A Spicy Christmas Dinner

24th December 2020

Camel Valley Rose and spicy christmas dinner

Pairing: Camel Valley Rosé Brut

What’s on the plate:

Chicken Breast Crown
Roast Potatoes
Spicy Sprouts
Vegetable Medley
Yorkshire puds (shop bought)
Pork Chipolatas in blanket

Optional condiments – gravy

Ingredients for Spicy Sprouts
Half a regular sized pack of Brussel Sprouts – halved
1 x small red onion diced and fried
Ground Cumin
Chilli powder

A hint of tomato puree (optional) for colour/taste
Serves 3


Christmas 2020. It’s likely many of us are not doing what we would ‘normally’ do. When lockdown first hit in the Spring, I knew I’d not be going to the US as I had been for the last few years. What I have learnt over the last few years spending Christmas Day with my brother, cook a little bit more than you would normally but not too much, throw in some tradition but most importantly have what you enjoy.

I’m comfortable with my parents this year and we thought we’d put our Christmas memories on a plate and pair them with 2018 Camel Valley Pinot Noir Rosé Brut. As a British Indian, we’ve made the veg the central focus and spiced things up and light seasoning on everything else.

The Rosé
Lighter in colour than I was expecting. Initial standalone taste strawberry in flavour. A light fizz that makes for a great aperitif and easy drinking.

Chicken Breast Crown
I have to say picking the meat was actually the hardest part! I knew it would be chicken or salmon and went for the crown partly because it was just enough and skin on reminded me of Christmas Eve’s at my late German Aunt’s house.
Pairing verdict: The chicken was succulent and the wine stacked up well, with and without gravy.

My father is a fan of pigs-in-blanket and thus this has become a given feature on our plates.
Pairing verdict: This paired perfectly with the wine. The colour complement may well have been an influence.

Spicy Sprouts
Love em or hate em, this is a given right? I think we’ve nailed our spicy sprouts recipe and actually have them other times of the year!
Pairing verdict: The sprouts, not the spice, completely overpowered the wine. The spice involved in this dish I’d suggest would work well with this wine however the flavour of the sprouts themselves cut through both.

Variety Veg
One thing that is a given and probably more my brother’s influence is that there needs to be colour on the plate! Rather than lots of different individual veg with different flavours, a new addition this year we may keep! Using what we already had in and healthy – this ended up being a winner for all.
Pairing verdict: Excellent complement for each other – the subtle crunch of the red pepper and the carrots (that I’d never normally want to eat!) along with the 2 core spices lent to a sweet and sour taste that worked beautifully with this wine.

Roast Potatoes
Potatoes in any form are a staple for most Indians and roasties will always feature in this kind of meal. As much as I wanted a bit more seasoning wise, we kept it subtle given the veg on the plate.
Pairing verdict: Both items were light and fluffy and worked well on the palate.

Yorkshire Puds
We definitely sit on the side of the fence that Yorkshires should be part of a Christmas Dinner so they were!
Pairing Notes: Unfortunately, these particular ones were a tad on the greasy side and the wine therefore almost acted as a palate cleanser.

So there you have it, mixing traditional with innovation, nostalgia and the present and very little leftover. Whatever you decide for this Christmas and potential future roast dinners, have a happy holiday!

Author: Rupa Datta – rupa@portfolio-people.com

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