Olly’s Liquid Christmas—
The taste of Christmas dances merrily between sweet dried fruit and scented spice. Mince pies, Christmas cake and Christmas pudding all share a liquid equivalence in the fortified wine aisle. Underrated icons such as Tawny Port offer apex enjoyment serve chilled with a slice of Stilton. Pedro Ximenez sherry is dark and sticky as liquorice dipped in black treacle and divinely indulgent with chocolate brownies or Christmas pudding. But Malmsey from Madeira feels like orange wedges surfing waves of glossy toffee – and boosts the brilliance of Christmas cake and mince pies.
OLLY’S PICK OF THE BUNCH
Anthemis Dessert Wine (15%) £11.99 Adnams.co.uk. This sweet orange-scented gem from Samos is a gorgeous dessert in its own right. Stock up.
The Best 10 Year Old Tawny Port (20%) £12 Morrisons. Caramel, spice, cinnamon, sultanas all raving with glee. Serve chilled with Stilton.
Toro Albala Don PX Gran Reserva 1990 (15%) £19.95 Waitrose. If you want the most intensely sweet complex PX, this is it. And in my view, the best.
Blandy’s Single Harvest Colheita Malmsey 1999 (20%) £48 The Wine Society. Liquid Christmas cake, one of the finest fortified wines on the market. Treat yourself.
WINE OF THE WEEK
Irresistible Pedro Ximenez Sherry (17%), £6, Co-Op. Bargain liquid luxury. Serve chilled with Christmas pud or pour over vanilla ice cream!
For Olly’s previous recommendations and Mail on Sunday EVENT columns, visit here.