A Spirited Journey

As a bartender in a previous life and a cocktail enthusiast to this day, there were few people more excited than I when the news of a new range of spirits hit Majestic HQ.

There’s a very exciting trend in the UK for craft beers, now artisanal spirits are growing as we develop a taste for something a little more discerning. Provenance and craftsmanship matter; there’s only so many Vodkas filtered through charcoal, diamonds, sapphires and Madonna’s knickers that we can bear.

How about a vodka that doesn’t need twenty filtrations to taste smooth? A gin that really shouts about its botanicals? Some rare and boutique whiskies? Spiced rum that would knock the parrot off a pirate’s shoulder?

Here’s a quick introduction to a few of the new additions:

Broker’s Gin
A gin made in the true London Dry style. Broker’s has a core of juniper and nutmeg enlivened with sweet citrus fruit and bolstered with aromatic spice; award winning Gin for a very good reason. Great in a Martini, go heavy on the Vermouth – it can take it, and garnish with an olive. You’ll spot it when you see it – the brand with the hat.

This makes me thirsty.

St George Terroir Gin
Juniper has a fantastically piney aroma, and the St George takes this to the nth degree with Douglas Fir and Bay Leaf as core botanicals. Amazing, pungent, herbacious and dazzlingly fresh, it’s earthy and funky and quite possibly the most exciting Gin I’ve tried in a very long time.

st george terroir gin

Blackwoods Botanical Vodka
Lightly infused with hand-picked Shetland botanicals in a process known as ‘Bonification’. You can really taste the Sea Pink nestled amongst Angelica, Marsh Marigold and Meadow Sweet! Perfect base for a Dry Vodka Martini, with a mere whisper of vermouth.

blackwoodsvodka

Red Leg Spiced Rum
Those who miss the original Sailor Jerry rum will love this. Red Leg isn’t just a hermit crab, it was the nickname given to Scottish sailors whose peely-wally legs caught a wee bit too much sunshine. Jamaican vanilla, ginger and spice abound in this smooth and robust rum.

redleg

The One British Blended Whisky
While Blended Whisky is nothing new, The One is a unique blend of whiskies from across the British Isles, each bringing it’s own distinct characteristic. Like the regions it represents, each has a voice in the whole – Scottish, Welsh, English and Irish (in no particular order) each contribute to something greater than the sum of its parts. Earthy smoke, sweet dried citrus, candied stone fruits and a tickle of coffee spice.

TheOne

Roger Groult Réserve Calvados
Think Granny Smith apples, crumble, toasted nuts and lemon peel. Then make me a crumble with all those and I’ll drink this while you do.

50815

Tariquet VSOP Armagnac
Thanks to many family holidays in the Sud-Ouest, Armagnac holds a very special place in my glass – not least for the schoolboy humour surrounding the town that lies at the heart of Armagnac production. Dried fruits, prune and peach pith laced with ginger and candied orange peel. Let it warm in your hands to release all its ethereal vapours, breathe in, and sip. Pair this with dark chocolate & salted caramel.

Find out more about our exciting new spirits range here!

A Spirited Journey

A Spirited Journey

As a bartender in a previous life and a cocktail enthusiast to this day, there were few people more excited than I when the news of a new range of spirits hit Majestic HQ.

There’s a very exciting trend in the UK for craft beers, now artisanal spirits are growing as we develop a taste for something a little more discerning. Provenance and craftsmanship matter; there’s only so many Vodkas filtered through charcoal, diamonds, sapphires and Madonna’s knickers that we can bear.

How about a vodka that doesn’t need twenty filtrations to taste smooth? A gin that really shouts about its botanicals? Some rare and boutique whiskies? Spiced rum that would knock the parrot off a pirate’s shoulder?

Here’s a quick introduction to a few of the new additions:

Broker’s Gin
A gin made in the true London Dry style. Broker’s has a core of juniper and nutmeg enlivened with sweet citrus fruit and bolstered with aromatic spice; award winning Gin for a very good reason. Great in a Martini, go heavy on the Vermouth – it can take it, and garnish with an olive. You’ll spot it when you see it – the brand with the hat.

