Merry Cheersmust at Murrays!

You can always count on Murray’s for the finer flavours and this Christmas is no exception. Their in-house sommelier, Jean-Sebastien has been busy preparing your  food and wine pairing for the most wonderful day of the year!

2020 will be one of those years that we’ll try to forget as quickly as possible. While you are getting ready for a low profile Christmas at home, here are a few tips on food and wine pairing to make your Christmas Day a perfect one.

Start the day with some bubbles!

Fermented grape juice could be one of your 5 a day, especially on Christmas Day. The morning could be rather busy and an early start (if you have children). So why not bring the celebration in your glass straight after your morning cuppa.

You could go for a Prosecco Spumante, usually low on alcohol and very soft fizz or you could bring in some vitamin C and make it a Buck’s Fizz (2 part sparkling wine / 1 part orange juice). For the hard player, a drop of gin will do it just right!!

Prosecco Giol, Spumante, Italy £12.95

Rosebud, Marmalade Gin, England £29.95

                         Don’t snob the starters …

The main course will probably take most of your time on the day, but don’t skip the starter. Meat terrine or/and a cured meat platter are low on labour and can be ready the day before. Depending on the flavour of the terrine, a medium red is usually the best companion to charcuterie – you need to contrast the texture with acidity or tannins. For the first dish, you may prefer to have a lower alcohol level too. Don’t forget with low tannins and a low alcohol % red, you can serve them a little chilled. 

Ciello – Cataratto, White – Sicilia  £9.95

Gran Cerdo – Viura, White – Spain £12.60*

Tresa – Frapatto, Red – Sicilia £11.95

Free run Juice – Shiraz, Red – Angaston £14.50*

Regaleali – Le Rosé, Rosé – Sicilia £12.95

A seafood platter is always a winner too! Oyster, prawn, shellfish… you don’t need to be Ramsay to pull that one right. You will need a lot of acidity and/or a little bit of bubbles. 

Tenuta il Bosco – Malvasia, White  – Sicilia £14.75

Lunau Papin – Folle Blanche, White  – Loire £16.95*

Time to play the game!

When it comes to the main course, you can’t go half measure. You could be facing a massive fall out with some family members if you don’t pull that one! If you are very traditional and like your turkey, keep that vibe in the glass and go for a good Chardonnay – more oak the better. For the stuffing lovers, especially with a Tuscan stuffing, your white still needs that buttery texture but a little bit more funk in the flavour. Turkey needs a red with character and elegance. A Pinot Noir would be a very good choice but grapes like Lagrein can also be a very good call.

Tomaresca – Castelmonte – Pietrabianca, White – Puglia £26.95

Domaine Thibert – Macon Fuisse – Bois de la Croix, White – Burgundy £34.00*

Mas de Daumas Gassac- Reserve, White – Languedoc £14.95*

Mezzacorona – Castel Firmian – Lagrein, Red – Alto Adige £16.95

Tenuta Hofstätter – Meczan – Pinot Noir, Red – Alto Adige £23.95


Meat Feast …

Now turkey is not for everyone and sometimes, breaking traditions make them feel even more special. So check out some variant meat/wine ideas:

You could never beat a good roast beef and big bold red. 

A Rioja will be a very safe bet.

Bodega Bonito – Urbina – Crianza, Red – Rioja £19.95*

Masi – Amarone, Red – Veneto £44.95

You couldn’t bring more of a Christmas feel at the table than a confit duck – the most perfect taste and smell. To cut the fat flavours of the dish, you will need a wine with dry tannins and a spicy bite.

Caleo – Salento – Negroamaro, Red – Apulia £11.95*

Château du Cèdre – Camille Malbec, Red – Cahors £14.35*

For the ultimate Christmas love affair. Glazed ham is very versatile and depends on everybody’s taste and glaze. But you should usually go for a medium texture, dry and aromatic wine. For the red, try a medium body with lots of fruit and refreshing tannins.

Ciello – Catarratto, White – Sicilia £9.95

Hofstätter – Gewürztraminer, White – Alto Adige £33.00

Masi – Modello, Red – Veneto £11.95

Ciu Ciu – Piceno – Bacchus Rosso, Red – Marche £12.95

Christmas Pud does you good!

It wouldn’t be Christmas without a traditional pudding. For some of you, who started that pudding a few weeks ago, this is your grand finale (no pressure!) Usually fairly boozy, you will need to match the intensity. A fortified wine will be the best option but it depends on the level of alcohol in your pudding, you may need a balance with something fruity and sweet.

Cantine Pellegrino – Marsala – Sicilia    £10.95

Alberto Maestro – La cosa the thing – Ribera del duero £23.70*

On a lighter note, trifles are fairly popular at this time of year. For a classic one (custard, cream and jelly), try a light sweet sparkling wine. If you added a few drops of sherry into your recipe, you may want to try something a bit sweeter.

Ca’d’Gal  – Lumine – Moscato d’Asti – Piemonte £15.95

Librandi – Val di Neto “Le Passule” – Passito – Calabria £28.80

Now, lets talk about chocolates, you may already have dug quite far into that lovely secret Santa box you had this year (no judging you here, it has been tough this year) but this is for all the chocolocos – chocolate yule log, chocolate mousse, black forest style pudding… everything chocolatey!! 

Milk chocolate is sweeter on the palate, therefore you will need to bring some contrast with the wine. Dry, fruity, sparkling red will bring that refreshing note, cutting through the sweetness or a young port with full berries and spices will do it even better.

Tenuta il Bosco – Bornada, Red – Lombardy £14.95

Casal dos Jordoes – Tawny port £22.55

Please avoid any big, bulky red wines with dark chocolate. If your wine has very dry tannins, the chocolate will make it turn sour so go big but smooth. If you are using chocolates that are high in cocoa, you could choose a more complex type of port or a sweet fortified wine (especially oxidised) will bring a nutty character to the combo. Even more if your chocolate pudding has a coffee element in it.

Casal dos Jordoes – Port Reserve £26.95

Cantine Pellegrino – Marsala – Sicilia    £10.95

                                                   Time to pull a cracker or two … 

The day could feel rather long and like you are eating a marathon but you made it! You are thinking of getting snuggly on your sofa or armchair and you deserve it. But it won’t be Christmas evening without a last snack, and the only junk you need here is what you are watching on TV. Your cheeseboard is waiting for you and if you have kept it in the fridge, don’t forget to leave it 30 minutes at room temperature before you eat. 

Stilton is the most popular during Christmas, associated with an extra mature Cheddar and a smelly soft type. You could go for a fruity, big, full body red or you could finish the day on the sweet note.

Prunotto – Nebbiolo – Langhe, Red – Piedmont £26.95

Masi – Recioto della Valpolicella, Red – Angelorum £28.95

If you rather like your cheese on the mild side, and your selection looks a bit more like a Gorgonzola Dolce, Caerphilly and Brie. You will need to tone down your wine selection. Medium bodied red with lively fruit and a smooth tannin will work well. If you go to sweet … the cheese won’t stand up!

Tresa – Frapatto, Red – Sicilia £11.95

Librandi – Val di Neto “Le Passule” – Passito – Calabria £28.80

Set wine and gift boxes this Christmas at Murrays

We are temporarily pausing our Giro d’Italia set wine boxes to focus on the new festive season. Our in-house sommelier, Jean Sebastien has created set boxes for you to enjoy at home with your family and friends this Christmas.  

With the run up to Christmas, we have created Murrays set gift boxes for you to give to family and friends this year. Hand wrapped and tied in our boxes, they make the perfect gift for any foodie!