At last night's school concert, in which Eldest Boy was playing the guitar, I was on the mulled wine. As in my job was handing it out to people as they came into the school hall. Unfortunately, I didn't notice that the urn containing the mulled wine was on its hotter-than-the-sun setting. Which caused it to boil over, covering the table. The same table that held the school nativity scene. Next thing, the stable was a bloodbath. In the clean up operation one of the Wise Men got knocked over and lost his gold. My friend Olive (on tickets on the door) stuck it back on with blu-tack. Carnage, I tell you. Unlike the concert, which was magical. And, once it cooled down, the mulled wine wasn't bad either.
Current white in the fridge: Tesco Finest Pouilly Fume 2011, £7.99 on offer, Tesco
So, I've known what we're going to be drinking on Christmas Day for months, but I'm still shopping for wines to have on hand for the days either side when we've got people popping in. And this is one of the ones I'm going to have in the fridge door. Made from the Sauvignon Blanc grape but because it's from the relatively cool Loire Valley in France, it's more restrained than the cheaper sunny Sauvignons of New Zealand. Smart stuff for the money, and really easy to sip with or without food. A plate of smoked salmon blinis will go brilliantly, though.
Current red in the rack: Stonier Pinot Noir 2011, £14.99, Waitrose
This is my Christmas Day red, or at least one of the bottles that'll be on the table. The relatively soft tannins, natural earthiness and understated red fruit flavours make it a mouthwateringly good match for turkey. It's made in South Australia, not far from Melbourne, in the brilliantly named Mornington Peninsula region. If this was Pinot Noir from Burgundy, its natural homeland, we'd be paying a lot more for it. So although expensive, it's really good Pinot for the money. Just don't use it in the mulled wine.
Peace out, winos x