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Everything that’s good to eat is a little better with the right wine.

I’ve mentioned before, I want to help you get the most enjoyment possible from your Christmas food and drink. I’m going to be eating and drinking like a King over the next week. So I’m sharing my plans and putting forward a few unusual pairings of food and wine. Today, it’s the daddy of controversial Christmas foods: Brussel Sprouts. They inspire equal measures of dedication and hatred so I don’t expect to convert any new devotees to my favourite vegetable. Instead, I’m hoping to broaden horizons and give new options to fellow sprout addicts.

There are 3 tricks for fabulous sprouts: 1. Don’t overcook them, al dente is better than mushy. 2. Serve them with something else like nuts, meaty bits, herbs or other flavours. 3. Have the right wine to go with your sprout’s flavourings. Here’s a fast and rough guide to my favourite ways to eat sprouts

Sprouts Gratin or with Cheese

Cream texture and dairy flavours imply Chardonnay. Sprouts are particularly good with Taleggio, I’ve heard

Sprouts with Chorizo

The colours look great together, and Chorizo leads me naturally to Rioja. It’s not time for half-measures, get a Rioja Reserva like the powerful Rondan

Asian-style Sprouts 

East Asian flavours like fish sauce, sesame, soy, garlic and chili go great with Gruner Veltliner. Very recently, Brandl Gruner Veltliner helped me eat more Brussel Sprouts than I strictly should have.

Sprouts with Chestnuts, Hazelnuts, Pancetta or Bacon

Roasted with comforting nutty and savoury flavours, sprouts can handle a little tannin so a Rhone red like Mas Oncle Ernest Instant Present is my choice.

However you like your sprouts (even if you don’t like them at all), have a Wonderful Christmas.