There is nothing so light but luxurious as a Fruits de Mer platter to celebrate the New Year. We've heard tell of super-cheap lobster from Lidl (though not actually seen any in our local branch) but the wonderful Scallop Shell fish counter ( at the Whiterow Farm shop (, A361 Beckington roundabout) has a great supply of shellfish of the highest quality suitable for this great treat. The refreshingly crisp and zingy Muscadet: Domaine de la Mortaine 2013 is the perfect accompaniment.

No skiing in the Alps for us but with a nod to Helvetic cuisine we will dust off the fondue set and enjoy a cheesy feast with the light & fruity good Gamay de L'Ardèche 2013. Possibly the boys favourite meal with its competitive edge.

Continuing the theme of ribsticking fare, we’ve rediscovered the joys of spare ribs. Not the sticky sweet kind (though they are wonderful) but an Italian recipe with the ribs sautéed then slow cooked in a tomato sauce and served with polenta. Enjoy with a robust red such as the Rasteau: Domaine Saint Gayan 2011.

By: Pippa Goldfinger.