It’s always a good idea to plan your festive menu early so you not only think about the meals but also give some thought to the best food and wine combinations.

A glass of fizz is the perfect way to kick off the festivities on Christmas Day, particularly if you want an aperitif to accompany pre-dinner nibbles, such as smoked salmon, shellfish or crab. Ridgeview Wine Estate’s award-winning Bloomsbury sparkling wine, which is a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, gives a delicate combination of citrus flavours with hints of peach and honey. Having won Silver at the Decanter World Wine Awards in 2018 and awarded Silver Outstanding at the International Wine and Spirit Competition in 2018 you are in good company in selecting this outstanding English wine to serve on Christmas morning, particularly as this wine was the Official wine served for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee!

Choosing the wine to go with your main Christmas meal can be a challenge, particularly as you want to please everybody and some prefer red and others would rather have a white with their festive feast.

A Christmas dinner with all the sides and trimmings has a lot going on with a whole host of rich flavours coming from stuffing, bacon, cranberry and bread sauce, parsnips, sprouts and all the other seasonal classics. Equally, the turkey is a white, delicate, low-fat meat and you have to be careful with your wine choice as you don’t want it to overpower the meat.

So, in terms of a red, you want a light, fruity number that is low in tannins so it is able to cut through the complex flavours whilst complementing them and not over-shadowing the star of the show! Beaujolais ticks the boxes for a light and fruity choice but you can also go with a more classic choice of a more robust Bordeaux, as long as you open it well in advance to let the tannins soften before you have your meal. Pinot Noir is another great, more modern choice and Bolney Wine Estate offer a well-balanced Pinot Noir that has soft tannins and is packed with juicy strawberry and red cherry. Leather, spice and chocolate complement the palate with fresh plums and a smooth and creamy finish.

If you’re going for a white, choose a more full bodied variety, such as a white burgundy or an oaked or unoaked chardonnay with a little bit of acidity to help balance the mix of flavours,

Kingscote Vineyard produce a delicious and unique oaked Bacchus, which is a marriage made in heaven for the main event on Christmas Day; your Roast Turkey. The Fat Fumé is a 2017 vintage and spends up to 3 months in new French Oak Barrel to soften the acidities and encourage soft buttery characters. A rich, creamy, indulgent white wine with a long lingering finish. The nose entices you with it’s floral, elderflower notes and the spoils you with increasing complexity on the palate. The body is well rounded with characters of peach, honey and ripe gooseberry and was destined to be paired with good food, good company and good times.

If you are partial to a bit of sparkle with your festive meal, Hindleap Blanc de Blancs from Bluebell Vineyard is produced from 100% Chardonnay grapes and aged in barrel for six months so it is more than a match for the most indulgent of Christmas dinners . It delivers subtly spicy notes of vanilla, honey and pineapple on the nose and baked plum, citrus peel and almond biscotti characters on the palate to create a creamy, rich, rounded wine with a lingering finish making it perfect with food for Christmas.