Message in a bottle

So all my presents are bought, wrapped and ready to go. Cards have been written. Homemade mince pies are stashed in the freezer. In my dreams, obviously. Honestly, when it comes to Christmas planning I’m definitely not your woman. But when it comes to sorting out drinks, that I can do. If you’re on the lookout for bottle-related presents, here are a couple of ideas. I’ll do wines for the Big Day next week.

The Fail-Safe Bottle of Fizz

Crémant, the French sparkler made in the same way as champagne, is a little fancier than Prosecco. And it makes cheap champagne look like a panic buy. One of the best ones on the shelf at the moment is from M&S. See this week’s wine reviews for more details.

Christmas Pudding Gin

Christmas puddings, distilled. Literally. Put it in a G&T and shove a cinnamon stick in it. Or serve it chilled, like a shot. However you drink it, it’ll make you giddy with festive feels. From Sacred, £35.95 a bottle. Limited availability, obviously. Click here for more info.


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Current sparkling in the rack: Les Caves des Hautes Cotes Crémant de Bourgogne

Price: £12 - Buy From M&S

Made in the same way as champagne, in that it gets its bubbles from a second fermentation in the bottle. So you get that trademark champagne-like toastiness in the bottle, which you just don’t get in prosecco. Crémant is the name given to most French traditional method sparkling wines made outside of the Champagne region. This one’s from Burgundy and it’s a peach, made from the Pinot Noir grape, along with a bit of Aligoté, Gamay and Chardonnay. Light, fresh and lemony with a touch of the florals about it. Love the simple packaging, too.

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  • cliff
    5 years ago

    hi Helen, can I put a shout out for ‘Barista’ , a delicious Pinotage from SA being sold by Majestic? full of fruit and a hint of coffee; we have no affiliation to any wine retailer & are slappers in the way we buy, anything from anybody, but this is so nice that it’s the third time we’ve been back to them for a case, great multi buy value ay £6.99.

    • Helen McGinn
      5 years ago

      Hi Cliff, yes I know that wine well – it’s fabulous! Will get another bottle in soon eps. if it’s £6.99. Thanks for heads up!

  • 5 years ago

    Hello Helen,
    Some months ago I sent you some of my alcohol free drink – Peakzeroproof – I was wondering if you do a dry January article will you consider mentioning it?
    Many thanks,
    Happy Christmas!
    Best regards,
    Max Price

    • Helen McGinn
      5 years ago

      Thanks Max, will definitely taste it in the next round up!

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