Here are a few tips to help you prepare for the festive period:
Champagne & Sparkling – 6-10°C
Light/medium-bodied white wines – 7-10°C
Medium/ full-bodied (oaked) white wines – 10-13°C
Light-bodied red wines – 13°C
Medium/ full-bodied red wines – 15-18°C
Sweet wines – 6-8°C
Ice, ice baby:
With all the Christmas Day trimmings and extra food for guests, it’s likely that your fridge is already brimming before you have a chance to squeeze your bottles in. Nobody wants warm Champagne, however, so make sure you have plenty of ice and a bucket to hand! The most efficient way to chill your wine quickly is to fill your ice bucket with half cold water and half ice, leaving about an inch at the top of the bucket. If you want to ensure your water stays very cold throughout the day, add a cup of salt to your mixture, but note this will make the ice melt, meaning you might quickly develop an overflowing bucket!
Alternatively, if the weather is particularly chilly, store your bottles outside to keep them cool in between glass refills.
Never run out:
Make sure you get the most out of your bottles by preparing for the right quantities. Here are some helpful guidelines to make sure you and your guests won’t run dry:
Champagne & Sparkling – 1 bottle equates to approximately 6 glasses.
Wine – 1 bottle (750ml) equates to approximately 5 glasses.
Port – 1 bottle (750ml) equates to approximately 8 glasses.
Sloe Gin – 1 bottle (700ml) equates to approximately 28 measures.
Of course, another easy way to keep the wine flowing is to order magnums or other larger format bottles. A magnum holds the equivalent liquid of two bottles of wine, meaning there is more to go around the table. And, let’s face it, they make for an impressive centrepiece!
Don’t lose your glass:
With many people gathered together under one roof and both the wine and chat flowing, it can be easy to misplace your wine glass. To ensure you’re not stealing someone else’s drink – or worse, having yours stolen – it’s a good idea to put some sort of marker on each glass.
Try tying different coloured ribbons to the stem of each glass and designate a colour for each person drinking. Alternatively, create a little name tag and tie it on with a piece of string. If you don’t have any string or ribbon to hand, cut out paper discs (the size of the wine glass base), allocating one to each person/ glass, then cut a slit on one side of the disc to enable you to slot it onto the glass around the stem.
Have some leftover wine from festive celebrations? Don’t pour it away! Instead, consider creating some seasonally appropriate Mulled Wine – a great way to use up some spices from the cupboard, too, whilst keeping you warm and cosy.
If you’re a keen cook who enjoys a splash of wine in their sauces, fill an ice cube tray with your leftover wine and freeze for another day. This saves you from opening a bottle each time you are whipping up some gravy (or needing to make a mad dash to your local off-licence for a bottle of ‘cooking wine’) and is also a great way to add depth of flavour to your future sauces or stews.
Or why not try using your leftovers as a poaching ingredient? From quirky desserts such as pears poached in red wine to seafood starters poached in white wine, it’s a great way to get creative in the kitchen. Other leftover wine recipes could include homemade wine vinegar, salad dressings or even jam – wine is much more versatile than you think for giving many dishes a lovely lift.
For more festive inspiration and shopping, visit our Christmas Hub.