Mince pies are not that different to Christmas pudding and Christmas cake so you could drink much the same sort of wine with them. But tradition obviously plays a part in terms of what most people expect and they do pair particularly well with fortified wines like port, sherry and madeira
* Mulled wine - Never mind the match it’s just what you offer the carol singers on Christmas Eve isn’t it? To tell the truth - whisper it - mulled cider is just as good. Find my favourite recipes here
* Sweet sherry - again a traditional pairing and I think a good one. Sweet sherry - especially those labelled oloroso dulce is such an underrated drink. One of my favourites is Matusalem
* Sweet madeira - less traditional than sherry, but just as delicious. Basic blended madeiras like Blandy’s Duke of Clarence, currently on offer at £9.50 at Tesco, are fine otherwise look for a Bual or Malmsey
* Tawny port - you may be used to drinking a ruby port like a Late Bottled Vintage but why not try a nutty 10 Year Old Tawny for a change? Sainsbury's does a good own label one for around a tenner. And Aussie Grant Burge makes a wicked rip-off which you should be able to find at a stockist near you through wine-searcher.com
* Sweet port-like wines from the south of France like Banyuls, Rivesaltes and Maury - maybe a little harder to track down but ideal if you want something different
* Barley wine - not, as I’ve mentioned before, a wine but a strong, sweet-tasting beer. A couple of good suggestions from beer-loving tweeters: Fuller's Vintage Ale and Uinta's Crooked Line Cockeyed Cooper (the latter, I think, only available in the states where they probably don't do mince pies. Ah well, you get the drift ... )
* Christmas ales - I'm never totally convinced about Christmas ales with savoury food - except perhaps ham - but they're great with Christmas baking. Look out for Harvey's Christmas Ale
* Black tea Which you might think hardly bears saying but try making it from loose leaf tea, in a pot rather than with a teabag. I’m drinking a lot of the Rare Tea Company’s RAF tea at the moment - available through their website or from some branches of Waitrose.
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