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Guide to perfectly pair so you can match French wine with holiday foods to help you enjoy wine like a Frenchie during the festive season. Cocktails and vin chaud Wine pairing at Christmas In France, Christmas meals lasting up to 6 hours are fairly normal. Christmas is a time to indulge in the finest food possible, in fact it’s more about food that gifts for most French people. And of course if there’s food – there’s wine. But, with more than 200 wine varieties to choose from – how do you know which are the best wines to drink at Christmas? We asked Laurent Yung of the renowned French wine club, SomMailier.com, for some tips! How the French drink wine at Christmas The French truly understand how to celebrate the pleasures of the table. It doesn’t matter which region you’re in, fresh seafood and fine cheeses, decadent desserts and delicious wines are among the stars of the table. Champagne, sophisticated reds from the Rhône Valley, Burgundy and Bordeaux, and lusciously sweet dessert wines like Sauternes are all favourites. Here’s how to Extravagant boozy Christmas parties aren’t common in France. People tend to meet up to celebrate the holidays with a glass or two of something decadent and delicious. Festive French cocktails include Kir Royale, a gorgeous ruby-hued drink made from Champagne and a splash of Crème de Cassis or blackcurrant liqueur. Or maybe a classic Sidecar made with citrusy Cointreau and warming Cognac. Vin chaud is also popular, a fragrant spiced warm wine. If you fancy trying vin chaud at home, don’t use an expensive French red wine. Copy the French by picking up an everyday, not costly, bottle of red. Add festive spices like cinnamon, cloves and cardamom and maybe a shot of Cognac (recipe for vin chaud). In Normandy and Brittany, cider replaces wine for a cidre chaud drink, a little bit lighter but just as joyful and uplifting. Wines for Christmas dishes In France, Christmas Eve is the pinnacle of the Christmas feasting season. Beautifully decorated tables are perfect for a sumptuous Christmas feast and the very best French wines. Known as le réveillon or the “wakeup” dinner. It is not uncommon for the French Christmas Eve dinner to include elaborate five or six course menus that can take up to six hours! Kick things off by opening a bottle of Champagne or sparkling wine. The bubbles are guaranteed to get you in a festive mood. According to scientists, the magnesium, potassium and zinc in Champagne really does make you feel happy. Don’t attempt to count the bubbles though – there are an estimated 11-15 million in each bottle!
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