The Perfect Partner for your Christmas Pud

By Master of Wine, Christopher Burr

20/12/2021

Wine for the Christmas Pudding

Christmas Pudding is a very rich sweet desert, and a delicious part of the Christmas celebrations. But it is not the easiest dish to match with wine, particularly after adding liberal doses of Brandy Butter or Brandy Sauce.

One is tempted to choose a wine equally rich and sweet, and I have some suggestions. But for my personal taste I find such combinations far too sweet and cloying.

After a big meal, and with such a rich dessert, there is something wonderful about a wine that can clean the palate.

I like the counterpoint of a crisp bright Champagne to end the meal, which might sound strange, but let me explain why. After a big meal, and with such a rich dessert, there is something wonderful about a wine that can clean the palate. Moreover the bright acidity in a good Champagne really cuts through the butter or cream in the sauces. Champagne also often has a brioche or bready aroma which does marry with the fruit in a Christmas Pudding.

My favourite non-vintage Champagnes, all of which are readily available in good wine merchants and supermarkets, are Pol Roger Brut Reserve, Bollinger Special Cuvee and Louis Roederer Brut Premier. There is a shortage of these top brands this Christmas, mainly to do with logistics of shipping and distribution from France. Fortunately there seems to be reasonable stocks around still, with Pol Roger at Waitrose for £41, Bolly at Sainsbury's and Tesco for £45 and at Asda for £43. And Louis Roederer is available most places for around £49.

But there is a Champagne which I have no hesitation to recommend as wonderful value for money and a good wine;- Brigitte Delmotte NV is normally £35.99 a bottle, but Laithwaites now have it for £17.99.

Champagne Brigitte Delmotte

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For sweet lucious wines for the Pudding, I am first reminded of the nutty figgy luscious wines from the muscat grape. Andrew Quady who trained with the great Port winemaker, Bruce Guimareans (Fonseca Port) make a luscious 2019 Orange Muscat in California. Majestic have it for £11.99 per half bottle.

2019 Orange Muscat

Shop Quady’s Essencia Orange Muscat >

Torres have a wonderfully Christmas celebratory bottle with their lovely Floralis Moscato d'Oro is the most Christmasy, beautiful good leaf covered bottle , found in Waitrose now reduced from £8.99 to £6.99 per half bottle.

Floralis Moscatel d’oro

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Tawny Port and Madeira also work, the nutty flavours being replicated in the Pudding. Some of the best Tawnys come from Taylors and Grahams. Raisiny, sweet orange peel and even toffee aromas make a lovely end to a sumptuous Christmas meal.

I suggest Blandy’s Duke of Clarence Malmsey, sumptuously sweet and rich fig, plum and raisined Madeira. £12.49 from Waitrose Cellar.

Blandy’s Malmsey

Shop Blandy’s Malmsey 15y/o >

by Christopher Burr, MW,

Christopher Burr, MW

Christopher Burr, MW

Christopher has been involved in the wine business for over 45 years. He is one of only 493 MW’s from 31 countries worldwide.

Read more articles by: Christopher Burr, MW



Christopher Burr, MW

Christopher Burr, MW

Christopher has been involved in the wine business for over 45 years. He is one of only 493 MW’s from 31 countries worldwide.

Read more articles by: Christopher Burr, MW


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