PUBLISHED: 10:58 03 December 2013 | UPDATED: 10:58 03 December 2013
It can be difficult to choose what drink to serve with your Christmas dessert, but here Susan Clark gives a run-down on the best ports, wines and sherries to match with your after dinner treat
Honeyed dessert wines, tawny ports, sparkly pink bruts and pale creamy sherries are the scene-stealing stars of elegant Christmas entertaining but which one do you serve with which pudding? Here’s our simple guide to matching - whether you’re serving a family lunch or just having the neighbours over for mince pies.
1 With the Christmas Pudding: Fortified Figgy Wine
For the star of the show - your Christmas pudding - serve the Wine Society’s Exhibition Viejo Oloroso Dulce; an intense, rich and figgy-flavoured sherry from Spain; £10.75 per bottle; order online from thewinesociety.com
2 With Chocolate Truffles & Profiteroles: Full-bodied Madeira
Matching chocolate with wines is tricky because chocolate coats the tongue and that can make whatever you serve taste very bitter. Stand up to the punch of the cocoa bean with a sturdy Madeira dessert wine. Sainsbury’s Madeira Portugal, £6.75 for 375ml; sainsburys.co.uk
3 With Mince Pies: Sweet White Muscat
Unless you live with a sommalier (in which case you don’t need to read on) then half the fun of choosing your Christmas pudding drinks is that you are allowed to play around and experiment. Try this Moscato D’Asti di Strevi with warmed mince pies or serve chilled with olives as a pre-dinner appertif. £9 for 37cl, from secretcellar.co.uk.
4 With Stilton: Tawny Port
It’s a classic combination that also works well as a paired-up luxury foodie Christmas gift; for great value buy Waitrose own brand oak-barrel aged Tawny Port which is just £8.49 for 75cl; in store and online at waitrose.com
5 With Spiced Poached Pears: Sparkling Pink Brut
Serve an elegant glass of this award-winning pink sparkling wine made by a small vineyard on the outskirts of Okehampton with any of your fruit desserts. Eastcott Vineyard’s Brut Rose £24.50, per bottle; available from eastcottvineyard.co.uk
6 With a Sherry Trifle: Honeyed Muscat
Muscat de Beaumes De Venise is a full-bodied, fruity dessert wine with a lemony finish that will sit well with the sherry-soaked sponges and fruit cocktail base of a traditional English trifle pudding. £6.29 for a half bottle from Tesco; tesco.com