IF there’s ever a time to let the moths out of your wallet and spend a bit more on a treat then it’s surely Christmas, and especially this one after spending most of the year starring in our own apocalypse movie. It’s also a time for those relaxing moments of reflection beside a log fire and you really don’t want to do that with a glass of Mateus Rose, folks.

So, with that in mind, I have been tasked to take a look at some of the delights we should be delving into this Christmas.

Now we all know I’m a wine fan, but I’m also an equal opportunities abuser of other drink styles. I just write more about the grape than the grain.

Whisky, especially the sherry-aged ones, is a particular love of mine and they always go down well with visitors … none of those tonsil burners for my guests, folks. Brandy is also a drink I like to relax with occasionally but, by heck, does it have to be good. There’s an awful lot of it out there that’s only good for lighting a barbeque with but, if you pick the right one, you can easily escape the day.

Port and sherry are staples for most of us at this time of the year, but I’ve added a new favourite of mine to my Christmas hamper and it’s spiced rum. Trust me, it’s a far better way to get your kick of seasonal spices than mulled wine! Anyway, here’s a few of my favourites this year.

Bodegas Alvear, Pedro Ximénez Solera 1927 Sherry

Yes, the Solera was laid down in 1927, meaning that some of the wine is from before the Wall Street crash! This PX is without doubt one of the great wines of the world despite its humble price. The colour is intense but it’s the aroma that draws you in with prunes, cocoa and figs. The palate is simply to die for, folks, with what can only be described as sticky toffee pudding made with treacle toffee. OMG this is gorgeous.

The Fine Wine Co, Glasgow £15.00 per half bottle

READ MORE: Festive food with Chef Gary Townsend

La Reserve de Leoville Barton

I’ve been a Leoville super fan for decades now and they never let me down. This is the second wine from the estate and it’s just sublime, with smoky blackberry fruits, coffee and those classic hints of cigar box at the end. I would normally only drink this sort of wine with a main meal, but Leoville is also a cracking partner with a really mature Cheddar, a good novel and a log fire.

Pop Wines Glasgow £45.00

Tamdhu Batch Strength Speyside Single Malt

This is one of those Malts that should be on every dram lover’s bucket list. Unlike many sherry-aged malts, this one isn’t just finished in sherry casks, it’s aged entirely in them and the result is outstanding. I found the nose to be so inviting with caramel and spices but it’s the palate where the best stuff happens. It’s just lush, with vanilla, Christmas cake fruits and hints of orange. The flavours can beguile you into thinking it’s a normal strength but you need your big-boy pants on for this one as its 59.8% of wonderful, relaxing alcohol. Just a tip, but we find that Santa particularly loves this one left by the chimney on Christmas Eve in our house.

The Good Spirits Co Glasgow £78.00

READ MORE: Five new drinks by Scottish producers to try this Christmas

Solway Spirits Ginsignia

Yep, this is a whopper at 57% or, as the team at Solway describe it, Navy Strength. But it’s a big hit in our house as the ultimate G&T gin. It’s got a beguiling floral bouquet leading into a cracking citrus led palate but the juniper is the real star of this show. It’s just lush. Keep it simple and just add tonic and a slice of lemon and sit back in your armchair to enjoy this intoxicating gin the Navy way!

Ginsignia, Solway Spirits £39.95

Banditti Club, Glasgow Spiced Rum

Spiced rum is now a firm favourite in our household and, while I admit to being drawn to this one by the name and the story behind it, I’m glad they drew me in because it’s a corker. Produced from sugar cane juice in Madeira, its aged and spiced in Glasgow in oak casks. The emphasis here is more on the fruit with some exotic spices doing a sterling supporting role. Sweet on the nose with a lush warming sensation on the palate. Late at night with a good book, perhaps a cigar or even just a bit of Grandma’s rich Christmas cake...

Glasgow Distillery £25.00

READ MORE: Comfort and joy: What to eat and drink this Christmas

Corney & Barrow 20-year-old Tawny Port

I’m normally not a lover of own label brands but when it’s done by Corney& Barrow, that goes out of the window. Their 20-year-old is one of the most seductive tawnies I’ve tasted in years, with all the nuttiness, caramel and vanilla you expect, but then it goes and throws in a bit of fruit as well. It’s utterly delightful and definitely a contender for fireside happiness this Christmas.

Corney&Barrow, Ayr, £33.95

Maxime Trijol Elegance, Grand Champagne Cognac

I do love a good Brandy, but forget all the big brands because Maxime Trijol consistently produces the very best and at reasonably affordable prices. Its Elegance Cognac is quite sublime with fruits and flowers on the nose and a really classy palate of fruit, oaky spice and mellow toffee. I spent as much time savouring the aromas in the empty glass as I did enjoying the taste and that’s the measure of a cracking spirit for me.

WoodWinters Wine £48.00