This makes me thirsty.

St George Terroir Gin
Juniper has a fantastically piney aroma, and the St George takes this to the nth degree with Douglas Fir and Bay Leaf as core botanicals. Amazing, pungent, herbacious and dazzlingly fresh, it’s earthy and funky and quite possibly the most exciting Gin I’ve tried in a very long time.

st george terroir gin

Blackwoods Botanical Vodka
Lightly infused with hand-picked Shetland botanicals in a process known as ‘Bonification’. You can really taste the Sea Pink nestled amongst Angelica, Marsh Marigold and Meadow Sweet! Perfect base for a Dry Vodka Martini, with a mere whisper of vermouth.

blackwoodsvodka

Red Leg Spiced Rum
Those who miss the original Sailor Jerry rum will love this. Red Leg isn’t just a hermit crab, it was the nickname given to Scottish sailors whose peely-wally legs caught a wee bit too much sunshine. Jamaican vanilla, ginger and spice abound in this smooth and robust rum.

redleg

The One British Blended Whisky
While Blended Whisky is nothing new, The One is a unique blend of whiskies from across the British Isles, each bringing it’s own distinct characteristic. Like the regions it represents, each has a voice in the whole – Scottish, Welsh, English and Irish (in no particular order) each contribute to something greater than the sum of its parts. Earthy smoke, sweet dried citrus, candied stone fruits and a tickle of coffee spice.

TheOne

Roger Groult Réserve Calvados
Think Granny Smith apples, crumble, toasted nuts and lemon peel. Then make me a crumble with all those and I’ll drink this while you do.

50815

Tariquet VSOP Armagnac
Thanks to many family holidays in the Sud-Ouest, Armagnac holds a very special place in my glass – not least for the schoolboy humour surrounding the town that lies at the heart of Armagnac production. Dried fruits, prune and peach pith laced with ginger and candied orange peel. Let it warm in your hands to release all its ethereal vapours, breathe in, and sip. Pair this with dark chocolate & salted caramel.

Find out more about our exciting new spirits range here!

A Spirited Journey

A Spirited Journey

As a bartender in a previous life and a cocktail enthusiast to this day, there were few people more excited than I when the news of a new range of spirits hit Majestic HQ.

There’s a very exciting trend in the UK for craft beers, now artisanal spirits are growing as we develop a taste for something a little more discerning. Provenance and craftsmanship matter; there’s only so many Vodkas filtered through charcoal, diamonds, sapphires and Madonna’s knickers that we can bear.

How about a vodka that doesn’t need twenty filtrations to taste smooth? A gin that really shouts about its botanicals? Some rare and boutique whiskies? Spiced rum that would knock the parrot off a pirate’s shoulder?

Here’s a quick introduction to a few of the new additions:

Broker’s Gin
A gin made in the true London Dry style. Broker’s has a core of juniper and nutmeg enlivened with sweet citrus fruit and bolstered with aromatic spice; award winning Gin for a very good reason. Great in a Martini, go heavy on the Vermouth – it can take it, and garnish with an olive. You’ll spot it when you see it – the brand with the hat.

This makes me thirsty.

St George Terroir Gin
Juniper has a fantastically piney aroma, and the St George takes this to the nth degree with Douglas Fir and Bay Leaf as core botanicals. Amazing, pungent, herbacious and dazzlingly fresh, it’s earthy and funky and quite possibly the most exciting Gin I’ve tried in a very long time.

st george terroir gin

Blackwoods Botanical Vodka
Lightly infused with hand-picked Shetland botanicals in a process known as ‘Bonification’. You can really taste the Sea Pink nestled amongst Angelica, Marsh Marigold and Meadow Sweet! Perfect base for a Dry Vodka Martini, with a mere whisper of vermouth.

blackwoodsvodka

Red Leg Spiced Rum
Those who miss the original Sailor Jerry rum will love this. Red Leg isn’t just a hermit crab, it was the nickname given to Scottish sailors whose peely-wally legs caught a wee bit too much sunshine. Jamaican vanilla, ginger and spice abound in this smooth and robust rum.

redleg

The One British Blended Whisky
While Blended Whisky is nothing new, The One is a unique blend of whiskies from across the British Isles, each bringing it’s own distinct characteristic. Like the regions it represents, each has a voice in the whole – Scottish, Welsh, English and Irish (in no particular order) each contribute to something greater than the sum of its parts. Earthy smoke, sweet dried citrus, candied stone fruits and a tickle of coffee spice.

