This year, we've been sent a whole host of different products to try out, especially selected for the Christmas and New Year period! Promising brutal honesty, we've now put together a list of some of the best products we've been given to sample, from the most delicious of alcohols, to stunning foods we think you'd love to taste...
Tesco's Christmas sandwich range
One of my favourite things about the festive season, is getting to try all of the different Christmas sandwiches on offer from different supermarkets! Tesco very graciously allowed us to sample some of their latest additions to the range, as well as old favourites, and we've picked out the two that impressed us the most: the Tesco Finest Turkey Feast; and the Turkey Curry and Bhaji Wrap! Make sure you grab them while you can, because they're SO DAMN GOOD!
Aldi's Christmas sandwich range
Aldi were also kind enough to let us try some of the sandwiches they've got on the shelves this year, and they've gone a long way to ensure that they're up there with the best of them. Our two favourites? The Turkey & Trimmings with Cranberry & Port Sauce wrap, and the Turkey with Pigs Under Blankets Bloomer!
Truffled Cheese with a Splash of Sparkling Wine Kettle Chips
If you're as daring with food as I like to be, and fancy changing up your usual collection of crisps this Christmas, then you should check out the limited edition Truffled Cheese with a Splash of Sparkling Wine Kettle Chips that are now on the market! First thing's first, how do they taste? Exactly how they're advertised, to the point where it's a little surprising how well Kettle Chips have brought the flavour of truffles and wine to a crisp. The only thing I'd say is, don't take a big whiff of the pack when you first open, as it can be a little overwhelming!
Walkers Luxury Mince Pies
What good is a Christmas taste test without the inclusion of mince pies? Our absolute favourites this year are from Walkers, who make sure that their fruity fillings go from top to bottom of their thick, sugary pastry! Just be careful when buying, because you might want to eat the whole pack in one go!
Orange & Cranberry J2O
Renowned for delivering some of the most addictive and flavoursome fruity drinks, J2O return this festive season with their new Orange & Cranberry offering. Best served chilled, this tasty blend is great on its own, or as a mixer if you're looking to make some Christmas cocktails!
Tesco Finest Vintage Champagne and Tesco Finest Prosecco Valdobbiadene Docg
If you're anything like my family, you'll only really drink champagne around Christmas! Drinking it too often takes away from the special occasions that it's usually saved for, right? Tesco's vintage champagne, in their Finest line, is one you really can't go wrong with. Made with Chardonnay grapes, the drink delivers a ripe citrus flavour that is sure to stick with you long after drinking. Enjoy every sip, and make this one last!
As for the Tesco Finest Prosecco Valdobbiadene Docg? Another win for the supermarket brand. Ripe pear and white peach combine for a zesty finish, and the prosecco tastes even better when paired with a fruity, light dessert.
Barefoot Bubbly Moscato
If you're anything like me and have a super sweet tooth, then the Barefoot Bubbly Moscato could be the perfect choice for your festive celebrations. Fresh berries, cherries, red apples and more combine to create one of the sweetest flavours of the season, without landing too heavy on the palate. Pair it with a subtle cheese board, and you're onto a winner!
Pati & Coco chocolate desserts
Desserts can be overlooked at Christmas, but Pati & Coco are offering up some of the most delicious puddings to round off any festive dinner! Available in four flavours (ganache and chocolate, praline and chocolate, caramel and chocolate, pistachio and chocolate), the desserts are served in an 80g glass pot. They're incredibly rich upon first try, but utterly addictive and delicious. If you trust yourself enough to enjoy them as part of a balanced diet, then go all out!
Walkers NEW Gin Infused Tarts
Gin's all the rage, so why not add it to a fruity tart for a special Christmas treat? Traditional buttery pastry is used here to encased the gin-infused minemeat, all finished with a crumb topping. Absolutely delicious!
Pots & Co Lava Cakes
Pots & Co have dropped some gorgeous new lava cakes, just in time for Christmas, with two flavours available: Hot Chocolate and Salted Caramel; and Hot Butterscotch. Served up in a ceramic pot, these delicious puddings are easy to make, and a real delight with every mouthful! I'm somebody who's quickly moving away from the salted caramel trend, but the flavours are so well-balanced here, that I could eat one of these lava cakes after the other.
Robinsons Winter Edition Fruit Cordial - Crushed Apple & Cinnamon
If you're a big fan of Robinsons cordial, you'll want to try their latest flavour! Tasty both with cold water and warmed up as a winter treat, the crushed apple and cinnamon flavours blend together perfectly, delivering a bold and original taste.
Why not try a hamper?
When Hamper.com got in touch to offer us one of the stunning hampers from their extensive range, we just had to jump at the opportunity! There are a whole host of different festive hampers available on their website, with some specialised to include only the finest items, so that you can enjoy your Christmas in luxury. It's fair to say that the hamper we were sent didn't last too long in our house! Also great if you're struggling for gift ideas for a loved one.
At just £2.99, Lambrini Rhubarb may just be THE deal of the year this Christmas. Ever had those rhubarb and custard sweets, made by all the confectionary wizards? Love the flavour? Then you'll fall head over heels for Lambrini Rhubarb. It's one of those alcoholic drinks that makes you feel like you're simply drinking a can of fizzy soda; it goes down so easily that you could find yourself getting through countless bottles before the festive season is over!
