Turkey? It’s the chicken that gets the last laugh…

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

I read in one of my cookery books this Christmas that to ensure a succulent and tasty bird you should spend as much money as you can afford on your turkey. So, as any rookie Christmas chef would do, I immediately popped down to the local butcher for advice and walked out with an order for a turkey that will feed twice as many guests as we’ve got coming. Don’t ask me how many kilos it is, this is a bird that should be weighed in Great British pounds!

If we took this tack with everything for our festive meal we’d be paying off each Christmas so far in arrears it’d make even the Greeks blush. So when it comes to the credit crunch where can we cut back but still balance that feeling of affordable luxury this Christmas? Wine is a good place to start.

If Champagne is your luxury of choice but you’re not convinced by the half price bottles around then one that’s worth putting some faith in is the Coop’s Champagne Aubert et Fils Brut in stores for £12.99 down from £29.99 until 1st January. It tastes classier than it’s half price suggests. If a ‘show’ bottle is required then this isn’t it but it’s a good one for putting into the bucks fizz for breakfast and will get you in the christmas mood however generous or meagre your glug of orange juice!

If a show bottle is what’s required then you couldn’t do much better than a bottle of Billecart Salmon Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru. Dressed in it’s snow-white label you can’t help think that this all Chardonnay Champagne is made for Christmas. I opened a bottle with my mother (Mrs Bouquet) who loves a Blanc de Blancs Champagne at the best of times and this one too for all it’s marshmallow, brioche and lemon biscuit characters that make it a decandent aperitif or a luxurious bottle to pair with pudding. At £59.00 it’s cheaper than a turkey for five and available from Berry Bros & Rudd, Hedonism Wines, Harrods, Fortnum & Mason and outside of London at Corks Out.

Due to an epidemic of the chicken pox and my current state of bulging pregnancy, opening the Billecart with Mrs Bouquet before Christmas day was a very good decision indeed as I’m now under house arrest from seeing any of my family for 21 days while the ruddy virus is given time to dissipate. The chicken chat doesn’t stop there, I was also sent home from an antenatal class this week which in a way only the NHS could manage was being held at a nursery that had had a similar outbreak of the pox. Never during a time traditionally reserved for turkeys has chicken been talked about so much and I can’t help but wonder if its not just the chicken’s way of getting itself into the ‘spot’ light for a change….. !!

Merry Christmas!!

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