TheOne

Roger Groult Réserve Calvados
Think Granny Smith apples, crumble, toasted nuts and lemon peel. Then make me a crumble with all those and I’ll drink this while you do.

50815

Tariquet VSOP Armagnac
Thanks to many family holidays in the Sud-Ouest, Armagnac holds a very special place in my glass – not least for the schoolboy humour surrounding the town that lies at the heart of Armagnac production. Dried fruits, prune and peach pith laced with ginger and candied orange peel. Let it warm in your hands to release all its ethereal vapours, breathe in, and sip. Pair this with dark chocolate & salted caramel.

Find out more about our exciting new spirits range here!

A Spirited Journey

A Spirited Journey

As a bartender in a previous life and a cocktail enthusiast to this day, there were few people more excited than I when the news of a new range of spirits hit Majestic HQ.

There’s a very exciting trend in the UK for craft beers, now artisanal spirits are growing as we develop a taste for something a little more discerning. Provenance and craftsmanship matter; there’s only so many Vodkas filtered through charcoal, diamonds, sapphires and Madonna’s knickers that we can bear.

How about a vodka that doesn’t need twenty filtrations to taste smooth? A gin that really shouts about its botanicals? Some rare and boutique whiskies? Spiced rum that would knock the parrot off a pirate’s shoulder?

Here’s a quick introduction to a few of the new additions:

Broker’s Gin
A gin made in the true London Dry style. Broker’s has a core of juniper and nutmeg enlivened with sweet citrus fruit and bolstered with aromatic spice; award winning Gin for a very good reason. Great in a Martini, go heavy on the Vermouth – it can take it, and garnish with an olive. You’ll spot it when you see it – the brand with the hat.

This makes me thirsty.

St George Terroir Gin
Juniper has a fantastically piney aroma, and the St George takes this to the nth degree with Douglas Fir and Bay Leaf as core botanicals. Amazing, pungent, herbacious and dazzlingly fresh, it’s earthy and funky and quite possibly the most exciting Gin I’ve tried in a very long time.

st george terroir gin

Blackwoods Botanical Vodka
Lightly infused with hand-picked Shetland botanicals in a process known as ‘Bonification’. You can really taste the Sea Pink nestled amongst Angelica, Marsh Marigold and Meadow Sweet! Perfect base for a Dry Vodka Martini, with a mere whisper of vermouth.

blackwoodsvodka

Red Leg Spiced Rum
Those who miss the original Sailor Jerry rum will love this. Red Leg isn’t just a hermit crab, it was the nickname given to Scottish sailors whose peely-wally legs caught a wee bit too much sunshine. Jamaican vanilla, ginger and spice abound in this smooth and robust rum.

redleg

The One British Blended Whisky
While Blended Whisky is nothing new, The One is a unique blend of whiskies from across the British Isles, each bringing it’s own distinct characteristic. Like the regions it represents, each has a voice in the whole – Scottish, Welsh, English and Irish (in no particular order) each contribute to something greater than the sum of its parts. Earthy smoke, sweet dried citrus, candied stone fruits and a tickle of coffee spice.

TheOne

Roger Groult Réserve Calvados
Think Granny Smith apples, crumble, toasted nuts and lemon peel. Then make me a crumble with all those and I’ll drink this while you do.

