Winning wines and warming cocktails for the festive season

Even though we can't welcome you at the moment, it is still the season to be merry and we are determined to make the most of it this Christmas. Our wonderful Sommelier, Ishan Ayra, has shared his top three wines to perfectly accompany your festive celebrations, and save you lots of deliberation time. In addition, he's let us know his pick of the best flavour combos for cocktails - they sound so good - to help warm the soul this winter. When we are open, these are all available at our exquisite bar and restaurant, 144 On The Hill, but in the meantime, we are hoping that you will be able to enjoy them in the comfort of your own home.

Accompany your Christmas dinner and other special meals with Ishan’s top three winning wines:

1. Malbec, Puro, Mendoza, ARG (org/vg)

This Malbec has particularly warm tones as it’s made from Malbec grapes that have reached full ripeness. It is harvested on the sandy Ojo de Vino vineyard, 1,000 metres above sea level within a dry atmosphere.

Recommendation: This beautiful organic wine goes really well with a Christmas feast. In particular with turkey, lamb and steak, as it creates a richness on the palette that complements the meat flavour.

2. Cabernet Sauvignon-Malbec-Shiraz Longitude, Flagstone, SA (v)

Incredible to both smell and drink. Filled with dark berries, the palette is left with a soft and lingering taste. Its unique blend of three grapes is quite hard to find, and creates a rare complexity of flavour from each grape.

Recommendation: Again this is a fantastic choice for a festive dinner. It perfectly complements meat, especially beef, and rich vegetarian dishes.

3. Wild Ferment Chardonnay, Errázuriz Casablanca 45 Valley, Chile

This is one of my favourite white wines. It has a wonderful complexity which is rich in buttery flavours. A fine example of a ‘new world’ Chardonnay with real individuality.

Recommendation: Given how unbelievably balanced this wine is, it goes so well with any sea-food dish and meals with peppery and spicy tones.

Gin Mulled Wine The versatility of gin coupled with the strength of mulled wine creates a truly perfect match. Our favourite winter warmer contains red wine infused with cinnamon, clove, cardamom, and orange, served hot with a fruity gin infusion (our favourite is peach). It is spicy and warming, and simply fabulous.

Rosemary The best place to drink this would be in a wooden cabin somewhere deep in the snowy mountains. Our favourite festive cocktail flavour combines Green Chartreuse, St. Germain (or elderflower), simple syrup and rosemary. It is a brilliant balance of both sweet and punchy flavours.

Cacao & Coffee If you’re a fan of creamy liquor, you are going to love this. The essence of nutmeg creates a wonderfully wintery flavour that is swirled with gin, Amarula, cacao liqueur, and coffee. It’s sweet, creamy, dessert-like, and absolutely delicious!

Discover more winning wines and exquisite cocktails with a delicious meal at 144 On The Hill when we reopen. Book your table for 2021 here: