Sunday, 11 December 2016

What I am drinking this Christmas

Christmas time is for kicking back, enjoying the time with family and friends (after the frantic food and present shopping is done) eating and of course drinking products that are after all that little bit more special.

My drinks this holiday will include the following as well as many other interesting bottles I have acquired over the past twelve months.  My children and grandchildren will be joining us this year for a big Christmas Day meal and I will want to have loads of white wine, red wine and beer for the adults and of course a variety of soft drinks for the little people.

I recently met the winemakers  Zonin from Italy who have been making award winning wines since 1821 and have a very impressive wine list now available in the UK and was thrilled when they sent me a mixed case to sample over the holidays. I am hoping to visit the vineyards next year and bring you the stories of the people behind the wines including their families and their lives.
My Christmas Day sparkling wine will be Prosecco from Famiglia Zonin, crisp with lovely small bubbles, not too sweet and certainly refreshing and the perfect drink to get the holidays started. (Don't tell anyone I may have to start a bottle on Christmas Eve to get the last food prep done!!).
I mostly drink white wine but Mr R is more a red wine drinker however there are a few red wines I really, really love and a good Chianti is one of them.  I had the opportunity to taste this Chianti at an Italian dinner event and was really impressed.  There were no sharp notes or corners to this wine just a smoothness and taste that really got my attention.  Castello de Albola Chianti Classico 2013 is a real winner as far as I am concerned.  I am thinking of saving this one for a creamy turkey pasta or maybe a tomato based pasta during the week between Christmas and New Year.
 Mr R will certainly be opening the Zonin Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore 2014 at the Christmas table though, a rich red wine lovely to drink on its own or with a rich food like turkey - perfect for the occasion!

The visiting men will have a treat for them in the shape of craft beer from Beer52.  There seems to be a plethora of subscription services popping up so that now you can have a regular monthly delivery from everything from socks to cheese (not cheesey socks) and a new player is Beer52 where you are able to tailor your boxes to your own taste..
The Christmas box that arrived contained some really interesting looking bottles with labels that made Mr R make delighted squealing noises (really!!)
And with each case you get a copy of their magazine Ferment packed with loads of info on the month's selection along with recipes to get the most out of  your selection!
Each box will contain 8 different craft beers changing each month.  You can pay monthly, every three months, 6 months or every 12 months with prices starting from £24.00 per box.  You can also send a box to a beer loving friend as a one off gift.

You have a chance to get the freshest beer around and it's like having 50,000 drinking buddies!
If you want to see what Beer52 is all about click here and if you sign up for their service you will get £10.00 of your first box if you enter the code HEIDI10 at the website prompt.

Another wine that will be offered to our visiting diners this holiday is the Australian wine I discovered recently from the Bird in Hand winery.
They say a Bird in Hand is worth Two in the Bush - this wine certainly says it is the truth!  Bird in Hand is a multi award winning Australian winery and is now available in the UK from Frontier Wines.

The white is a Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2015 from the Adelaide Hills.  It's elegant and crisp with tropical flavours and quite citrussy.  Easy drinking chilled however pairs perfectly with cheeses and cured hams and salami. I tasted this wine at the official UK launch in London recently.
The red wine is a Shiraz 2014 with a slight oakiness with aromas of blackberry and pepper with a hint of chocolate. It's full bodied, it's complex and elegant pairing perfectly well with winter stews of beef or venison.
After dinner I will be treating adult visitors to a little Grappa served in tiny little chocolate cups a treat from Carluccio's.
And of course there will be some lovely little things to nibble with some of the drinks above such as a selection of cured meats from Woodall's - The home of British charcuterie! They sent me a selection from their extensive range of salamis, sausages, hams and bacon.
Also from Carluccio's I will offer Baci de Dama (ladies' kisses), mouthwatering one bite hazelnut biscuits with a chocolate hazelnut filling - each one easy to pop into your mouth and made with butter and so slowly melts in your mouth.  Follow up with a strong Italian coffee or glass of Italian Prosecco (see above) for a taste of Christmas paradise!
With an impressive list like this one I guess I will be pretty chilled out by New Year's Day!  What are you drinking this holiday season - leave a comment below and share.

I was sent the drinks and other featured products for review but was not required to write a positive review.  All opinions and photos are my own.


  1. Some really nice stuff here! I love the look of those little chocolate cups, so cute! They'd make great desserts too if you filled them with something tasty.

    1. I love the little chocolate cups with a cherry brandy after dinner.

  2. So many lovely drinks options. I'm not sure what I will be drinking this Christmas, usually prosecco and red wine.

    1. I will be having loads of bubbly this holiday!

  3. What a fabulous selection Heidi! I love the little chocolate shot glasses from Carluccio's! I'll be on the fizz and usually concoct some kind of festive cocktail by the jug for anyone coming over to visit.