Why bottled is best this Christmas with Friends of Glass and Jane Peyton

It’s that time of year again when Christmas dinner is all we can think about.  The supermarkets are proudly showcasing their festive feasts - the best turkey here, the best tipple there. But how many of us plan our Christmas menu to complement each element such as the food, drinks and tableware as a whole rather than individually?

According to research analyst IRI, wine and fizz led the UK’s Christmas sales in December 2015; but beer and cider served in glass may be the winning additions to your Christmas menu. To help you along the way, Friends of Glass and Beer Sommelier and Educator Jane Peyton have created a Christmas Dining with Beer & Cider guide to help you devise a Christmas menu that will enhance both your drinking experience and the taste of your food. 

The Best Festive Food Matches with Beer & Cider


Nibbles: Smoked Salmon & Beer
Oily fishes such as Smoked Salmon or Herring Rollmops require a good amount of acidity and need a drink that will cut through the fish’s texture and balance out its richness. For Beer drinkers, the guide recommends a tropical, tangy and tart Calypso by Siren Craft Brewing 4% ABV. Served in a Loire Wine Glass, the tall, slim shape will enhance the freshness of the Calypso cider’s tangy aromas. 

Mains: Roast Turkey & Cider
Turkey meat is not as succulent as chicken, it’s dry and has a much more delicate flavour. To avoid overpowering the taste of your show-stopping dish, Friends of Glass and Jane Peyton recommend a medium dry cider Cornish Gold by Cornish Orchards 5% ABV, served in a Pinot Grigio wine glass. The soft fruit character of this Cornish Gold Cider with tasting notes of red and green apples, vanilla and a hint of oak will add a sweet juiciness to the meat’s texture. The small bowl and tapering neck of the Pinot Grigio glass will additionally enhance the cider’s acidity to refresh the palate during your main course.

Hams & Cider
Opposites attract hungry guests with the combination of salty hams such as Gammon steak or pancetta hams on a serving board with a sweet apple cider.
Rosé cider combines hints of blackberry and apple fruitiness with ham and balances the overall acidity of the dish. The guide suggests a Peronelle’s Blush by Aspall’s 4% ABV served in a Zinafadel/Chianti Glass wine.

Desserts: Christmas Pudding & Beer
Christmas wouldn’t be the same without the festive pud - but lest not forget the amount of sweet fruits that go into it: sultanas, raisins, dry figs, candied peel, dried apricot and glacé cherries. You’ll need a slightly bitter drink to contrast this and Friends of Glass and Jane recommend a full-bodied bittersweet beer named Jacobite Ale by Traquair House 8% ABV, deeming it ‘Christmas Cake in a bottle’! The Jacobite Ale has tasting notes of spice and treacle and the suggested Thistle glass with unique narrow rim and large bowl like a tulip, promotes swirling to release aromas while the ‘narrowness of the mouth enhances the beer’s head’. 

Afters: Stilton Cheese & Perry
You’re stuffed with a merry Christmas dinner, but you’ve still got a corner left for the cheeseboard. Pair a strong blue stilton cheese with an authentic pear juice, (not a cider but still sweet from the pears) otherwise known as Perry. The guide suggests a Classic Perry by Oliver 6% ABV. The Guardian have a great article on it here, called ‘Give Perry a Chance’ where you can read more about how its made and its great flavour. The earthy, rich and slightly salty notes of the Stilton cheese will balance with the Perry’s sweetness, hedgerow fruit and woody tannins. Friends of glass suggest serving this Perry in a Bordeaux wine glass and with its tall, full-sized bowl, where it can fall to the mid-palate for a balance of fruit, acidity and tannin. 

Not only does choosing the right glass for your drink enhance the flavour of your food, Friends of Glass and Jane also explain in their guide why ‘bottled is best’ as glass does not require a chemical layer like cans do and glass is 100% recyclable too – better for your health, better for taste and better for the environment. Overall, the guide features lots of fantastic facts about choosing the right glassware for your drinks and why switching to glassware is best. You can find the guide here.

For more information about the authors of ‘Christmas Dining with Beer & Cider’:
Friends of Glass is an influential European consumer forum active in 11 countries that supports and promotes the right of consumers everywhere to choose food and drink products in glass packaging. It unites all those who believe glass is the clear choice for taste preservation, personal health and the environment. It has a growing voice with over 100,000 supporters and over 80,000 followers on social media. http://www.friendsofglass.co.uk @FriendsGlassUK

Jane Peyton is a drinks writer, author of several books including ‘Beer o’Clock’ and ‘Drink” A Tippler’s Miscellany’, and founder of the School of Booze.  She is Drinks Educator of the Year 2016-17 (awarded by Imbibe Magazine).  Jane is an ambassador for Friends of Glass and has worked on a number of projects with the organisation.

This was a sponsored post by Friends of Glass. All views are my own.

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