Part one: Phillip's perfect Christmas tipples

27th November 2015

In the run-up to Christmas, Phillip shares his top tipple tips for a perfect Christmas Day. This week, discover great matches for Christmas turkey and puddings.

"What makes Christmas? For me, it's choosing the right drinks!"

"It wouldn't be overstating the case to say that Christmas in our house is busy. Everybody comes to us, so it's a lot of work. However, it means that we don't have to go anywhere else! In the past we have had as many as 19 people staying for up to four days."

"Christmas Day starts with a breakfast of bacon butties and orange juice, or even a Bucks Fizz in our dressing gowns. We'll then take our presents to my mum's house, which is nearby, before returning home and waiting for everyone to arrive."

"That's when the fizz, wine and sherry and whatever else starts flowing, accompanied by canapes that my wife Steph makes in advance for heating up on the day. Normally, everyone is in the same room by 4pm."

"The moment I look forward to most is when everyone is sitting down at the table with a drink. There are a few members of the family who, like me, really enjoy their red wine, so I will usually pick something special for us. Despite my interest, there is no great analysis of what we are drinking. All
I'm looking for is a nod of approval and an 'ooh, that's nice'."

"I adore choosing the festive drinks for everyone and often I'll include any classy and interesting discoveries I've made over the year. It doesn't always go to plan, though. There was the year
when my teenage daughters Molly and Ruby introduced my mum to Apple Sourz. That was an unlikely combination to say the least!"

"When Christmas Day comes to an end, and one by one people have drifted upstairs to bed and I have stopped falling over the dogs and am no longer required to supply people with the Wi-Fi code for their various devices, I love to have a glass of port."

"It's a moment of blissful silence after a very noisy day on the very comfy sofa by the fire in the kitchen."

"I start choosing the festive tipples in October, and I admit a lot of what I buy is actually for me, but I do love to get it right. The most important thing is to get a good balance between drinks and food."

"Along with the party wines, there are some great matches for Christmas turkey and puddings below, and in the coming weeks, a selection of drinks produced on home soil to go with my British cheeseboard, ports and sherries, my favourite festive spirits and my Christmas case - a selection of six Christmas wines for all those special moments."

"Cheers!"

These four wines suit any budget and will bring out the best in your turkey with all the trimmings.

Waitrose White Burgundy 2014
£8.99/75cl

There are some fabulous wines from Burgundy, but they can be extremely expensive and a bit hit and miss on quality. This one will delight every time - it copes beautifully with the complicated mix of flavours in the Christmas lunch, and is really sensibly priced.

Inama Vigneti di Foscarino Soave Classico 2014
£18. 99/75cl

For a slightly more indulgent option, Soave has a beautiful depth of flavour that makes it a terrific wine to go with food. This is rich and round, with just the right sort of character to complement all the different flavours on your Christmas plate.

Guigal Brune et Blonde Cote-Rotie 2008
£39.99/75cl

If you're going to spoil yourself, this wine from my favourite northern Rhone producer leaps out. You can smell herbs and sunshine, rich fruits and black pepper. Sturdy enough to cope with Christmas dinner but elegant enough not to get in the way.

Cuvee des Vignerons NV Beaujolais
£6.99/75cl

It's not an obvious choice, but if you want something a little lighter with your Christmas lunch, this is a fabulous alternative. Fresh and bright, with wonderful flavours of light strawberry fruit, it's a very friendly addition to the festive table.

Pick up a copy of Waitrose Weekend in store, available for free every Thursday.
Order any 6 wines or spirits with free delivery at waitrosecellar.com.

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