When the turkey and trimmings are finished and the plates are cleared, comes the toughest question of the Christmas festivities; "Any room for pudding?"
Whether it’s traditional Christmas pudding or a mince pie, we have the drinks that you must find room for!
The mince pie is a uniquely British 'sweetmeat' served at Christmastime, and can be traced back to the arrival of spices and dried fruits from the Middle East in the 13th Century. Here are two fortified wines that go well with the dried fruit, spices and buttery pastry:
SAUTERNES, RESERVE AOC, DULONG - £10.95
A delicious sweet wine packed full of flavours like orange peel and apricot jam. It's not overtly sticky and will cut through the pastry.
GRAHAM'S 2008 LATE BOTTLED VINTAGE PORT - £12.99
This port has been aged but still has a vitality that works beautifully with a mince pie. The acidity and heat of the alcohol cut through the rich pastry and its distinctly minty and herbal flavours offset the warm spices of the mincemeat.
The Christmas pudding also has medieval heritage as plum pudding, traditionally aged for many months ahead of the festive feast. It is often pictured being flamed with brandy and ceremoniously brought to the table à la Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol…but we say the booze in your glass is more important - enjoy these with your Christmas pud:
SOMERSET FIVE YEAR OLD CIDER BRANDY - £16.25
This half bottle format will give you all a little taste of this home-grown classic and won't then sit in the cupboard for a year. The extra ageing means that the smooth spicy notes go perfectly with the pudding, and you could add a splash to your brandy sauce. This Apple Brandy is dry and fruity enough to cut through the heavy Christmas pudding, and also acts as a digestive aid.
MORELLO CHERRY BRANDY LIQUEUR - £11.95
For those with a sweeter tooth, a little sip of Morello Cherry Liqueur is just gorgeous with the sweet dark fruits of a pudding. At just 19% alcohol (similar to Port) it will not push you over the edge.
Once the table is cleared and Her Majesty has spoken to the nation, a little after-dinner drink is in order. A nibble of cheese and a glass of Port may be the ideal snack at this point, or perhaps just a delicious sip of coffee liqueur? Check out these 3 post dinner drinks:
PATRÓN XO CAFE TEQUILA LIQUEUR - £26.50
Something a little different; a sweetened coffee liqueur with a tequila base. This will you up, and the strong tequila is an effective disgestive.
GRAHAM'S 10 YEAR OLD TAWNY PORT - £18.00
A classic Tawny Port to be enjoyed with its classic partner; stilton cheese.
GONZALEZ BYASS SOLERA 1847 CREAM SHERRY - £11.95
A velvety texture with concentrated raisins and figs makes this a lovely post-dinner drink. Matches well with a square of dark chocolate.