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!


Five reasons to have a Winter Wedding

Winter weddings can be wonderfully enchanting. Here are our top five reasons for tying the knot in winter if you need a little encouragement to set the date:

Seasonal charm

A crisp winter morning and a blanket of fresh snow make the perfect bewitching backdrop for a magical wedding. The frosty chill outside wonderfully complements the warmth of the party indoors, creating a memorable atmosphere for the guests and the bride and groom. Here at Bignell Park you can even hold the reception outdoors by opting for a heated marquee! Traditional winter locations for weddings and ceremonies are especially attractive because they feature warming fire places, extensive gardens and historic buildings.

Wintery decorations

You’ll have plenty of seasonal decorations on hand to deck out your wedding venue, from mistletoe and golden angels to silvery baubles and elegant, metallic stars. Better yet, many venues will already be decked out with boughs of holly and a Christmas tree if you’re tying the knot close to Christmas Day, which means lots of free decorations and less leg work. You can even opt for a festive menu and offer guests seasonal drinks like mulled wine.

The perfect way to bring in the New Year

It couldn’t get any more romantic than getting married on New Year’s Eve! You’ll start the New Year with a bang and the entire world will be celebrating with you. Plus your guests will automatically get the next day off, which means you can continue with the party well into the early hours of the morning.

Be different

Why not be that bit different and opt for a wintery wedding over a summer one? Most brides tend to favour summer weddings but there’s something to be said for going against the grain and opting for the unexpected. Better yet, you’ll be able to make your money go that bit further because fewer couples tie the knot over the winter months; there’ll be better availability in terms of your venue choice as well as a cheaper caterers, florists and bands to select from. Moreover you’ll likely be able to secure a weekend booking, which makes it much easier for guests to attend your nuptials.

Hot honeymoon

Once you’ve walked down the aisle and finished up with the celebrations there’ll be the small matter of the honeymoon to attend to! Choosing a winter wedding means that you’ll probably be able to jet off somewhere sunny, like the Maldives, at a reduced rate because you’ve avoided the summer school holiday season. So why not top off the perfect white wedding at home with a sun-filled honeymoon abroad? You’ll get the best of both worlds!