The end of another year is almost upon us, and with it, loads of festive celebrations. Whether you’re dreaming of a white (wine) Christmas, or wondering which drink would be best to take to an end-of-year dinner party, or which to give as a gift, look no further… here are my top picks for a very merry festive season indeed
Villiera Munro Brut 2010
Bubbly is always a good idea, but there’s something about this time of year that makes it the ultimate season for bubbly to shine. Celebrate the end of the decade with this very special one that’s a decade in the making. Like gold tinsel in a glass – this classic from Villiera is a sparkling blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Its ripe and toasty flavour speaks of finesse and complexity that lingers with a salty aftertaste. Also available in gift boxes.
Buitenverwachting Hussey’s Vlei Sauv Blanc 2018
The quintessential summer pairing is a chilled glass of Sauvignon Blanc and the not-too-distant splash of a swimming pool. And if you’re looking for the quintessential Sauv Blanc, look no further than this beaut. Literally meaning ‘beyond expectation’, Buitenverwachting certainly lives up to its name with this offering. The grapes come from a special vineyard situated high on the Constantiaberg, and its distinct microclimate is distilled into every sip. Dry, fresh and full-bodied, it’s the perfect glass to go with any festive summer occasion.
Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
There may be a star atop your Christmas tree, but Wade Bales’ first-ever Stellenbosch collaboration scooped a coveted five in John Platter’s latest guide. A collaboration between five iconic Stellenbosch producers, each winemaker brought their best Cabernet and blended them together to create the ultimate expression of the Stellenbosch Region. This limited edition is also available in a custom-made wooden case of six.
Glenmorangie 18 YO
Forget milk and a cookie – the thing Father Christmas would really appreciate left beside the chimney is most definitely this tipple. From Glenmorangie’s oldest and rarest stock, this perfectly balanced whisky is matured in ex-bourbon and sherry casks. With its floral nose and honeyed, smoky palate, he can savour it neat or alongside his finest cigar.
Another star from the east worth following… having quickly reached cult status, this Japanese gin has taken bars across the globe by storm. Meaning ‘six’ in Japanese, Roku incorporates six traditional Japanese botanicals which are infused, distilled and blended by the artisans of Suntory Spirits in Osaka. Then in a process unique to Roku, the six Japanese botanicals are distilled using a selection of different pot stills, each chosen to ensure the best flavour is extracted from each botanical. The result is a complex yet harmonious gin with a smooth and silky texture.
Havana in a jug: Cinnamon & Apple Cocktail
Super easy to make, serve this summer cocktail in a big jug when friends appear. The original Cuban rum, Havana 7 is rich with layers of Cuban tobacco, molasses, spices and vanilla. It’s also the perfect base for this refreshing festive apple & cinnamon cocktail.
Havana 7 Rum
Limes or lime juice
1. Add 2 parts rum, 1 part white sugar and 1 part lime juice together and tip into your jar or jug.
2. Fill up with ice.
3. Add cinnamon sticks, fill with apple juice and mix well.