It’s now under a month until Christmas Day arrives and preparations are well underway. Food-lovers conquering Taste of London last week left with a top-notch selection of winter-warming chutneys and cheeses to enjoy with all the leftovers that their belt loops will allow.
The turkey; it’s on pre-order from M&S (naturally), booked for delivery at midday on December 24th. As are the vegetables, the cranberry sauce and the Christmas pudding. Meanwhile the first-time yuletide hosts among us have sagely pinned the store’s guide to a ‘beautifully bronzed bird’.
All that is left is the fizz. And keeping with the thoroughly modern approach to the food shop and prep, there’s a dazzling modern sparkle to accompany a festive charcuterie board.
This Christmas, Cidre Stassen, a collection of two artisanal ciders has become the paring of choice for special dining moments taking place over the holidays. Crafted using fruit from the Aubel Valley in eastern Belgium, it comes beautifully presented in 750ml bottles, reminiscent of the classic Champagne bottle and it is always to be served chilled in a flute.
Of the two, Stassen Cidre Brut (RRP £6.00) is elegant and dry, made by combining bittersweet apples and a touch of aromatic pear juice. It’s delicious as an accompaniment to salted nuts, olives and fresh cheeses. They compliment the crisp and fresh taste, woody notes and smooth finish.
The Stassen Cidre Cuvée Rosé (RRP £8.00) had us at the pop of the cork. Rare red-flesh apples lend to its natural pink hue. And the taste; you’ll notice delicately subtle notes of red berries. Pair this cider with medium matured cheeses and cured meats (Oh Christmas Ham, we’re talking about you).
Stassen Ciders are available at Marks & Spencer and Sainsbury’s.