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Eat, drink and be merry with some fabulous food and wine pairings to try this Christmas, courtesy of Florent Giovannone, general manager at Fortnum’s Restaurant & Bar at The Royal Exchange

Fortnum’s Piccadilly Piccalilli and Scotch Egg with Fortnum’s Christmas Ale

This is a dish that we serve at the restaurant and it’s a classic pairing. Fortnum & Mason actually
invented the scotch egg back in 1738, and I would say that ours is still one of the best in London, if not
England. We have paired it with our Christmas Ale, which has subtle sweet caramel notes. The Piccadilly piccalilli is quite a strong flavour and the ale will refresh the palate perfectly, so you still have the lovely sweet Christmassy flavours of the beer at the end.

Christmas Traditional Mince Pie with Fortnum's 12-Year-Old Cream Sherry

Never mind a pairing, sherry and mince pies is a classic English tradition. Sweet sherry is beautiful with a lovely complexity — you find everything in it and you can pair it with a lot of dishes, or the sherry can be the dessert itself. I just love it and I think it’s becoming more trendy. The flavours of the sherry take over the sweet fruitiness of the mince pies with the woody pastry and clean the palate. That’s what sherry does in general, it’s amazing.

King George Christmas Pudding with Fortnum's Christmas Pudding Madeira, Barbeito

I’ve chosen the Christmas Pudding Madeira to match our Christmas Pudding. You could choose a sweet white wine, but the Madeira is the perfect match. Ours is quite famous and we serve it flambeed in cognac at the restaurant. The two obviously have very similar flavour profiles, and that’s what you need. Madeira wines are dessert wines, with lovely sweet dried fruit flavours, so they go very well with Christmas Pudding.

Traditional Stilton with Fortnum’s Tokaji Aszu 5 Puttonyos and 10 Y.O. Tawny Port

Tokaji is a dessert wine from Hungary that’s made with Noble Rot. This is a process where the grape is naturally infected in the vineyard, which leaves a sugar concentration in the grape. The wine has a lovely orange peel and cinnamon flavour. This goes very well with the creaminess of the blue stilton, which we source from Paxton & Whitfield, a cheesemonger almost as old as Fortnum’s. Another suggestion is the Tawny 10-year Port. Tawny are normally mellow, which complement the mellowness of a creamy blue cheese like stilton — but remember to always serve it chilled.

Truffle Rarebit with Anchovies and Worcestershire Sauce, with Fortnum’s Pomerol

Truffle and cheese are two things that go really well with red wine, and the Pomerol reflects the savoury character of the truffle while complementing and bringing out the main elements of the rarebit. This dish doesn’t have meat in it but you have strong flavours like anchovies, Worcestershire sauce and the truffle. We need a wine that goes with the flavour profile of the rarebit. The Pomerol is one of our mid-range wines. It’s a lovely wine with nice complexity and fruit characteristics, which goes very well with this dish.

Pair your own festive food and drink at home with Fortnum & Mason

All products and dishes mentioned are available to purchase from Fortnum & Mason at The Royal Exchange. For more information on individual products, see fortnumandmason.com.