Turkeys the length and breadth of the land are strutting nervously round their farmyards as Christmas Day draws nearer. Unlike my pal James Martin, who famously doesn't approve of turkey, I'm a big fan – as long as it's cooked so the flesh is juicy, and served with decent veg rather than an over-stewed mushy mulch.
And provided, of course, you start with a good 'un, such as my choice for this year, a KellyBronze (order online for home delivery at kellyturkeys.co.uk).
Last year we did the bird with a spice rub, which was outstanding – warming and aromatic.
But the real reason I can get behind turkey is that, thanks to its mild flavour, it pairs well with tons of different wines – both reds and whites.
Christmas Day is the one day of the year that's totally dedicated to feasting and sharing in the good things in life, so I'd say it's the time to spoil yourself vino-wise – and the traditional festive bird affords you a sleigh-load of options.
The first bottle with your turkey should quite simply be brilliant.
As the meal goes on and the merriment increases, by all means change gear with a more gluggable style of wine, but this year, let's kick off Crimbo with a belter. That doesn't necessarily mean spending more; it just means choosing the perfect tipple to partner your spread.
So, what to go for? Well, it largely depends on the emphasis of your Yuletide banquet.
If you're serving a bread sauce or a fruity stuffing, I'd pick a rich white wine. A classic choice would be a white French Burgundy, such as Marks & Spencer Bourgogne Blanc Les Femelottes 2010 at £14.99.
Ask Olly ...
Brenda asks, 'What would you recommend as a similar alternative to Muscadet?'
Muscadet comes from northern France and pairs beautifully with shellfish. Southern France's answer to this wine is Picpoul de Pinet – wonderful with oysters, bouillabaisse or just as an invigorating aperitif. Tesco Finest Picpoul de Pinet 2011 is £7.49.
Or you could hunt for a top Chardonnay from countries such as Australia, Chile and South Africa.
But you could always jazz things up and pick a South African Chenin Blanc, or even a rich Roussanne such as Bellingham The Bernard Series Roussanne 2010 (£9.99 at Sainsbury's).
If you're someone who likes their turkey with lashings of cranberry sauce, fruity young reds can work. I've had great success with Zinfandel from the U.S., which is fruity enough to work with the sauce without clashing.
Alternatively, if you're dosing your bird with a giant meaty stuffing, a slightly more savoury red is just the job.
For me, Rioja works an absolute treat, especially rich Reservas and more savoury Gran Reservas, which are aged in oak barrels to enrich and give depth to the wine.
Chianti can work well too, but look for 'Classico' on the label, which means it's come from one of the very best Chianti vineyards.
The texture of turkey isn't all that dense, so avoid reds that are very heavy. I'd also save reds that are hugely high in alcohol for another occasion – they risk swamping the mild turkey flavour and texture.
Christmas Day is a long celebratory session that you'll be able to enjoy for longer with more restrained reds.
And for turkey curry on Boxing Day? You could go for a fruity white wine, such as Pinot Gris from either Alsace or New Zealand, but this year I'm sipping a bottle of Rocky Head Pale Ale.
Rocky Head is a tiny brewery I've started with my pal Steve, and the ale pairs a treat with spicy dishes – you can find it in Selfridges and all branches of Oddbins.
But with my turkey this year, it'll be a glass of red Rioja all the way to big up the festive bird.
Original publication. MailOnline