A Fool Proof Guide to Festive Entertaining

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Today I’m sharing some expert advice from i heart Wines to get your guests ‘rioja-ing’ around the Christmas tree (excuse the awesome pun!) I’ve already shared my favourite mulled wine recipe using i heart Rosé earlier this week so that’s one warming festive drink you can tick off your ‘to do’ list! Read on to find out some tips for matching wine to your Christmas dinner – whatever dish you choose – and how to entertain your guests with some lovely festive tipples. 

Entertaining at Christmas can be chaotic. With an array of dishes to consider, from the paté to the trifle, making sure you serve the right wine can be tricky business, especially if you don’t know your Malbec from your Merlot. So, with the feast of the year just around the corner, the experts at i heart Wines have some top tips to ensure you get it right on Christmas day.

Check out my festive mulled rose recipe – yum!

When it comes to Christmas tipples, it’s important to cover all bases. Provide your guests with a selection of wines, from versatile reds to adaptable, zesty whites. Take inspiration from the sophisticated new range of regional wines from i heart Wines, hailing from three of the most prestigious wine growing regions around the world.With a deliciously bold Malbec from Mendoza, an elegant Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, and a smooth Rioja from the Berceo winery in the heart of Spain, there’s something for everyone to enjoy while tucking into a decadent festive feast with friends and family over the festive season.

Best for Christmas canapési heart Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 

A true crowd pleaser, the delicately pale and mouth-wateringly crisp i heart Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough is a match made in heaven for classic canapé ingredients, such as goat’s cheese and feta or the season non-negotiable: a smoked salmon blini, piled high with a generous dollop of crème fraiche. With bright flavours of citrus and gooseberry, complemented by hints of grapefruit and passion fruit on the nose, the vibrant acidity of the i heart Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough cuts smoothly through the rich, smoked salmon and creaminess of these dishes perfectly.

Here’s my gingerbread prosecco cocktail recipe – enjoy!

Best for turkey with all the trimmings: i heart Berceo Rioja 

Christmas simply isn’t Christmas without the traditional favourite: turkey. Like most poultry, the meat itself doesn’t have a powerful flavour, but with an abundance of rich flavours on the plate – from the pigs in blankets to the cranberry sauce and brussels sprouts – for the main event it’s best to opt for a medium-bodied red wine, such as the i heart Berceo Rioja. Made with the finest quality grapes, the i heart Berceo Rioja is a smooth, medium-bodied wine from the Berceo winery in the heart of Rioja. With notes of red berries and a dusting of vanilla that comes from oak ageing, this bright, fresh wine is not only a delicious accompaniment for turkey with all the trimmings, it also goes fantastically with sweet, festive treats, such as spicy gingerbread cookies, fruity mince pies or even an opulent Christmas pudding.

Best for non-traditionalists: i heart Malbec Mendoza 

Spicily rich, the i heart Malbec Mendoza from the Mendoza region of Argentina, is a bold red wine with sumptuous flavours of plum and black cherry, complemented by hints of cocoa and sweet tobacco on the nose. A fantastic option for those who fancy taking a side step from tradition, the i heart Malbec Mendoza is best enjoyed alongside an Argentinian favourite – an asado meal from the grill, such as beef, lamb or pork. Alternatively, kick start your meal with a bang and treat your guests to a glass of the i heart Malbec Mendoza, served with an assortment of cured meats and cheese – after all, nothing shouts Christmas louder than enjoying a robust red wine with a rich and indulgent cheeseboard!

So, with the wine list taken care of, all that’s left for you to do is relax, don your favourite festive jumper and try not to burn the turkey… simple!

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Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in Lifestyle Promotion Studies and is trained in Personal Money Management. She loves to ‘get the look for less’ so regularly shares thrifty-living advice, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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