The countdown is over. The Cheltenham Festival is finally here, and The Wine Tipster is excited to make this year’s At Home Festival unforgettable for all the right reasons. Read on for top tipples to accompany you through the four days of unbeatable racing and how you can recreate the electric Roar of Cheltenham at home.
Cheltenham is synonymous with superb racing, and The Festival is the pinnacle of the Jump season. The Festival has been held at Cheltenham since 1911, and The Stayers’ Hurdle is the oldest championship race having first been run in 1912. Over its many successful years, the Festival has expanded from three days to four, and now boasts four days of seven-race cards, 14 Grade One races and some of the best horses, trainers and jockeys in the world. It really is Horseracing’s Olympics!
This year, The Festival is supporting the charity WellChild. WellChild is a national charity that gives sick children the best chance to thrive through support at home and for their families.
To match the atmosphere and excitement of each day of racing, The Wine Tipster has chosen some Grade 1 wines and spirits to give you that wonderful Cheltenham experience at home:
Day One Tues 16 March
Kicking off The Festival is an incredible card of four Grade One races including the top class Unibet Champion Hurdle. Start your At Home Festival off with a bang with a Cheltenham Sponsor, Nyetimber. Their world-renowned English Sparkling Wine is meticulously crafted in West Sussex, Hampshire and Kent, Their Classic Cuvée MV is a wonderfully elegant option for the start of The Festival. Pair it with smoked salmon blinis for a great aperitif.
For a touch of Pink at the start of Cheltenham, Château Léoube’s artisan organic wines are just the thing. Their award-winning Rosé de Léoube is a rosé for all seasons, full of mineral notes and fruit on the palate. Pair with a light lunch and you have yourself a winner.
Day Two Wed 17 March
As the going gets underway, there are seven classic races to really spoil punters. The Grade One Queen Mother Champion Chase is set to be an unmissable watch, as is the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase. Watch it with a Glenfarclas 15 year old Single Malt on the rocks. The rich history of this family owned business make for award-winning Sherry cask aged malts in the traditional Speyside way.
Day Three 18 March
Not one but three Grade 1 races make Thursday a truly magnificent day. Hold on to your Racing Gin & Tonic throughout the Marsh Novices’ Chase. Ryanair Chase and the Stayers’ Hurdle ! Racing Gin is a recent addition to the gin scene, but is perfect for race lovers. Featuring beautiful silks on the label, and with a herbaceous and floral taste, this gin is great with a classic tonic water or in any cocktail.
Gold Cup Day Fri 19 March
Saviour the outstanding Gold Cup Day – the pinnacle of the Cheltenham Festival. With the coveted Grade One WellChild Cheltenham Gold Cup featured as the Blue Riband of Jump racing, you’ll surely be wanting a bottle to match the magnificence of The Festival’s finale. Jack Mann Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 from Houghton Wines in the Swan Valley in Western Australia, pays homage to the great winemaker Jack Mann MBE, who shared a birthday with Gold Cup Day! It’s a rich and concentrated red with a pure Cabernet Sauvignon dark fruits, spicy, oaky notes and a wonderful long finish. Decant for a couple of hours beforehand, this is delicious with a Roast.
For more food pairing ideas, get inspired with world class hospitality recipes from The Jockey Club’s top chefs. All the dishes work well with the bottles here, and are a great way to get the Cheltenham Hospitality experience at home.
If you really want to bring Cheltenham home, get yourself an At Home Hamper! Brought to you by British Fine Foods, these luxury hampers come in three options, full of award-winning food from artisan producers across the UK. Each hamper comes with a different bottle to really make your At Home experience special. Order here in time for The Festival! 10% of each hamper sale will go to WellChild.
However you choose to celebrate this superb meeting, share pictures and comments with The Wine Tipster on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and make sure to follow him for daily updates and Unibet Racing Blogs.
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