NOW, I like a Yule log as much as the next man but it plays havoc with the wine matching. The lovely, rich chocolate coats the palate making it almost impossible for a wine to get through to your taste buds.

But fear not, your intrepid wine writer has spent the last two weeks eating dozens of Yule logs alongside copious amounts of different wines, ports and spirits just to find the perfect match for you. Honestly, I was doing it for you.

Firstly, you’re going to need a bottle with tons of character and a deep, intense flavour. A touch of sweetness won’t hurt either.

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One such bottle is Susana Balbo’s Late Harvest Malbec 2016 (Inverarity One to One, £15.49 for 50cl). I’ve really never come across anything like this before. The harvest is so late that the grapes are almost raisins when they’re picked. This delivers a wine of great concentration and flavour. Think dark cherries swathed in rich chocolate with a touch of Christmas cloves and cinnamon. Delicious, and very festive. It’s also bottled at just 11.5% ABV (alcohol by volume), so it’s quite a clever choice at the end of the night when you want to stay up to the wee small hours.

Madeira is an incredibly underrated fortified wine, and its versatility makes it a must for your wine cupboard. The richer styles work with desserts (even chocolate-based desserts) as well as a good cheese board, or just with a strong coffee at the end of the meal. The lighter, drier styles are perfect as an aperitif in a tall glass with ice and tonic.

One to try with Shirley’s Yule log is M&S’s Five-year-old Finest Medium Rich Madeira (M&S, £14 for 50cl). This is made by Humberto Jardim of Henriques and Henriques (H&H) who remain one of the best and most exciting producers of fortified wines on the planet.

The best spirit match I found was Toussaint Coffee Liqueur (Inverarity One to One, £20.99 for 50cl). Toussaint is a top quality rum-based liqueur from Haiti and is a perfect match for rich chocolatey desserts. Serve in espresso cups, and keep the bottle handy for top ups. Cheers!

Pete Stewart is Glasgow director of Inverarity One to One, 185a Bath Street www.inveraritymorton.com