December is such a busy time with lots of entertaining but also tying up loose ends at work before everyone disappears for the Christmas - New Year period. So it’s good to stock up on wine and food in a way that will take the pressure off.

I’ve made mini mince pies that are in the freezer waiting for a quick blast in the oven and spiced cookie dough to form into pretty snowflake biscuits. Likewise a cylinder of cheese biscuit dough rolled in poppy seeds will lie in wait in the freezer for the first Christmas party.

We’re trying out some Gravadlax with rye bread this year as a change from smoked salmon and blinis. A lovely zesty white that will compliment the richness of the salmon is Sancerre: Les Perriers 2013.

Whichever bird you decide to have for Christmas will be well complimented by the wonderfully balanced Bordeaux Supérieur: Château d’Abzac 2012.

For richer dishes such as stews and casseroles or to accompany your Christmas Stilton you may require a sturdier red such as Châteauneuf-du-Pape: Le Vieux Donjon 2011. Even better if you are sitting by a roaring fire while you sip it!

Wine-wise if you’re entertaining, it might be worth considering the 15-bottle case now available from Yapp Brothers.

By: Pippa Goldfinger.