PHEW. That’s that for another year . . . now, what to do with the Christmas leftovers in the fridge.
If you don’t have some turkey or sad sprouts staring at you when you reach for the milk, I’ll eat my hat – if I wasn’t too busy eating what’s left of my Christmas ham.
I’ve bought some pomegranate seeds to perk up my turkey in a pilaff – with cook book guidance from Nigella – and I’ll be sipping a crisp sauvignon blanc.
Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Touraine Sauvignon Blanc (£8.49) is from Touraine, in the Loire Valley – more commonly known for SB from the appellations sancerre and pouilly-fumé. The grapes are grown on clay and chalky soils which bring a flint- sharp edge to the classic flavours of gooseberry, apple and citrus zests. Refreshing, dry and pale straw, it has a restrained nod of fruit to brighten up your turkey.
The Co-op also has a Loire SB worth seeking out, Sancerre Domaine Raimbault 2011 is reduced by £3 to £9.99 until January 1. It is made to the north of Sancerre and has a well-defined, but subtle sauvignon fruit character and a refined mineral edge. Try a sauvignon blanc with those sad fridge- imprisoned sprouts, but not before you perk them up with a buttery, black- peppered flash in a frying pan – with a squeeze of lemon.
I’m eyeing up a viognier to drink with the leftovers of my ginger- beer soaked, apricot-jam baked ham.
F Stephen Millier Angels Reserve Viognier 2011 (from £6.99, www.nakedwines.com) is a delicious, full-on Californian glug of peaches and cream in a glass. Or try Zilzie Viognier which is on offer at Asda for £5.48 until January 3.
If your ham simply needs cheese and bread to satisfy, then seek out a Bordeaux blend.
South Africa’s Vergelegen Cabernet Sauvignon / Merlot / Cabernet Franc 2009 (RRP £10.99 Majestic) is medium-bodied with a smooth and spicy mix of berries on the nose and the palate.
Now we’ve emptied the fridge, let’s think of 2013.
For party-time bubbles, Morrisons Cava Rosado, from north-eastern Spain, is on offer for £4.99 from £7.49. It’s a pink to drink with pals, with strawberries fizzily flirting in your mouth – it has won a bronze Decanter award, too.
Stay in Morrisons for Decanter silver award winner Pongracz Brut (£13.99) a stylish South African chardonnay and pinot noir sparkler. It’s a delicious mix of apple and buttery pastry, like an apple choux bun of moreishness to sip and sip some more.
Finally, once Big Ben has sounded, raise a glass of Taittinger Brut Réserve NV (RRP £37.99 Tesco, Majestic, Sainsburys and Waitrose).
This is the signature cuvée of Champagne Taittinger and is made with 40% chardonnay with the grapes coming from prime vineyards. It has a fresh nose with typical hints of biscuit and brioche, but it has lingering levels of vanilla and stone fruit, too.
All the best for 2013 from me and mine to you and yours – chink chink.