‘Tis the season to over indulge on sweet treats!… And of course at this time of year, you need something a little alcoholic to accompany it! I’ll be honest, I haven’t got a hugely sweet tooth and I’m a much bigger fan of dry wines and fizz! But when dessert comes out, I revel in choosing the right sweet wine to go with it. When you take the lid off of the Pandora’s Box that is dessert wine, you realise there’s a lot more diversity in there than you may have initially thought.
At this time of year, there’s one wine that I ALWAYS go to. It’s a golden Australian gem from Victoria. It’s a fortified Muscat and has a sweet sherry quality (And I’ve always been a fan of Bristol Cream!) so if you’re looking for something to have when you get he mince pies out, or if your steaming the Christmas pudding or indeed you’re having a sneaky slice of Christmas cake – This is the wine for you. When you smell the wine you get all those lovely scents you experience when making the Christmas cake; nuts, orange zest, steeped fruit and spice. When you taste it, all of these festive jewels are in the flavor too. It’s like Christmas pudding in a glass and is divine. It’s £12.49 from Waitrose and Ocado so get some and put it in your festive drinks fridge. You will not be disappointed.
Something else that I discovered this year is D’Arenbeg’s Noble Wrinkled Riesling also from down under. It’s slightly less spicy than the Muscat and a little more like Tokaji, but it does have a sophisticated festive flavour that goes great with spiced dessets and all those Christmassy treats. If you don’t want too much sweetness, this is the one for you. It is sweet, but not overly syrupy. It’s available in Majestic Wine Warehouse and is down from £12.99 to £9.74 on a multi bottle deal.
I need to give a quick mention to my favourite retro sweet wine of all: Asti! I love it! I know it’s a little misunderstood and should NOT be served before dinner, only after. If you want your sweet wine to be light and delicate, you should try this. All the supermarkets do their own but I wanted to give a shout out to Asda’s Extra Special Asti. It’s only £5.48 and is fruity and delicious. So if you enjoy a drop of fizz when you have hour yuletide sweet, try this. Don’t drink Champers, Cava or Prosecco – They’ll taste like fizzy vinegar when you’ve got pud in your mouth. Trust me! I’ve tried… So you don’t have to!
And what about those who love Baileys? These days there’s always a variation on the classic cream liqueur and over recent years, M&S have managed to try every variation. My favourite was their gingerbread cream. Mmmmm, I wish they’d bring it back! But in the absence of that, this year they’ve cleverly developed the ultimate Christmas flavour: Sherry Trifle Cream. Initially I thought it’d be like baileys crossed with Bristol cream but it turned out to be more subtle than that. It actually tasted like the moment you put that spoon of trifle in your mouth. The combination of jam with Birds custard, sweet sherry and sponge. I don’t know if it’s great with trifle, I’d maybe drink it instead of! It’s so creamy that if you can’t be bothered to make a trifle – Just have a sip of this instead!
Happy sipping and have an AMAZING Christmas!