Stowells Light and the best laid plan.

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The idea was simple.

Ask some of our best friends round – the kind that know us well enough to be unfazed by the ‘take us as you find us’ – and ply them with wine and some food. Surely, since we so often say, “Let’s get together – anytime….” It ought to have been an infallible no-plan, I thought.

This is a sponsored post for Stowells who need me to get the message out there nice and quick, especially if you’re wondering what wine to buy for Christmas.

“How about meeting up for something to eat?” I asked each one in turn.

“Oh, yes!” they’d say. “We’re free maybe on Tuesday next week….” and I’d have to answer,

“Sorry, that’s too late. This is a, now or never, this weekend ONLY offer if you’re hoping to share my Stowells Light with me.”

Thankfully they know me well enough not to take offence…(I hope).

It so happens, that we will be sharing our Christmas dinner this year with some friends. It has become a bit of tradition with this particular family to do so if we can. Perfect timing, I thought since wine and catering and trimmings is something we need to discuss… diplomatically working out ‘who has the responsibility for cooking the turkey?’ would have been perfect over a bottle of Stowells Light. With its low alcohol content, at 5.5 percent, we’d have been able to keep a sober head on the matter. Plus, I need to remind you, dear readers how much we need to drink responsibly!

As ever, kids (in both families have plans of their own) and in one way or another put the kibosh on the idea of a pre-Christmas get together. So, we resorted to a ‘dinner party’ in remote halves. My husband I quaffed the Stowells Light Rosé, while my friends took home the Stowells Light White to enjoy. The plan was to compare notes, and say ‘cheers’ via phone, facebook, e-mail and twitter and banter with one another (the prequel to Christmas Day when will do it for real) making ‘nom nom’ noises over our wine and food.

To raise our half of the ‘dinner party’  out of the ordinary ‘family supper’, I super-chilled our bottle of Stowells ‘Shriaz’ rosé  and bought a chocolate mousse dessert out of the freezer. I’ll have to apologise for my youngest child’s insistence on tomato ketchup (they do like to lower the tone!) He was having none of that ‘drizzling of pesto and wine vinegar’ over his ‘bangers and mash’.

The rosé  is described as a youthful pink that’s full of juicy strawberry, raspberry and cherry fruit flavours. Perfectly balanced with a zesty acidity and a touch of sweetness. My husband was not a fan, but then he’s a beer/whiskey drinker so I’d have been surprised if it had been his kind of thing. Low calorie (just 60 calories per glass which is 30% less than a typical glass of wine) and slightly sweet probably puts it firmly in the ‘wine for the girls’ bracket.

My recommendation is to drink it really well-chilled. That crisp, chilly fruitiness that’s perfect for a hot summer’s day is also just the ticket when you’re getting slowly sauced and sozzled  over a heavy festive dinner – and, let’s face it, much better if you have to face either your kids and/or a drive home afterwards. For flavour it does deliver a burst of something fresh and  fruity but stays light enough so not to overwhelm anything else you might be eating.

We drank ours with swede and potato mashed with olive oil and clotted cream, some sautéed cabbage and pork and apple sausages. The sort of meal I might have enjoyed a glass of chilled cider with, the Stowells rosé was also perfect with.

The white version is made from a blend of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.  Stowells‘ description says it is ‘bursting with melon, pear and apricot’.  The verdict from my pals, who drank it for Sunday lunch, agreed it was very good. The return of the prodigal eldest son, with girlfriend, for a weekend before Christmas meant they’d been quaffing wine, and staying up late for two nights. Come Sunday, the light refreshing taste of the Stowells white with its low alcohol content was perfect for their ‘a little rough around the edges by then’ state.

The important thing is: would I/we recommend these ‘Light’ wines from Stowells for Christmas? Putting the fact that this is a sponsored post aside, yes we would. The pink did not appeal to my OH that much, but to average girl it ticks most boxes. The white went down well with both the ‘guys ‘n’ gals’ in the friends camp.

Even without the low alcohol/low-calorie bonus points these wines are still delicious to drink and the fruity flavours makes it a little bit fun too. I shall wait to see if the bring out a Light Stowells wine with a bit of sparkle for next Christmas.

Pop down to Asda, where I’m told, it only costs £5.49 a bottle 😉

Check the website to see what else Stowells have to take your fancy.  www.stowells-wines.com

Disclaimer: I’ve mentioned this once already, but I do need to remind you once again (especially since this is a sponsored post)…not just because you might embarrass yourself and do something regrettable. Too much alcohol can lead to expensive insurance claims, nights in a police cell and possibly much worse consequences. For goodness sake, especially at Christmas, please do remember to drink responsibly.

Stowells Light wines – a celebration favourite

Stowells Light saves you calories and alcohol (and tastes good too)

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