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Burns Supper ideas


#1

I am hosting a traditional Burns supper on the 27th (Burns is 25th Jan.)
Does anyone have a suggestion for wine to accompany the Haggis?


#2

Rhone is probably a good shout…This even suggests Haggis as a potential match:


#3

We’ve become very Rhone centric here recently :slight_smile:

However I too think that Syrah is probably the way to go - the spiciness of the wine works with the food IMHO, but you need to look for freshness rather than oak.

How about venturing a bit further afield to New Zealand for a change? While NZ seems to have made a name for itself with Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir, I have very often fallen more for their Rieslings and Syrahs instead. They have a ripeness but also an acidity that can be quite delicious.

I’ve not tried this one, but it was well-rated recently:

What is your budget?


#4

As long as it is labelled Syrah and not Shiraz, one could venture to the Southern Hemisphere. A fruit forward Rioja might also work, one like this:


#5

At risk of being off brief yet traditional, how about a high strength malty Scottish beer with a MacAllan 10 yr old alongside? The Scotsman recommends an Orkney ale called skull splitter. It would help the traditions of the “ode to a haggis” you’ll be reciting as host whilst knocking back the first dram of the night.
For a wine, a white, maybe a rich but fresh Chenin blanc as an alternative to the spicy reds?
I vaguely remember a Chateau Beaumont one year, but the evening was slightly eclipsed from memory with all the whisky toasts for the speeches and poems post meal.

http://www.robertburns.org.uk/burns_supper.htm#burns_supper_format

Badoit on hand at all times for hydration sake.


#6

Great shout there @DrEm! @MartinC if you do go down a beer route then the Ola Dubh options from Harviestoun Brewery would be good ones to go for!
https://www.thewinesociety.com/searchProducts.aspx?q=Ola%20dubh&hPP=15&idx=products
The 12 would give the best in terms of malty flavours but they’re all fantastic; personally my favourite is the 18 which is deep and rich so a real treat, you could almost consider it a dessert beer!


#7

On the beer front those are great suggestions Catherine, those would be perfect.

Other than those I think as others have said syrah would be great, this one from Morocco would be good, or maybe a Musar? The weirder gameier flavours along with a little spice etc. would work well.


#8

It was once my duty to do “the Address to the Haggis” at our Annual Burns Night at a Club that I was a member of.
Public speaking these days holds no terrors for me, I was given very expensive training by my employer and became reasonably proficient, if I say it myself.
BUT, in a foreign land, with the assembled numbering over 50 and a script in a dialect that I was unfamiliar with, I began - attempting to overlay my base native South Walean voice with a bastardisation of the Ancient "Jock!"
I was taught to look around my audience as I delivered, and all that I could see was Shock and Surprise. The girls who were on waiting staff duty were enjoying it so much their shoulders were heaving up and down, the smiles on my audience was way past amused and in a bolt from the blue moment, I realised that this was my Pythonesque moment. I was trying to process the audience reaction whilst delivering this time honoured text, like most males multitasking is a skill that has consummately evaded me, so I ploughed on regardless, with nary a glance in my rear view mirror. I should say that the assembled were not being unkind, they sere reacting to a performance that was outwith their experience, and in truth they were enjoying my multicultural melange!! Time for me slowed to geologic pace, so I was able to experience every nanosecond of this nuanced personal horror. At the conclusion, my driving of that Skean Dhu into the mess of oaten giblets on the proffered platter, was my singular riposte to a night that I shall never forget.
In fairness, many congratulated me on a performance against which they had no compare, but to a man and woman assured me that it would live long in their history of the Scottish Bard.
So my answer to your inquiry as to which fermented grape juice might suit the serving of the haggis, my response would be to get a Taffy to do the Address and no one will ever care or remember!!??!!:cry::+1:


#9

Yes. Scottish wine, that is – Whisky.

The only Burns supper I attended was in Greenock and was formal with a master of ceremonies and the pudding was piped in and then the chief o’the pudding clan was slashed open with a silver sword.

The piper sat next to me and showed me that half the first glass of whisky should be poured over ones serving of haggis to cut through the fat. I found it benefitted from several dousings in whisky…

So, a decent single malt is all that is needed on the table. How many bottles depend on how many diners.


#10

Has to be whisky there somewhere, not sure I would stick all single malts up against haggis, but the Society 16 year old malt blend works well.

Otherwise, on the wine front I would agree with Musar, and Rhone, maybe the Luberon Rouge for a cheaper and more cheerful one?

On the white front, an Alsace with a bit of body, maybe a Zind Humbrecht?


#11

By all means serve wine with the other courses but with haggis whisky is the drink. You can even pour some over the haggis.


#12

I don’t know about anyone else, but in our house that whisky is referred to as “the gravy” :wink:


#13

How absolutely ridiculous. …and you area member of the So iety’s staff.


#14

In my experience of Burns nights, there is no rule carved in stone.
I used to quite like Whisky until I encountered a particularly vile bottle of "Sheep Dip!!"
It was disgusting and undrinkable.
Astonishing to recount, I tried it again some years later and it was quite palatable.
I have visited Scottish distilleries all over, even the Society in Edinburgh and a very good restaurant on the ground floor, great ambassadors for the Nation, its people and its products.
If I had a favourite it would be Springbank.
At any Burns Supper that I might attend these days, I avoid the haggis as it is not to my taste and drink red wine as the mental scarring by the Sheep Dip still exists.
And I still enjoy the occasion and the companionship of my Scottish friends.


#15

I was thinking beer too! Betraying my Cumbrian roots, I’m thinking Jennings’ Snecklifter would be the dream drink for haggis. I don’t think TWS stock it but it is a lovely dark beer perfect for winter.


#16

Traditionally the main drink at a Burns supper will always be claret (which of course celebrates the Auld Alliance, certainly if there are Jacobites present). But a good malt whisky to toast the bringing in of the haggis is always well received.


#17

Thanks everyone for the suggestions which with the wide variety have shown me plenty of possibilities
I really fancy the idea of Musar but alas price prohibits the use for the numbers we have .
Whiskey will be used for the toast following the actual address and even poured on as “gravy” .

But the option which tempts most is he southern French grenache


#18

The Grignan les Adhemar is a very safe bet, a real crowd pleaser.


#19

Just been reminded of this thread which came out late last year. What did you go for in the end @MartinC?

Anyone have plans for tonight (or this weekend)? My MacSween haggis arrives today but I think it might be saved until Saturday. Might even have to try it with some recently arrived Hungarian wines


#20

That reminds me, I have no whisky… need to pop out for a bit of shopping