Festive Fayre

With a recently confirmed vegan in our household we'll be eating less meat this Christmas but I'm a traditionalist and won't be forgoing a turkey. I like to 'devil and pull' any left-overs on Boxing Day (see archive) which we will hopefully enjoy after a very long dog walk. Once most of the food preparation is out of the way on Christmas morning we will take a break with a glass of something sparkling which this year will almost certainly be the 'Grand Réserve' Champagne from J. Dumangin Fils, as I'm partial to it and it is (regrettably) being discontinued.


The Yapp terriers are hoping for long walks and a white Christmas!

The Yapp terriers are hoping for long walks and a white Christmas!


I'm a big believer in spreading the work-load and by long-standing tradition my sister Katy is 'minister in charge' of both bread sauce and watercress stuffing for which she swears by Delia Smith and Robert Carrier respectively.

At some point from mid to late morning we will serve some of the Chesil Smokery's peerless 'Cold Smoked' salmon, dressed with lemon juice and black pepper, and accompanied by a glass of either Eric Savaret's Macon-Vergisson 2016 or Alain Graillot's white Crozes-Hermitage 2017. I'm thinking on my feet about what to proffer the vegetarian delegation at this juncture but I'm currently leaning towards 'Cavi-Art' which is a caviar-like concoction made from seaweed that may (or may not) be delicious.

My appreciation of vegetables has definitely improved this year and I won't be boiling or steaming sprouts but roasting them in the oven with some chili flakes until they're yielding but still have a good firm texture - just shy of crunchy is perfect.

'Pigs in blankets' are a non-negotiable must. With a plate of those, the bread sauce, some mustard and sprouts I'd be perfectly contended.


Festive Fayre


I can expend a ridiculous amount of time pontificating about what wine to serve with the main meal on Christmas Day but at the time of writing I'm fixated with the idea of the 2015 Fleurie from Domaine de Fa. I think Gamay works well with poultry (and nut roast) with its' gentle tannins and fresh acidity and at just 12° ABV it won't be too overpowering. As we are celebrating I'll probably self-up-grade to a magnum.

Christmas pudding is notoriously difficult to match with wine and I don't think you can improve upon a small, chilled glass of Banyuls 'Réserva' from Domaine la Tour Vieille. It has a lovely sun-kissed quality that marries perfectly with dried fruit and should leave everyone contented.

In the unlikely event that my wishes are fulfilled I will then enjoy a post-prandial fire-side nap whilst willing hands tackle the washing up.


December Wines of the Month: £85.00 per case (of six bottles) delivered, saving £17.30 on list prices.