bellini or a dollop of cassis for that perfect Kir Royale.
…The night before Christmas…
Beefsteak Club Old Vines Tempranillo , Spain
Beefsteak Wine Club has been created with meat and wine lovers in mind, the perfect match for the festive season. This fruity and fresh red produced from the popular Tempranillo grape is full of rich blackberry, plum and strawberry fruit with a hint of vanilla and spice. Perfect for a crisp winters evening playing cards by the open fire.
Chât eau la Croix de Marbuzet, France
Christmas dinner is always a challenge with more flavours than letters on a Scrabble board. Whether you choose traditional turkey, goose or beef, there’s a wine for every meat available. For beef I would recommend this rich and robust Bordeaux blend which punches well above its weight. Ripe and elegant with structure and poise it will match perfectly with the richness of the beef . If you want to give your gravy a third dimension , add a splash of port to the mix , your guests will certainly enjoy it!
Campbells Rutherglen Muscat , Australia
Christmas dinner isn’t polished off without a rich and mouth – filling dessert. Whether it’s trifle, tiramisu, pavlova or fruit salad there’s a spectrum of dessert wines to cater for all choices. If you choose that popular yuletide classic, Christmas pudding, pair this flaming favourite with sweet, brown, fortified wines such as sherry or this popular favourite from Victoria in South East Australia.
Bath Ales Golden Hare
Whilst some may opt for a versatile wine such as Chenin Blanc or Pinot Noir for the Boxing Day buffet, you may want to pair this array of foods with a hoppy beer. There’s a wide range available ready to pair with a multitude of flavours , however I’ve always been a fan of Bath Ales so their Golden Hare is my Boxing Day choice. Smooth yet dry, this is a rewarding ale with a wonderfully refreshing and zesty taste. With a touch of spice this excellent brew will provide the perfect pairing to a Boxing Day feast.
Portobello Road Gin, London
A Christmas cocktail always ticks the boxes when my family is concerned, however there’s nothing more pleasurable on a Christmas Day afternoon than a relaxing G&T. Showing plenty of juniper with fresh citrus notes from the use of lemon and bitter orange leading to a sweet peppery finish from coriander, liquorice and nutmeg. Serve with a twist of grapefruit and it’s sure to please any family member.
Raising a virtual glass to you all and wishing you a Happy Christmas and New Year
Do you like our six drink recommendations for your 2017 Christmas? Let us know below and, if you have any recommendations yourself, let us know about them also!