So, you’ve bought your haggis from your local butcher. You’ve picked up the vegetables for your neeps and tatties. But what to drink with your Burns Night dinner if you don’t fancy whisky? Or at least whisky throughout the entire meal?
There’s wine, of course. Something bold and fruity to match the gamey flavours of haggis. A rich red from the Southern Rhone, with lashings of Grenache and Syrah, would be a great choice, like the dense, spicy Moulin des Chênes Lirac 2011(£11.99) or a plummy, supple magnum of Roger Sabon Le Sabounet 2011 (£20.00).
The South African Rhone-style blend Secateurs Red Blend 2011 (£11.50) would be a good match, or the smoky, swarthy Beaumont Raoul’s Old Basket Press Red 2011 (£11.95).
The lush, ripe black fruits in the Puglian Terre di Sava Primitivo Luccarelli 2012 (£10.50) would also work well.
However, if I were picking a wine to drink myself, I’d probably plump for the Couly-Dutheil Chinon Rouge Gravieres 2011 (£13.50), a Cabernet Franc with a meaty, smoky edge and a bit of freshness to cut through the heaviness of a haggis, though if you drown your plate with rich gravy the wine might have a hard time standing up to it. A good choice for vegetarian haggis too.
A fruity beer could work well, like the Autumnal flavours of the La Rousse amber beer (£3.20) from Brasserie Mont Blanc in France. Or Craigie’s Ballyhook Flyer Irish Cider (£3.99), which is made in a dry style and would go particularly nicely with the neeps.
If you do want to stick to tradition, then we have two styles of whisky from the Springbank distillery, the 10-year-old single malt and the more peaty Longrow (both £37.50). You can try in store before you buy. Just ask one of the team.