50815

Tariquet VSOP Armagnac
Thanks to many family holidays in the Sud-Ouest, Armagnac holds a very special place in my glass – not least for the schoolboy humour surrounding the town that lies at the heart of Armagnac production. Dried fruits, prune and peach pith laced with ginger and candied orange peel. Let it warm in your hands to release all its ethereal vapours, breathe in, and sip. Pair this with dark chocolate & salted caramel.

Find out more about our exciting new spirits range here!

A Spirited Journey

A Spirited Journey

As a bartender in a previous life and a cocktail enthusiast to this day, there were few people more excited than I when the news of a new range of spirits hit Majestic HQ.

There’s a very exciting trend in the UK for craft beers, now artisanal spirits are growing as we develop a taste for something a little more discerning. Provenance and craftsmanship matter; there’s only so many Vodkas filtered through charcoal, diamonds, sapphires and Madonna’s knickers that we can bear.

How about a vodka that doesn’t need twenty filtrations to taste smooth? A gin that really shouts about its botanicals? Some rare and boutique whiskies? Spiced rum that would knock the parrot off a pirate’s shoulder?

Here’s a quick introduction to a few of the new additions:

Broker’s Gin
A gin made in the true London Dry style. Broker’s has a core of juniper and nutmeg enlivened with sweet citrus fruit and bolstered with aromatic spice; award winning Gin for a very good reason. Great in a Martini, go heavy on the Vermouth – it can take it, and garnish with an olive. You’ll spot it when you see it – the brand with the hat.

This makes me thirsty.

St George Terroir Gin
Juniper has a fantastically piney aroma, and the St George takes this to the nth degree with Douglas Fir and Bay Leaf as core botanicals. Amazing, pungent, herbacious and dazzlingly fresh, it’s earthy and funky and quite possibly the most exciting Gin I’ve tried in a very long time.

st george terroir gin

Blackwoods Botanical Vodka
Lightly infused with hand-picked Shetland botanicals in a process known as ‘Bonification’. You can really taste the Sea Pink nestled amongst Angelica, Marsh Marigold and Meadow Sweet! Perfect base for a Dry Vodka Martini, with a mere whisper of vermouth.

blackwoodsvodka

Red Leg Spiced Rum
Those who miss the original Sailor Jerry rum will love this. Red Leg isn’t just a hermit crab, it was the nickname given to Scottish sailors whose peely-wally legs caught a wee bit too much sunshine. Jamaican vanilla, ginger and spice abound in this smooth and robust rum.

redleg

The One British Blended Whisky
While Blended Whisky is nothing new, The One is a unique blend of whiskies from across the British Isles, each bringing it’s own distinct characteristic. Like the regions it represents, each has a voice in the whole – Scottish, Welsh, English and Irish (in no particular order) each contribute to something greater than the sum of its parts. Earthy smoke, sweet dried citrus, candied stone fruits and a tickle of coffee spice.

TheOne

Roger Groult Réserve Calvados
Think Granny Smith apples, crumble, toasted nuts and lemon peel. Then make me a crumble with all those and I’ll drink this while you do.

50815

Tariquet VSOP Armagnac
Thanks to many family holidays in the Sud-Ouest, Armagnac holds a very special place in my glass – not least for the schoolboy humour surrounding the town that lies at the heart of Armagnac production. Dried fruits, prune and peach pith laced with ginger and candied orange peel. Let it warm in your hands to release all its ethereal vapours, breathe in, and sip. Pair this with dark chocolate & salted caramel.

Find out more about our exciting new spirits range here!

A Spirited Journey

A Spirited Journey

As a bartender in a previous life and a cocktail enthusiast to this day, there were few people more excited than I when the news of a new range of spirits hit Majestic HQ.

There’s a very exciting trend in the UK for craft beers, now artisanal spirits are growing as we develop a taste for something a little more discerning. Provenance and craftsmanship matter; there’s only so many Vodkas filtered through charcoal, diamonds, sapphires and Madonna’s knickers that we can bear.

How about a vodka that doesn’t need twenty filtrations to taste smooth? A gin that really shouts about its botanicals? Some rare and boutique whiskies? Spiced rum that would knock the parrot off a pirate’s shoulder?

