Christmas drinks in Spain

Whilst this year’s Christmas is looking a little different for all of us and we’ll be enjoying our festive meals from the comfort of our own homes, we believe that you can still bring a taste of El Pirata to your table!

Pairing the right drinks with the right food is very important to us- and Christmas is a great time of year to discover new, delicious combinations which work fantastically well for dinners, parties, or just because. Here, we pair our favourite food and drink to give you an idea of how to create a truly Spanish Christmas.

La Goya Sherry & Charcuterie board

Sherry has had a bad reputation for being somewhat of a ‘granny’ drink which sits gathering dust on a top shelf for most of the year; real Spanish sherry is anything but. Here at El Pirata, we serve La Goya (the Painter’s) sherry; a rounded, creamy mouth with hints of citrus and raisin. With a slight sweetness and a hint of bitterness in the aftertaste, sherry is a surprisingly versatile drink to pair with many foods, but really works best with a mix of sweet and salty: think Jamon Iberico alongside Pico’s, crisps, crackers, mixed dried fruits, dates and Manchego cheese. You need strong, bold flavours to stand alongside the Sherry so don’t be afraid to go big!

Muga Reserva and Turkey

Traditionally, white meats tend to pair with white wines; however, the complexity of the full Christmas dinner can call for something which packs a little more punch. With the complexity of flavours combining (think Brussel sprouts with Pancetta, honey roasted parsnips, buttered carrots and home-made gravy), a Rioja makes an excellent accompaniment as it’s on just the right side of full-bodied reds- not too bold and not too many tannins which could easily ruin your meal. The 2015 Rioja has matured enough to soften nicely on the palate, with hints of mellow fruit, coffee and vanilla. Leave to breathe in a nice warm kitchen before serving and you’ll have the perfect accompaniment to your festive feast.

Cava & Caviar Blinis

Seafood is a wonderful Christmas tradition, so whether you’re having breakfast bagels with smoked salmon & cream cheese or you’re going for a prawn cocktail starter, pairing it with a cava is the way to go. Citrusy and dry, cava is excellent for cutting through creamy textures and saltiness; our particular favourite is the Gran Gesta cava from the Catalonian region of Spain. A very reasonably priced bottle, Gran Gesta is one of the bestselling Spanish Cava’s which is actually aged longer than a bottle of Moet & Chandon, giving it a creamy, rich character and lemony zing on the palate.  Cava is a very versatile drink and is excellent at parties, but for a real Christmas treat we suggest serving with caviar and crème fraiche blinis; for pure opulence, upgrade your blinis to a plate of fresh oysters. Heaven!