Wine & Food Pairing – Just in time for Christmas!

The perfect glass of wine can amp up your Christmas menu to create a delicious festive meal that’s scrumptious from start to finish. But how can you tell which wine matches which dish? Here are a few tips to help you choose the right wines for your yuletide feast:

The basic rule to remember is that the higher the tannin levels in a wine the drier, or more astringent, it will taste. Each wine will also have a different depth of flavour – full-bodied red wines tend to work beautifully with beef and pork where as lighter wines like the Louis Eschenauer Chardonnay featured on our wine list will perfectly match our traditional turkey main course.  This is because turkey has a low fat content and works well with lighter white wines; if you pair turkey with a strong red wine with more tannins it will make everything taste too harsh. However, a red wine may be ideal if the trimmings include richer ingredients like butter and cream or if you’re having fattier duck or goose instead of turkey as your main course.

If you’re searching for the perfect wine to serve alongside salty canapés at a Christmas party then choose dry sparkling wines, such as champagne or cava that are slightly sweet.  For tart appetisers choose a zesty Sauvignon Blanc and to tame the heat of spicy snacks opt for a dry Riesling.

Most sweet wines are white and are if you’re planning on serving them with dessert you should make sure they complement the flavours in your pudding. Noble rot wines, such as Sauternes and Tokaji Aszú, are perfect for very sweet desserts served with custard, such as sticky toffee pudding. Fortified red wines are better paired with chocolate based desserts, truffles or even cheese.

The most important thing of course is to trust your own palate. Try a selection of wines and choose the one that pleases your tastes above all others; after all it’s your party!


How to host the perfect Christmas party

If you’ve ever planned a Christmas party before you’ll know it takes more than mince pies, mistletoe and mulled wine to create the perfect Noël celebration. Here are some useful tips on how to get into the holiday spirit and plan a party full of festive cheer for your friends, family and colleagues this Christmas:

Curate the perfect guest list

Are you organising a close-knit Christmas party with your nearest and dearest, a professional work event or a full out celebration incorporating your entire friends list? Whatever you choose make sure you draw up a list of everyone you want to invite so you can stay on top of numbers and find a venue and budget that fits. Bignell Park caters for private dining as well as larger parties, which can include music, dancing and a festive menu at your request.

Send out your invitations early

Give your guests plenty of advance notice by sending your invites as early as possible. Traditional paper invites are a seasonal classic but you can also send out emails or video messages for an extra touch of personalised sparkle this Christmas.

Choose a theme and create a personalised playlist

The party atmosphere will depend on the time of day that you hold your event. Daytime get-togethers tend to be brighter, breezier and shorter where as evening affairs can last well into the early hours of the morning. Choose a theme that fits in with the time of day and the type of people on your guest list – classic Christmas decor, tableware and napkins are ideal for family events with children but bolder options that don’t fit the traditional mould can be perfect for an event with friends, like a murder mystery theme or fancy dress. Spend time creating a playlist that guests can dance to or allow the expert Christmas party planners at Bignell Park to do it for you; you get all the glory with none of the leg work!

Cater for every taste

Traditional Christmas lunch is a must at any Xmas party and Bignell Park offers a show-stopping yuletide menu featuring turkey and all the trimmings, fillet of beef, venison and cod loin alongside decadent desserts like crème caramel, chocolate tart and Christmas pudding. However, remember to include an option for vegetarians, vegans and other guests with special diets. Caterers will always make adjustments to the menu to ensure everyone has something delicious to feast on. Choose a buffet for larger groups or opt for a sit-down meal for smaller get-togethers with crackers and party poppers. If you’re hosting the party at home make sure everyone gets a drink and something to nibble on as soon as they arrive.

Organise transportation

The finishing touch is to organise everyone’s transportation home. Remember it can be challenging to get taxis during Christmas week so a little pre-booking will ensure all your guests get home safely.