Here’s a quick introduction to a few of the new additions:

Broker’s Gin
A gin made in the true London Dry style. Broker’s has a core of juniper and nutmeg enlivened with sweet citrus fruit and bolstered with aromatic spice; award winning Gin for a very good reason. Great in a Martini, go heavy on the Vermouth – it can take it, and garnish with an olive. You’ll spot it when you see it – the brand with the hat.

This makes me thirsty.

St George Terroir Gin
Juniper has a fantastically piney aroma, and the St George takes this to the nth degree with Douglas Fir and Bay Leaf as core botanicals. Amazing, pungent, herbacious and dazzlingly fresh, it’s earthy and funky and quite possibly the most exciting Gin I’ve tried in a very long time.

st george terroir gin

Blackwoods Botanical Vodka
Lightly infused with hand-picked Shetland botanicals in a process known as ‘Bonification’. You can really taste the Sea Pink nestled amongst Angelica, Marsh Marigold and Meadow Sweet! Perfect base for a Dry Vodka Martini, with a mere whisper of vermouth.

blackwoodsvodka

Red Leg Spiced Rum
Those who miss the original Sailor Jerry rum will love this. Red Leg isn’t just a hermit crab, it was the nickname given to Scottish sailors whose peely-wally legs caught a wee bit too much sunshine. Jamaican vanilla, ginger and spice abound in this smooth and robust rum.

redleg

The One British Blended Whisky
While Blended Whisky is nothing new, The One is a unique blend of whiskies from across the British Isles, each bringing it’s own distinct characteristic. Like the regions it represents, each has a voice in the whole – Scottish, Welsh, English and Irish (in no particular order) each contribute to something greater than the sum of its parts. Earthy smoke, sweet dried citrus, candied stone fruits and a tickle of coffee spice.

TheOne

Roger Groult Réserve Calvados
Think Granny Smith apples, crumble, toasted nuts and lemon peel. Then make me a crumble with all those and I’ll drink this while you do.

50815

Tariquet VSOP Armagnac
Thanks to many family holidays in the Sud-Ouest, Armagnac holds a very special place in my glass – not least for the schoolboy humour surrounding the town that lies at the heart of Armagnac production. Dried fruits, prune and peach pith laced with ginger and candied orange peel. Let it warm in your hands to release all its ethereal vapours, breathe in, and sip. Pair this with dark chocolate & salted caramel.

Find out more about our exciting new spirits range here!

A Spirited Journey

A Spirited Journey

As a bartender in a previous life and a cocktail enthusiast to this day, there were few people more excited than I when the news of a new range of spirits hit Majestic HQ.

There’s a very exciting trend in the UK for craft beers, now artisanal spirits are growing as we develop a taste for something a little more discerning. Provenance and craftsmanship matter; there’s only so many Vodkas filtered through charcoal, diamonds, sapphires and Madonna’s knickers that we can bear.

How about a vodka that doesn’t need twenty filtrations to taste smooth? A gin that really shouts about its botanicals? Some rare and boutique whiskies? Spiced rum that would knock the parrot off a pirate’s shoulder?

Here’s a quick introduction to a few of the new additions:

Broker’s Gin
A gin made in the true London Dry style. Broker’s has a core of juniper and nutmeg enlivened with sweet citrus fruit and bolstered with aromatic spice; award winning Gin for a very good reason. Great in a Martini, go heavy on the Vermouth – it can take it, and garnish with an olive. You’ll spot it when you see it – the brand with the hat.

This makes me thirsty.