Bendicks Mint Collection
If there's a certain time of the year to enjoy a collection of minty snacks, it's Christmas! Bendicks are some of the best you could pick up, with this collection in particular bringing four different flavours to fans. Each is delicious; just make sure you've got people to share them with, or you could end up polishing the collection off by yourself!
This was my first time trying Merci, and I've gotta say, the collection here - which consists of eight different flavours - hit the mark with every single variety. All are mouth-wateringly great; the perfect treat to get for yourself this Christmas, or for a loved one!
Malibu Strawberry Spritz
This sparkling rum-based spritz has just enough strawberry and coconut flavouring added in to enjoy at any point in the year. Perfect for celebrations, it's a fun alternative to the usual prosecco and champagne, and is ready to drink straight from the bottle! Combine with fresh fruit in your glass for a taste experience you're not likely to forget.
Timothy Taylor's Festive Food and Beer gift box
Including five bottles of beer, as well as Landlord chutney, Poulter's Porter orange marmalade, fruit cake and a Christmas pudding (as well as a collectible tea towel and bottle opener), the Festive Food and Beer gift box from Timothy Taylor's is a perfect way to treat yourself this Christmas! The beers will go down well for any ale lover, whilst the food is to die for. You can tell it's lovingly-crafted, rather than mass-produced, and comes from years of baking and brewing to deliver a stunning flavourful experience.
With all of the ciders on offer across the festive season, it's good to know which you should be buying. Merrydown comes in at just £2.10 for a 750ml bottle from Tesco, making it not just a smart choice if you're watching how much you spend, but one of the most tasty! Champagne yeast is used within the cider, giving it a distinctive fizz alongside its expected apple notes. Delicious now, and throughout the rest of the year!
Walkers Ecchlefechan Tarts
Try heating these tarts up and pouring on some cream if you fancy something different to the usual mince pie this Christmas! The deep cups of butter shortbread pastry are used to contain juicy vine fruits and almonds; serve up to people you love this festive season, and you're sure to put a smile on their face!
Tequila Rose Strawberry Cream gift set
What's better than tequila? Tequila Rose Strawberry Cream! This affordable gift set not only packages up a 500ml bottle of the good stuff, but a pair of shot glasses so that you can enjoy a shot or two with friends this winter. The creators have been uncompromising on flavour here, ensuring consumers are treated to a stunning taste with every mouthful.
Zymurgorium Gin Experience Pack
Gin connoisseurs gather round! Zymurgorium have put together a brilliant Gin Experience Pack for Christmas, allowing drinkers to try out five of their most wonderful flavours, packaged in stackable, small glasses. Cherry Bakewell is a personal favourite, with Sweet Violet, Strawberry Mint, Turkish Delight and Quince and Ginger (personally not for me) also included! It's fair to say that here, there's something for everyone. Great for parties if you want to play a taste guessing game with guests!
I'm new to black spiced rum, but it's something I'm becoming very closely-aligned to in these colder months! Warming you up from your head to toe with every sip, Kraken's stunning taste - packaged in a limited-edition ceramic bottle - goes unmatched. Their 13 flavours and spices go extremely well with a Coke, speaking from experience!
Panettone from the De Riso bakery
Whether you're looking for a classic panettone, or one with a more adventurous or unusual flavouring, the De Vivo bakery have got you covered this Christmas. We got our hands on both a classic, and a whisky cream panettone, and they are without a doubt one of our absolute favourite things we've eaten all year! If you want to treat yourself this December and New Year, you can't go wrong here. Get your own from sacla.co.uk.
It's not just a fancy name and bottle; Mermaid Gin really is one of the most palatable gins on the market this Christmas. Despite being incredibly smooth, the blend that goes into making this gin is a complex one, combining organic lemon zest and peppery notes together for an ultimately stunning finish. Mix with the usual tonic or lemonade, and you'll have your drink of choice set for the festive period!
Take your tap water and turn it from the boring flat usual stuff to sparkling water in just seconds, with the SodaStream Crystal. This stylish and sleek dishwasher-safe glass carafe allows you to display the machine proudly in the home, and delivers the best SodaStream experience you'll ever have had. This company isn't a thing of the past, but one that's happily moving into the future.
McGuigan Black Label Sparkling Shiraz
It'd be fair to say I raised a brow when I saw that this shiraz was sparkling. Still, McGuigan have come through with their first sparkling red wine release... and it's an utter triumph. The bottle didn't last the night! Its dark berry flavouring works extremely well with the spicy oak and chocolate notes - especially when served alongside a roast beef dinner! This is a sparkling red I'd happily suggest to anybody.
Tempus Two Quartz Series - Sauvignon Blanc
I was excited to be one of the first to check out Tempus Two's latest addition to their Quartz Series; their Sauvignon Blanc. I'm a huge fan of white wine, and this one didn't disappoint. Grapefruit and gooseberry notes are lifted with a smooth herbaceous finish, and Tempus Two suggest pairing with garlic prawns or a Thai green chicken curry for the ultimate flavour experience.
All Angels Sparkling Rosé 2014, Berkshire
As a huge fan of rosé (seeing the theme here?), I was super excited to try out All Angels for the first time. It's an intense rosé to say the very least; the flavour is impactful and powerful from the moment it hits your mouth. Aromas of strawberries and cream combine here, and ensure that you're given a rich dose of flavour with every sip. VERY yummy!
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