Staff Picks Part Two

Staff Christmas Picks Part Two


After the obligatory Bloody Mary to soothe the head from the previous night’s celebrations, I would kick the day off with my all time fave and go-to Champagne, Veuve Fourny Blanc de Blancs. Made from 100% Chardonnay, this delicious fizz has a lightness of touch with beautifully balanced citrus fruit, hints of brioche and flinty minerality.


For the main event, I’ll be opening the Waterkloof Mourvedre from Stellenbosch. This South African red is brimming with wild raspberries, crunchy cranberries and dark plums along with warming spice. It is a rich and concentrated wine with hints of rustic, savoury tannins and an elegant finish. Perfect with Turkey but will also lead you nicely to the cheeseboard!!



I would always opt to pair the classics with the traditional roast.

Chateau la Tour de By bottles and Magnums

A great, proper Bordeaux with layers of dark berry fruits, some spice and good structure. Big, bold and delicious this wine will open up over time and will complement all aspects of the meal. Also, a Magnum is always a great crowd pleaser!

Barbeito, Rainwater Reserva

A real treat and one of the best expressions of Madeira. Made from 80% Tinta Negra, Rainwater Madeira gets its name from the story of the madeira casks left out in the rain before shipping. This one from Barbeito is aged for 5 years in French oak casks. Get some cheese and mince pies which will pair with this beautifully!

Quinta de la Rosa 10 yr Tawny Port,

I love this as it’s not too heavy, with layers of flavour and long, lingering fruits. This port is amazing served at room temperature with cheese but for a more refreshing finish, try lightly chilled.

Alternatively, why not muddle Quinta de la Rosa’s white port with tonic and a slice of lemon for the ultimate aperitif?



Looking for a new idea for a pairing with your Christmas turkey? Then hear me out – drum roll – a Madeira wine! Yeah, I know how it sounds, but the one I’m thinking here is anything alike the typical ultra-oxidised fortified beast usually associated with the island. Tinta Negra Antonio Macanita & Nuno Garcia 2021 Madeirense is a still red wine made from the most prominent variety of the isle by a duo who love to explore new approaches in winemaking.

If anything, Madeirense from Macanita and Garcia is almost the complete opposite of classic fortified Madeira. It does have a burst of freshness, but then flavour-wise it is focused on sour red fruit – think about red currant, sour cherry, and cranberries. On the palate, it is light like a pillow with great tension brought by sharp acidity. What happens here on the axis wine-meat is great indeed, but that special chemistry between wine and the cranberry sauce brings this pairing to the next level!



Nothing says Christmas like a Negroni! Let the bitter-sweet concoction laden you down to your sofa this festive season. My current combination is equal measures (double) Bristol Distilling Co Gin 77,  Apertivo Co Turin and Berto Bitter. Stir and serve with a big chunk of ice and a Citrus peel twist.

Finally, if Bourbon is your tipple of choice, why not try our Buffalo Trace Bristol Barrel Selected by Me and Raz from Buffalo Trace’s greater portfolio of single barrels, a slightly higher rye content, a great mixer (Manhattan a must).