St George Terroir Gin
Juniper has a fantastically piney aroma, and the St George takes this to the nth degree with Douglas Fir and Bay Leaf as core botanicals. Amazing, pungent, herbacious and dazzlingly fresh, it’s earthy and funky and quite possibly the most exciting Gin I’ve tried in a very long time.

st george terroir gin

Blackwoods Botanical Vodka
Lightly infused with hand-picked Shetland botanicals in a process known as ‘Bonification’. You can really taste the Sea Pink nestled amongst Angelica, Marsh Marigold and Meadow Sweet! Perfect base for a Dry Vodka Martini, with a mere whisper of vermouth.

blackwoodsvodka

Red Leg Spiced Rum
Those who miss the original Sailor Jerry rum will love this. Red Leg isn’t just a hermit crab, it was the nickname given to Scottish sailors whose peely-wally legs caught a wee bit too much sunshine. Jamaican vanilla, ginger and spice abound in this smooth and robust rum.

redleg

The One British Blended Whisky
While Blended Whisky is nothing new, The One is a unique blend of whiskies from across the British Isles, each bringing it’s own distinct characteristic. Like the regions it represents, each has a voice in the whole – Scottish, Welsh, English and Irish (in no particular order) each contribute to something greater than the sum of its parts. Earthy smoke, sweet dried citrus, candied stone fruits and a tickle of coffee spice.

TheOne

Roger Groult Réserve Calvados
Think Granny Smith apples, crumble, toasted nuts and lemon peel. Then make me a crumble with all those and I’ll drink this while you do.

50815

Tariquet VSOP Armagnac
Thanks to many family holidays in the Sud-Ouest, Armagnac holds a very special place in my glass – not least for the schoolboy humour surrounding the town that lies at the heart of Armagnac production. Dried fruits, prune and peach pith laced with ginger and candied orange peel. Let it warm in your hands to release all its ethereal vapours, breathe in, and sip. Pair this with dark chocolate & salted caramel.

Find out more about our exciting new spirits range here!

A Spirited Journey

A Spirited Journey

As a bartender in a previous life and a cocktail enthusiast to this day, there were few people more excited than I when the news of a new range of spirits hit Majestic HQ.

There’s a very exciting trend in the UK for craft beers, now artisanal spirits are growing as we develop a taste for something a little more discerning. Provenance and craftsmanship matter; there’s only so many Vodkas filtered through charcoal, diamonds, sapphires and Madonna’s knickers that we can bear.

How about a vodka that doesn’t need twenty filtrations to taste smooth? A gin that really shouts about its botanicals? Some rare and boutique whiskies? Spiced rum that would knock the parrot off a pirate’s shoulder?

Here’s a quick introduction to a few of the new additions:

Broker’s Gin
A gin made in the true London Dry style. Broker’s has a core of juniper and nutmeg enlivened with sweet citrus fruit and bolstered with aromatic spice; award winning Gin for a very good reason. Great in a Martini, go heavy on the Vermouth – it can take it, and garnish with an olive. You’ll spot it when you see it – the brand with the hat.

This makes me thirsty.

St George Terroir Gin
Juniper has a fantastically piney aroma, and the St George takes this to the nth degree with Douglas Fir and Bay Leaf as core botanicals. Amazing, pungent, herbacious and dazzlingly fresh, it’s earthy and funky and quite possibly the most exciting Gin I’ve tried in a very long time.

st george terroir gin

Blackwoods Botanical Vodka
Lightly infused with hand-picked Shetland botanicals in a process known as ‘Bonification’. You can really taste the Sea Pink nestled amongst Angelica, Marsh Marigold and Meadow Sweet! Perfect base for a Dry Vodka Martini, with a mere whisper of vermouth.

blackwoodsvodka

Red Leg Spiced Rum
Those who miss the original Sailor Jerry rum will love this. Red Leg isn’t just a hermit crab, it was the nickname given to Scottish sailors whose peely-wally legs caught a wee bit too much sunshine. Jamaican vanilla, ginger and spice abound in this smooth and robust rum.

redleg

The One British Blended Whisky
While Blended Whisky is nothing new, The One is a unique blend of whiskies from across the British Isles, each bringing it’s own distinct characteristic. Like the regions it represents, each has a voice in the whole – Scottish, Welsh, English and Irish (in no particular order) each contribute to something greater than the sum of its parts. Earthy smoke, sweet dried citrus, candied stone fruits and a tickle of coffee spice.

