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a Waitrose Christmas Hamper
To win this festive assortment of delicious food and drink gifts simply answer the following question:
In what year was Waitrose founded?
Email your answers (which must be accompanied by your name, address, daytime telephone number and email address) to by Dec 16, 2020. The winner must be prepared to collect the hamper from Culford, near Bury St Edmunds
   ‘ high-altitude climate and when the wine is matured in oak. Oak changes harsh, bitter tannins into smoother, softer tannins and also gives a lovely smokiness which goes fabulously with wintery stews and casseroles.
Our final M&S red is Chianti Reserva 2017 (£8), a wine named after the Tuscany region it’s produced in rather than the grape it’s produced from, Sangiovese (although there’s usually small amounts of other grapes involved too). When looking for Chianti it’s important to look for the words ‘Riserva’ as that means it’s made in the better parts of the area using better quality grapes, and as this wine is made for M&S by the respected Cecchi family, winemakers since 1893, the quality shines through. It’s a rich, sour cherry flavoured mediumbodied wine that of course goes well with pasta but also has the acidity to cut through roast meats such as lamb and beef.
Our second Adnams red also sums up the festive season to a tee. Port, the product of hundreds of years of winemaking in the Douro Valley of Portugal, is described by many as ‘Christmas in a glass’ and Adnams own Finest Reserve Port (£13.99) made by the famous Quinta do Crasto Bodega, is full of chocolate, red and black fruit, spice, herbs and fig flavours. Don’t just save it until the end of a meal though, a glass at any time of the day will put you in the Christmas spirit.
But if Christmas pudding tasting wines really are your thing, go no further than Devon’s own Christmas Pudding Wine from Adnams, drunk as it is, or slightly warmed as an easy-effort mulled wine. The same producer, Lyme Bay Winery from Axminster in Devon, also supply Adnams with another, more ancient winter drink; Mead, a honey- based wine which matches well with strong, hard cheeses.
Let’s face it, for most of us 2020 has been a rotten year. We don’t yet know who we’ll be allowed to share our Christmas with but if you follow some of our recommendations, then at least you’ll have something tasty to drink without breaking the bank. Have a good Christmas and we’ll be back in 2021 with more about the wonderful world of wines.
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Just before going to press Sea Change Wines sent us their Sauvignon Blanc, full of aromas of aromatic green citrus and grapefruit, set alongside beautiful balance and structure. The initial flavours of fruit and blossom are layered with a subtle crispness that offers a sophisticated Sauvignon experience.
It’s worth looking out for.

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