As a wine student, blogger and wannabe sophisticate, I imagine the perfect December 25th to go something like this... Wake up to a chilled glass of Asti to accompany the fresh fruit salad breakfast. Someone cooks a nice bacon sandwich. The dry cure is washed down by a super-chilled Manzanilla. We merge seamlessly onto Vintage Bollinger while we await the main event. The wines are paired perfectly with the 3 courses which require zero washing up. We finish up with a range of sweet treats paired with sweet sherry, Banyuls, Sauternes, or Tokaji Eszensia. If we're peckish later there will be Port and cheeses galore.
It's never worked out like that in all the years I've been in charge of my own kitchen. Do such picture perfect Christmases exist? It goes a little differently at my house. Firstly, no-one else is going to prepare breakfast, and all pretensions to health go out of the window so we forget the fruit salad. The manzanilla wasn't in the fridge and the fino was accidentally opened and drunk when no-one was looking during the final of Strictly Come Dancing. Champagne isn't to Mr Purple Teeth's taste and we'd drunk our only chilled fizz on Christmas Eve. (See above - a rather fabulous Cava from the cellars of Ell Bulli no less).
But this is no sob story. It's become a tradition to visit our local hostelry for a beer or two around noon at Christmas and this is the scene of the first drink of the day. I'm not quite sure what part of "sophisticate" orders a pint of Guinness, but in my defence, your honour, the landlady of said establishment is Irish.
We return home already "relaxed" and ready to do battle. But this is where my lack of cookery prowess turns positively advantageous. Our meal is courtesy of two executive chefs I know well: Mr Marks and Mr Spencer.
On the plus side, there were no hangovers and no heartburn to contend with, and we had plenty of nice bottles left for another day. Christmas is just another day in the Purple Teeth household, and with only 2 at home for dinner, I reckon we got the balance right. I'd love to hear how your festive wine pairings went. Do feel free to mention in the comments below.