TheOne

Roger Groult Réserve Calvados
Think Granny Smith apples, crumble, toasted nuts and lemon peel. Then make me a crumble with all those and I’ll drink this while you do.

50815

Tariquet VSOP Armagnac
Thanks to many family holidays in the Sud-Ouest, Armagnac holds a very special place in my glass – not least for the schoolboy humour surrounding the town that lies at the heart of Armagnac production. Dried fruits, prune and peach pith laced with ginger and candied orange peel. Let it warm in your hands to release all its ethereal vapours, breathe in, and sip. Pair this with dark chocolate & salted caramel.

Find out more about our exciting new spirits range here!

A Spirited Journey

Wine and Food Matching: Christmas Combinations

Christmas is a time for family, friends and fabulously festive food. When you’re the family wine-geek, that means it’s your job to make sure the wines are up to the task. Wine and food-matching is important at any meal, you don’t want your goose to come out perfectly juicy only to find the wine clashes with the cranberry sauce!

My family is your classic Scottish-German hybrid (what, you mean that isn’t classic?) with some slightly strange traditions. We serve Christmas Dinner on Christmas Eve just before we open all the presents – after a performance from each of the children in front of the tree. It’s a bit like the Von McTrapps. Even once the children were old enough to have children of their own, the tradition continued and as families grew, we started to have a ‘second’ Dinner on Christmas Day so that we could celebrate it with the non-Germano-Scottish contingent too. Suddenly it’s not just one meal, it’s two I have to match for; luckily, that means I’ve learned a lot about what goes with what!

Starters

Smoked Salmon Gravadlax
My Dad is a big fan of serving this with a shot of something straight from the freezer. If he’d been away to Norway on business that year it would be Aquavit, if not, Vodka. My twist on this is the amazing new St. George Terroir Gin - with pungent pine forest and bay leaf notes, it’s perfect. Drizzle some on the salmon and sip the rest (colder than ice) as you serve.

Paté
As children we despised this grey paste of doom, taunting us with a duplicitous jelly topping that was nothing like the sort you serve with ice cream. Unless you’re Heston. Now? Show me foie gras and I’ll go get the Champagne. Foie Gras begs for zesty fruit and a piercing backbone of acidity to help slice through that creamy, fatty goodness. If not champagne, then this Gruner Veltliner is pretty much the last word on the subject. I’ll be on Pol Roger, though!

IMG_6374

The Main Event

Wild Venison Casserole
This was always the main course on Christmas Eve, roast parsnip, mashed potato and red cabbage (with spiced apple) on the side. I like a red with a bit of heft for this, and Rustenberg’s RM Nicholson is the perfect match with lashings of dark, spicy fruits, big body and plenty of smooth tannins to help it all down. It’s an outstanding wine for the money.

20259

Turkey Crown
It’s tempting to dive for a Pinot Noir as the turkey pairing, and if you do then something with plenty fruit and fresh acidity will cut the cranberry. Mud House Pinot Noir is a great choice with good balance – ripe red fruits, raspberry, strawberry and loganberry abound . Personally, I love a good white burgundy with my Turkey, and Christopher Cordier’s Macon-Fuisse is outstanding for the price.

04674

Goose
As Christmas fowl goes, goose is quite a rich meat and as with Turkey, I would lean towards white before I picked a red. A wine with body but enough zest to cut through the fattiness of the goose is required, and New Zealand Pinot Gris is a bold – if esoteric – choice. Black Cottage Pinot Gris has stone fruit aplenty, with nectarine and a tickle of ginger spice backed up with mineral freshness.

37314

Pudding

Christmas Pudding
Lay on the brandy, set it aflame and serve generously with brandy butter, or cream if you prefer. A little pudding wine, perhaps? Rustenberg’s Straw Wine is an absolute stunner. Racy acidity, luscious candied stone fruits, ripe juicy lemon, orange peel, mango and a touch of dried sultana. Some of which you might even have put in the pudding.

