What to drink over Christmas can be a bit of an agony for many. It’s easy to spend ages worrying about if you have the right wine to match each delicious delight you are planning to serve. The concern if you are really going to get through a whole bottle if it’s just a few of you partaking in matching each course with a different wine? What should you offer when friends and neighbours pop in for some cake and tea? The easy answer to everything is Sherry. There is a Sherry to match every single dish of Christmas. Including Dancer’s and Prancer’s carrots!
Some important points to consider
* With the exception of Fino and Manzanilla, all other Sherries will keep for months after opening. Fino and Manzanilla, on the other hand need to be treated like a white wine.
* I tend to serve all Sherries in a white wine glass. Sometimes the cream I serve in an O/F whiskey glass with added orange zest but a white wine glass would be just as acceptable.
* I prefer to serve all my Sherry chilled.
Here are six of of my suggestions for the best Christmas Sherry and food pairings. Most of my selections are from UK supermarket chains that make easy shopping. But if you have a specialist wine shop close by, check out their Sherry supply first.
The delicious crisp freshness of Manzanilla is the perfect partner for all seafood and oysters. La Gitana is one of my favourites; aged under the thick flor in the coast of Sanlucar de Barrameda, I can drink vast quantities of this!
Majestic.co.uk; only £7.99 for 75cls (if part of a mixed case – incredible value).
For smoked salmon, egg mousse, vegetable terrines make it a FINO and a Tio Pepe. Although the best-selling Fino in the world, the quality continues to remain up there and never falters.
Sainsburys.co.uk; at £9.99 for 75cls.
For turkey, goose, pheasant – anything that flies deserves an Amontillado. All Amontillados are aged Finos of Manzanillas and in this case, it’s an aged Tio Pepe. A more complex wine with a longer finish. This you can sip by the fireside without food. The nuttiness of Amontillado is perfect with the turkey and accompaniments. Serve it slightly chilled; this is also a great match with asparagus if that’s your starter.
Oddbins.com; £12.50 for 75cls.
If you’re opting for beef or lamb this Christmas, an ultra-special treat would be one of these stunning Olorosos. Not least because attached to each bottle of Oloroso will be an Annie B’s recipe card. Happy days! Oloroso is never in contact with flor so here you have the flavour of gently aged oak tempering with the fruit of the palomino grape.
Sherryboutique.com £39.99 for 75cl – mail order only.
To accompany some lovely warm mince pies, one of the most underrated Sherries in the world, Harvey’s Bristol Cream really comes into its own. It’s fabulous with any fruity and creamy dessert. I love to scrub an orange and, using my tattie peeler, skim off a large strip of zest to wipe around the glass ahead of pouring.
Tesco has a fabulous offer to take advantage of: Tesco.com; £10 per ltr CREAM.
For your Christmas pudding, any dark chocolate dessert and strong blue cheese with dates, a glass of chilled PX (Pedro Ximenez) Sherry served alongside is heaven. You can have it delivered to your door via Amazon, making for a great Christmas gift to send someone you care about too (i.e. me!).
Amazon.co.uk: £14.99 per 50cls.
Like my tips on the best Christmas Sherry and food pairings? Hone your Sherry knowledge with my Spanish Christmas quiz. Email me to request the answers, here.