Did somebody say Happy Hour? So if you’ve been watching my vlogs and following me on my channels, you’ll know that I am partial to a glass of wine or two. In fact, my lovely best friend and I regularly go on walks through the countryside where we stop for glasses of vino along the way. A long-standing tradition that we certainly will keep up in the years to come!
Argh, but what is worse than ordering a glass of wine, taking one sip, and wanting to spit it right back into the glass? I’ll tell you what’s worse – buying a whole bottle from a premium wine shop and realising only after you’ve had the first sip that it is what the French would call “pisse de chat” (cat pee). Actually I think in France that cat pee is a term they use for an acidity that you find in some wines. But I’m getting off topic, you know what I mean!
There’s a real ceremony around wine isn’t there? It sets the tone for the different stages in the night. From that crisp first glass of white on an empty stomach, to that full-bodied red during the main course. A special meal isn’t quite complete without a glass of the good stuff. I suppose it’s taken me a while to get to know what I really like to drink.
When I was 18, it was probably- “What is the sweetest wine you have on the menu?” I shudder to think of the hangovers I used to get on these ultra-sugary bottles. Dark days. The 25 year-old Lydia probably felt a bit more sophisticated in her wine choices, but perhaps would pull the trigger for an expensive glass and be disappointed with the outcome. How bloomin’ annoying! Now, the 33 year-old Lydia would like to think she’s done the leg-work to advise on which wines she strongly recommends.
OK so I’ve tried to come up with some wine recommendations that I think will please the masses. And don’t worry, I also some particularly nice bottles for those connaisseurs out there.
Nothing makes me feel quite as Christmassy than having some bubbles to start off the night. For me, this is the perfect way to kick off the evening with you family and friends. That being said – proceed with caution when choosing champagnes. This is such a personal choice, so I recommend trying lots and lots different bottles to find out which one floats your boat (you’re welcome). I personally love Moet & Chandon – in case you didn’t know, Moet is pronounced Mo-Ette… fun fact of the season! I like that the bubbles effervescence are refined, and small. It doesn’t make your nose shrunch up when you take the first sip.
Now we’re about to get real serious. No one messes with the rosé selection in my house because I am so particular about which ones I like. Basic rule of thumb when choosing a rosé for me is to look at the colour. Pale rosés are always a good sign, and anything from Provence is almost an immediate ‘yes’. PS. if you’ve missed it, you need to check out my trip to Provence which was honestly one of the most gorgeous experiences of my life.
I find that when you get darker rosés, I tend to wake up with the worst headache imaginable and can’t quite remember what happened the night before. No thank you! This girl has some serious Christmas fun in the diary and a hangover is just not possible.
Mmm isn’t there something so romantic about a great bottle of red? Especially during the holidays when it’s a cold evening and you’re about to dig into the most delicious meal of the year. When it comes to choosing my reds, it really depends what I’m eating, but I would say that particularly in the winter, I am a full-bodied kind of girl.
A Malbec or a Cabernet Sauvignon is often exactly what I’m craving during the holidays. I would say that I am not particularly interested in Californian/North American wines, I prefer an Argentinian Malbec, for example. And who could say no to the ultra sophisticated Bordeaux or St. Emilion if you are opening a special bottle on Christmas Day. I love Jam Shed as an alternative to the fuller bodied reds. It’s from Australia and a great house wine for the table at an affordable price-point.
And for those of you who prefer not to have any alcohol this season, I have you covered. I like to offer Siplip to my guests as it’s a really nice alternative to having a diet coke or water. Just add some tonic or soda with a garnish (I like rosemary or dried citrus), and your guests will instantly feel more comfortable and included in the party.