20269

The Cheese Board
Save some of everything from the meal – cheeses are varied and it’s a shame to have the same wine with all of them. Creamy Brie and Chardonnay are stunning together. Hard cheddar and Bordeaux are great. Stilton works really well with dessert wine, or port if you prefer.

And after all that? Crack open the Armagnac, put your feet up and help yourself to some more Christmas pud.

Happy Christmas!

Wine and Food Matching: Christmas Combinations

Wine and Food Matching: Christmas Combinations

Christmas is a time for family, friends and fabulously festive food. When you’re the family wine-geek, that means it’s your job to make sure the wines are up to the task. Wine and food-matching is important at any meal, you don’t want your goose to come out perfectly juicy only to find the wine clashes with the cranberry sauce!

My family is your classic Scottish-German hybrid (what, you mean that isn’t classic?) with some slightly strange traditions. We serve Christmas Dinner on Christmas Eve just before we open all the presents – after a performance from each of the children in front of the tree. It’s a bit like the Von McTrapps. Even once the children were old enough to have children of their own, the tradition continued and as families grew, we started to have a ‘second’ Dinner on Christmas Day so that we could celebrate it with the non-Germano-Scottish contingent too. Suddenly it’s not just one meal, it’s two I have to match for; luckily, that means I’ve learned a lot about what goes with what!

Starters

Smoked Salmon Gravadlax
My Dad is a big fan of serving this with a shot of something straight from the freezer. If he’d been away to Norway on business that year it would be Aquavit, if not, Vodka. My twist on this is the amazing new St. George Terroir Gin - with pungent pine forest and bay leaf notes, it’s perfect. Drizzle some on the salmon and sip the rest (colder than ice) as you serve.

Paté
As children we despised this grey paste of doom, taunting us with a duplicitous jelly topping that was nothing like the sort you serve with ice cream. Unless you’re Heston. Now? Show me foie gras and I’ll go get the Champagne. Foie Gras begs for zesty fruit and a piercing backbone of acidity to help slice through that creamy, fatty goodness. If not champagne, then this Gruner Veltliner is pretty much the last word on the subject. I’ll be on Pol Roger, though!

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The Main Event

Wild Venison Casserole
This was always the main course on Christmas Eve, roast parsnip, mashed potato and red cabbage (with spiced apple) on the side. I like a red with a bit of heft for this, and Rustenberg’s RM Nicholson is the perfect match with lashings of dark, spicy fruits, big body and plenty of smooth tannins to help it all down. It’s an outstanding wine for the money.

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Turkey Crown
It’s tempting to dive for a Pinot Noir as the turkey pairing, and if you do then something with plenty fruit and fresh acidity will cut the cranberry. Mud House Pinot Noir is a great choice with good balance – ripe red fruits, raspberry, strawberry and loganberry abound . Personally, I love a good white burgundy with my Turkey, and Christopher Cordier’s Macon-Fuisse is outstanding for the price.

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Goose
As Christmas fowl goes, goose is quite a rich meat and as with Turkey, I would lean towards white before I picked a red. A wine with body but enough zest to cut through the fattiness of the goose is required, and New Zealand Pinot Gris is a bold – if esoteric – choice. Black Cottage Pinot Gris has stone fruit aplenty, with nectarine and a tickle of ginger spice backed up with mineral freshness.

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Pudding

Christmas Pudding
Lay on the brandy, set it aflame and serve generously with brandy butter, or cream if you prefer. A little pudding wine, perhaps? Rustenberg’s Straw Wine is an absolute stunner. Racy acidity, luscious candied stone fruits, ripe juicy lemon, orange peel, mango and a touch of dried sultana. Some of which you might even have put in the pudding.

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The Cheese Board
Save some of everything from the meal – cheeses are varied and it’s a shame to have the same wine with all of them. Creamy Brie and Chardonnay are stunning together. Hard cheddar and Bordeaux are great. Stilton works really well with dessert wine, or port if you prefer.

And after all that? Crack open the Armagnac, put your feet up and help yourself to some more Christmas pud.

Happy Christmas!

Wine and Food Matching: Christmas Combinations