Make it a Merry Crispmas!

The number of sometimes weird, but often wonderful, new flavours of crisps launched for Christmas, isn’t  surprising really, as we’re entering the entertaining season. 

I’ve recently tried a couple of ranges:  one from Tesco and the other from Walkers and they’re both good. 

Walkers Festive Flavours

Walkers Beef Wellington flavour in the Sensations range combines rich umami mushroom flavour with notes of thyme.

Also featured in the festive range is the divisive Walkers Christmas Pudding flavour, which has left crisp fans divided (including me).

The new range also includes Walkers Sensations Beef Wellington (150g sharing bag), £2.50, along with Walkers Roast Turkey (5 pack multipack), £2.00, Walkers Pigs In Blankets (5 pack multipack), £2.00, and Walkers Sensations King Prawn (150g sharing bag), £2.50.

Tesco Finest

Tesco selection includes something for those with a taste for home comforts: Tesco Finest Steak & Onion Chutney Crisps.

And other highlights in the Finest range like:  Camembert, Honey & Rosemary Crisps; Pigs in Blankets Crisps; Buttered Turkey & Herbs Crisps all at £1.35

M&S Goes Italian

Still on a savoury note, after mentioning the fab new sweet range of extra chocolatey M&S biccies recently, I wanted to tell you that they’ve also launched a range to go with cheese, charcuterie or dips.

Made exclusively for M&S by the Comino brothers in Piedmont, they really are good – and well priced.

The range includes:  Collection Italian Rosemary & Sea Salt Dried Focaccia, Collection Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil & Black Olive Lingue, Collection Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil & Sea Salt Lingueand Collection Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil & Sea Salt Stirati, all priced at £4 per pack

Ars Collecta from Codorniu

Maybe something rather special to enjoy with these festive crisps and various dips?

The Codornui Ars Collecta bottle is beautiful: hand-blown glass, showcasing echoes of Spain’s cultural heritage and the artistic legacy of Gaudi. It makes a lovely gift, but you could also treat yourself!

The bottle contains the Ars Collecta Blanc de Blancs that has fine bubbles and delicate toasted notes with a hint of stone fruits, brioche and nuts. It’s creamy, complex, yet balanced, and is also fab with shellfish as well as poultry. 

And it’s very reasonably priced for the quality of wine at £15 (on special offer)  a bottle from Ocado (it’s also vegan btw – and it’s delicious) 

Chai Guys for a Festive Brew

Are you a fan of chai?  If so, do check out Chai Guys, a London-based, authentic, chai company, founded by Abhilash Jobanputra and Gabriel Unger.

My Indian neighbour Sidrah has given them a big thumbs up, and is now a customer.

There are three different chais available (gorgeous tins, too nice to hide in a cupboard) There’s Masala Chai Tinclassic Masala Chai blend, premium tea and spices; Kadak Chai Tinrobust flavours from strong black tea and subtle spices. Kesar Chai Tin – limited edition, infused with saffron and rose.  £19.95 a tin or indulge in The Trio Bundle – £59 the ultimate chai celebration with Masala Chai, Kadak Chai, and Kesar Chai. Refillable tins last, and if you already own them, there are eco-friendly compostable refill pouches.

Languedoc Takes the Stress out of Christmas Wines

The Languedoc region in the South of France offers a diverse range of easy-drinking wines including zesty whites, complex rosés, comforting reds and succulent bubbles.  Together they form the perfect ‘toolbox’ of wine to stock up on this festive season for when those unexpected guests pop round, or you need something to take to the Christmas party – or even when you want to open a bottle that will please the whole room at the Boxing Day buffet.

There’s a good range available at Waitrose, the Coop and other retailers – such as this Paul Mas Réserve Languedoc Blanc at under a tenner from Waitrose  or the Château Capitoul from The Coop – again under a tenner