There is something about Christmas that see’s most people indulging in gorgeous food and drink that they other wise might not, for me the big one is flavoured cheeses. Then there is the array of food that only appear at Christmas that I can’t seem to get enough of, yet wouldn’t ever think to eat in any month other than December, like mince pies and Christmas pudding. Christmas really is a time to indulge in fine food and drinks and I for one absolutely love it.
In our house we also have a few Christmas traditions that include and incorporate our favourite foods and drinks.
I have put together a list of some of my favourites and would love to hear about yours too.
We always start Christmas day with a bacon butty and a glass of bucks fizz. This year I have discovered Cure and Simple, a company that allows you to pick your flavour and have your bacon delivered straight to your door for maximum freshness. You can even sign up to a subscription service and have your bacon delivered weekly, fortnightly, or monthly. This is great if like us you enjoy a breakfast butty or want to add some full of flavour and good quality bacon to your turkey dressing or to make those delicious pigs in blankets.
Not long after breakfast, and usually before we’ve even finished opening the gifts, at least one person has cracked open some chocolates. My favourites are Reese’s peanut butter cups. I first tried them in New York many years ago and was so happy when I found they were available in the UK to. This year I have added a Reese’s selection box to my Christmas wish list and have already enjoyed a couple of the Christmas trees. Reese’s chocolate is available in milk, white and dark so regardless of your preference you can still enjoy the amazing peanut butter goodness.
If you are not a fan of peanut butter and chocolate then maybe the Venchi range is more for you. This Christmas they have brought out the cutest tin baubles filled with individually wrapped chocolates in 3 flavours, milk chocolate with a creamy hazelnut and milk filling, 75% dark chocolate with a dark chocolate filling and a milk chocolate with a creamy chocolate mouse, available for £7. Or you can stick to one of the original bars of the famous fine Italian chocolate made from various amounts of cocoa depending on whether you are a milk or dark chocolate lover. Whatever you choose you will find this is a chocolate to be savored and makes for a lovely festive treat.
Once all our presents are opened and we have helped the kids work out what needs batteries and what doesn’t, what can be used in doors and what can’t, we start to prepare our Christmas lunch and as well as all the trimmings we also like to indulge in glass or two of wine and maybe even a glass of fizz for the toast before relaxing on the sofa in front of a Christmas movie.
Our current favourites include
The Lot XI Clare-Margaret River Australian Chardonnay (£10.99, 75cl) which is a full-bodied white with fresh flavours, including notes of orange blossom and lemons as well as a smoky finish. This wine expresses everything glorious about Chardonnay and perfectly pairs with chicken, turkey, pork, mushrooms and shellfish which to me means it will perfect come Christmas turkey dinner.
If, like my husband, you prefer a red then the Exquisite Collection Argentinian Malbec (£5.99, 75cl) is worth a try this Christmas. This bright and intense ruby-red wine originates from the Uco Valley – home to many of Argentina’s greatest reds. With notes of plums and blackberries and subtle violet flavours coming through, this medium-bodied wine makes for the perfect ‘house red’ that goes with all sorts of family meals from pizza, pasta and gourmet sausages to the Sunday roast.
And this year we also have out eyes on this as I can honestly say I have never tried eggnog before and despite every year saying I will I still haven’t, so this year will be the year that changes with a bottle of specially selected Egg nog from Aldi for £5.49.
We also tend to have a little fizz for a toast and usually opt for a prosecco but that isn’t everyone’s cup of tea and if you prefer a fizzy wine instead then the Barefoot Bubbly might be for you. It is a sparkling California Pingot Grigio wine which has won more than 2,000 awards and can be purchased for as little as £8.50.
In the evenings we tend to play games and eat even more food and this is when the cheese board and chutneys come out along with a cheeky gin or two. I’ve used Opies products a few times for special occasions and find that not only do they taste amazing but they also look great when you are entertaining. Especially their soaked fruits such as the apricots in Grand Marnier and the black cherries and kirsch.
Opies are also great for their drink garnishes such as cherries and sliced lemons. I find having them ready chopped so easy and the fact they are in jars means I can just put a few out and people can use what they want and the rest stay fresh for another time. All the taste without the waste.
What festive food and drink treats do you look forward to at Christmas time?
(Some of these items were sent to us for review but all opinions are my own)