Thursday, 10 December 2009

Six Ciders for Christmas Day - A Tipple with your Turkey

Christmas Dinner, and we're not making things any easier for you.

Let's assume that like us you're having Turkey. Over the years we've tried the alternatives, from a Free-Range Goose which was so long it only just fitted in the oven (I liked, Karen didn't), through Duck, Partridge, and even a brace of toothsome Quails one memorable Christmas, but always with a little Turkey on the side for the picky eaters! This year it's Turkey all the way, because when cooked properly it's the ultimate meaty comfort food, a no-worries bird that'll feed you through the whole 12 days of Christmas and beyond.

I think Turkey goes best with a good dry White Wine, or better still a fine Perry. Gamier birds, and darker meats might benefit from something a little more robust, a fullsome English Cider for example, or a light-ish Red Wine if you're feeling particularly unimaginative. Turkey needs a lighter hand. A good Perry is delicate, floral, aromatic, with maybe a touch of sweetness to enhance the soft fruitiness. The perfect partner to a savoury slice of breast meat, and a sweeter, fuller flavoured Perry would go very nicely with the Christmas Pudding too.

We'll be pulling the cork from a bottle of our dwindling supply of Rockingham Forest Blakeney Red Perry, nicely dry, and now showing just a hint of sparkle from the extended time in strong bottles. For the pud I'll open a smaller bottle of Waitrose 2008 Vintage Perry, a richer, sweeter example of the style made for the supermarket by Westons of Herefordshire. Waitrose are possibly the only supermarket offering a range of quality perrys, and you might be lucky enough to find a bottle of Dunkertons Organic Perry on their shelves too.

I wish you well in your search for a good quality Perry. It's not the easiest drink to find outside of the Three Counties area, and even there it's not exactly common. If you don't a have a Waitrose on your doorstep, I think you'll struggle to find anything other than inferior Pear Ciders, which I can't recommend in all honesty. Online you might like to try Orchard Hive & Vine, who specialise in Three Counties producers, many of which produce excellent Perry.

Next: A Toast for the Queen's Christmas Message

1 comment:

gavin said...

Excellent trio of posts there as a non-3 counties resident and the nominated driver for Christmas I will postpone my tasting of your suggestions that I can source till a day or two after. Cheers.