Written by my fiancé, because he knows more about drinking than me.
Christmas is thirsty work.
In 2013, Travelodge quizzed 2,500 adults about their Christmas drinking habits. Their survey established that on average, adults start drinking at 09:05 on Christmas morning. Really?? Certainly not in our house. Okay, there might be a bucks fizz with breakfast, but then that’s it until preprandial drinks. Choosing something new or slightly off the beaten track is a great way to make your celebration all the more special. I’ve hunted high and low, all in the name of research to share some lovely drinks for Christmas 2015.
Purple Moose Merry X-Moose
Christmas beer is a tricky one. I’m a strong believer in supporting local breweries rather than mass produced beer that tastes like water. My choice this year comes from The Purple Moose Brewery in North Wales. Their festive beer, Merry X-Moose, is a liquid Christmas in a glass. Brewed only at Christmastime, using darker malts and aromatic hops, it punches a full flavour and is a wonderfully rich ruby colour. At 5.0% it’s perfect as a festive drop and works equally well with food or on its own. It might also be worth persuading your children to leave this out to wet Santa’s whistle on Christmas Eve. I’m not advocating driving a sleigh whilst under the influence, but Santa will be grateful. You should also try Purple Moose’s Darkside of the Moose, which took a handful of gongs in the CAMRA Champion Winter Beer of Britian awards.
When it comes to wine for your Christmas meal, I’m a big fan of light red wines. There is so much rich flavour on the table that it’s important to choose a wine that won’t compete for your attention and leave your stomach feeling like two heavy weigh boxers are doing a full ten rounds inside you. For something fun, try Domaine Marcel Lapierre Raisins Gaulois 2014. The Lapierre vineyard was a pioneer of natural wines and continues the same philosophy today, delivering wines with as little human intervention as possible. Wonderfully fruity with little or no sulphur and only local yeast, this is beautifully thirst-quenching and refreshing and is easy to glug.
If you’ve a little more of a budget, I wholeheartedly recommend the 2009 Savigny les Beaune Hauts Jarrons 1er Cru, Domaine de Bellene, which is available from Berry Bros and Rudd. It’s the perfect partner of turkey, with a nose of dark berries and chocolate. That sounds like it might be heavy, but the vineyard’s stony, hillside location keeps the wine nice and balanced. Decant it and enjoy the Christmas drink of Kings.
Don’t ever be intimidated by the thought of shopping for wine at Berry Brothers. Their staff are accommodating, friendly and helpful and will help you choose wine no matter what your budget or knowledge level.