In a life much storied, Robert Burns wrote hundreds of poems and folk songs, and January 25 is a great excuse to raise a glass to Scotland’s famous bard.
Whether you decide on cock-a-leekie soup or smoked haddock chowder, a robust red will take you through to the haggis, neeps and tatties.
The Patriots Cabernet Sauvignon Gran Reserva 2009, Maipu Valley, Chile (£9.99, www.laithwaites.co.uk) spends eight months in oak. Rich and powerful with silky blackberry and cassis, it will suit Scotland’s national dish to a tee.
Whisky is the traditional drink for Burns suppers and a whiff of stardom surrounds Robert Burns Single Malt (£29.99, 70cl, www.arranwhisky.com). A special edition of The Arran Malt produced by whisky producer Isle of Arran Distillers, it’s the official whisky commemorating the poet who was born just across the water from Arran in Ayrshire.
Alternatively, to end the meal with a rousing rendition of Burns’ most famous song, Auld Lang Syne, try a wee dram of Highland Park 18 Year Old (£69.99, 70cl, www.thewhiskyshop.com) – rich with a toffee sweetness and heathery smokiness.