Classy With Xmas Pud – Aged to perfection, this deep sweet treat is primed for pud. As far as wine goes, Stilton’s blue veins of power take no prisoners. But face this festive cheese armed with a bottle of the sweetest splendour, and you’ll be shielded from the full force of its salty assault. Stilton’s intense flavour coupled with rich texture contrasts beautifully with a carefully primed depth charge of lusciousness. As the clock strikes Christmas this year, it’s time for you to detonate the golden glory of Hungarian Tokaji. Pronounced ‘tock-eye’, this sweet treat comes in a variety of guises. My favourite is Tokaji Aszú, made from grapes that shrivel and intensify on the vine under the desiccating spell of noble rot. Sounds less than scrumptious, but the attention to detail and centuries-old know-how culminates in a bottled miracle.
Thanks to the meticulous hand-harvesting of raisin-like purple berries for maceration, fermentation and seasoning in oak barrels, this handcrafted liquid history creates a sumptuously sticky wine.
The number of ‘Puttonyos’ on the label ranges from three to six and refers to the amount of aszú berries added to the wine, contributing to the overall sweetness and concentration. Five or six Puttonyos are at the sweeter end and both are served lightly chilled, they also resonate harmoniously with warm fruity puddings, from tarte tatin to Christmas pud. But pair with orangey chocolate and the gates of sweet seventh heaven are opened.
Olly SmithThe Mail on Sunday