Food & Drink

Sips and Bites

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Christmas in Bermuda is about family, friendship and community, and when we all get together, it is usually in the presence of delicious bites to eat and tasty wines or spirits to drink. But, what to serve with what? Can you have red wine with turkey, or champagne with your dessert? What will bring out the flavour in your gin? 

Jo-Rena Davis, founder of wine experience company, Wine Diva Select, gives us some answers


Popular at a drinks party, Prosecco such as La Marca, goes wonderfully with light bites such as crostini or chicken tamales. Ms Davis also likes Bird in Hand sparkling white accompanied by peach salad with basil and goat cheese. 

As it’s the Holidays, you may want to celebrate with Champagne. Two she recommends are Devaux Coeur des Bar Blanc de Noirs accompanied by caviar and blinis, or Lauren-Perrier Cuvée Rosé, with ‘pigs in a blanket’ or bacon wrapped prunes. For a more budget-friendly bottle, try Waitrose own Champagne. 


Red wine is popular in the winter and in Bermuda, we are spoiled for choice. Ms Davis particularly enjoys Spanish wines, especially Rioja and Tempranillo, which are easy to pair with most flavours: 

“In Bermuda, we are fortunate to have the influence of many different cultures,” she says, “and those stand up really nicely with Christmas dinner, and if your friends are bringing things to the table and adding things from different cultures.” 

Other easy drinking reds for Christmas dinner are Sangiovese or, for something really special, a Pinot Noir from Beaune, which is the centre of the Burgundy winemaking region. 

For sweet treats as well as cheese, Ms Davis recommends serving Dow Late Bottle Vintage Port. 

Outside of the traditional Christmas meal, her easy ‘go-to’ guide for red wine pairings is: 

  • Domaine Antonin Guyon Hautes Cotes de Nuits for roast beef or beef stew. 
  • Ramón Bilbao Gran Reseva for roast lamb and gravy dishes. 
  • Ramón Bilbao Edicion Limitada for lamb kebabs or desserts. 
  • Sordo Barolo Nebbiolo 2013 for bouillabaisse, Italian casserole or polenta dishes 
  • Chianti Classico for the Boxing Day spread. 

Red wines can also go deliciously with vegan dishes. A popular dish she arranges for red wine tasting events is a vegan sausage ragu by Trevor Johnstone of Plant Based Fuel BDA. 


White burgundy’s have become more accessible over the last 10 years and this has now become the Wine Diva’s white of choice. She recommends the Domaine Antonin Guyon Pernand-Vergelesses Premier Cru Sous Frétille for cassava pie, bacon wrapped prunes and Caribbean Black Cake. 

Other whites that are as good with the turkey as they are with the leftovers, are a Chablis or Ramey Russian River Valley Chardonnay. 


Gin has not only become increasingly popular, but the choice and flavour available in Bermuda is abundant. 

Ms Davis’ favourites include Opihr oriental spiced gin and tonic with a green olive tapenade and tasty breads, and Whitley Neill Rhubarb and Ginger Gin, with a charcuterie board or some salted nuts. 

If a traditional gin and tonic is your preferred choice, she recommends keeping the bites simple, such as fried tortillas with a light avocado dip or green salsa verde. 


Many of the sparklings, reds or whites recommended above will go well with desserts, however Cupcake Moscato d’Asti goes particularly well with panettone dolloped with mascarpone or plain cake. 

Jo-Rena Davis would like to offer readers $10 off any service or event from December 1st – December 31st. To redeem this offer, visit and send a message through the ‘contact’ section of the website, quoting RGSIPS10. 

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