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    What are you drinking NYE?

    Our Christmas

    We had a pretty good Christmas after a hectic run up to the big day thanks to you, our lovely customers. Dylan nearly set the dining room on fire with a blazing Christmas pudding. My son’s branding of it a ‘skin graft dessert’ best creates the image of Dyl’s entrance, with a pan and pudding inferno that stunned our normally chatty 3-year-old granddaughter. No-one was hurt in the process but I admit to feeling rising panic at the time. Sandie, who was filming the event, reeled backwards when the second slosh of burning brandy shot up towards the ceiling in her camera lens. Never again will I tell him that last year’s flaming was ‘a bit lame’.

    I hope you like our sparkling window? It was created by the talented Gwernan John who runs a small business locally called Cwtsh Clyd. It cheers me up every time I look at it.

    Try a New Party Game!

    We shall be at home NYE for the second time. However, we are planning a bit of an early doors sparkling tasting with the family before retiring to a cosy dinner. It’s a chance to have a bit of fun if there is a group of you. Buy 3 or 4 bottles depending on the numbers and open them all to have a comparative tasting – blind is even more fun! That means covering the bottles not everyone’s eyes – that could be messy.

    I would suggest a popular and reliable brand for one of your bottles. I love our Palmer Champagne or a Piper-Heidsieck. Then throw in a curve ball with a Welsh or English sparkler – I think your guests may be surprised. Welsh vineyards, Montgomery, White Castle or Ancre Hill produce good sparkling wine that will provide interesting comparisons.

    What About a Cremant?

    I would then go for a really good quality Cremant. We have some delicious examples: Louis de Grenelle from the Loire or Jean Claude Raspail who has organic fizz from Die. If you’re ever heading south for the sun in France, take a quick left when you reach the Rhone. As you head for the Alps you’ll find this intriguing little area. Another surprisingly southerly region for quality fizz is Limoux, supposedly where the first sparkling wine was created (even before Champagne). This is home to our very popular and reasonably priced Salasar. These are all very good value and made using the traditional method. Finally, grab the cheapest Champagne deal you can find at a supermarket. See what conclusions you arrive at and let me know!

    What Will I Be Drinking?

    So, the fun of the tasting is over and dinner has been enjoyed with a good bottle of wine. I am inclined to agree with David Williams from the Observer that something a little richer is in order. And to be honest, there is probably no chance on earth that we will last until midnight.

    So, a glass of something fortified with some cheese will be our final drink of 2021. Port would be the obvious choice, Dylan tends to go for a Tawny with its dried fruits and nuttiness but over the years, he has fallen for the wines of the Portuguese island of Madeira. For complexity and length, they’re hard to beat – wines that can almost last forever or at least a lifetime. I’m pretty sure he’ll be reaching for a bottle of one of the fine wines from Barbeito. Whatever it is, as we ponder on what this next year will bring, may it be a happy and healthy 2022 for all of you. Blwyddyn Newydd Dda!

    Llinos, Dylan & Team