Mistletoe and wine

Wine reviews – By Michael Wolsey

Advent calendars used to have pictures behind each door. They all had a vaguely Christmassy theme – robins and fir trees and a little bit of religion by way of angels and stars. When my children were children we had a lot of fun trying to guess what would be hidden behind the next day’s door. Today’s advent calendars have chocolates and small toys and I didn’t think modern kids would care much for the guessing game. But last year I found one of the old-style calendars and played it with my grandchildren – and, guess what, they loved it. I don’t know what they would make of Aldi’s new Wine Advent Calendar. It has a little bottle of wine behind each door – 24 bottles in all; red, white, rosé and sparkling. Gives a whole new meaning to the festive spirit. On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me, a bottle of fine Burgundy. The wines are from JP Chenet and Calvet. The still wines are French. The fizz is Prosecco, from Italy, and Cava, from Spain. It will set you back €69.99, which is good value if you like that sort of thing. As far as I know, it’s the only wine calendar on sale in Ireland. Online, there are others.

Amazon offers a Sparling Fizz Advent Calendar with Prosecco, Cava and one bottle of Champagne (£St120); a Craft Beer Advent Calender, 24 ales for £St59.99; a Gin and Tonic advent Calendar (£St 99) and a Williams Chase Liqueur Christmas Advent Calendar for £St129.99 The Pipstop has a wine calendar for £St 69.99, and a Prosecco calendar for £st 125. Some of these companies don’t deliver to Ireland but if you promise to share a bottle with Santa he might send Rudolph to fetch it.