For the Sauce:

Melt half the butter over a medium heat and gently sauté the shallots and garlic for about 5 minutes until softened. Add the ginger, cloves, star anise, cinnamon stick, thyme, honey, wine, stock and half the blackberries. Bring to the boil, then simmer gently for 15 minutes, stirring every now and then and breaking down the blackberries into the sauce.

Sieve the sauce into a clean saucepan and season with a little salt and plenty of cracked pepper. Simmer for a further 5 minutes. Mix the cornflour with 1 or 2 teaspoons water and stir into the sauce, along with the remaining butter and blackberries. Heat gently for another 3 or 4 minutes until the sauce has thickened slightly and the blackberries have warmed through, taking care to keep the blackberries whole. The sauce can be made in advance and reheated gently when required.

For the Quail:

Take the quails out of the fridge roughly 1 hour before cooking.

Preheat the oven to 225°C

Pat the quails dry with paper towel. Season the inside of the cavity and place one slice of orange zest and one thyme sprig inside each quail. Rub the quails all over with butter, and generously season with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with wet string.

Once the oven is hot, place the quails into a cast-iron frying pan or roasting pan, ensuring there is a little space between them, and roast for 12 to 18 minutes, until the flesh feels slightly firm and the juices run clear.

Rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving with the Spiced Blackberry Sauce. Perfect as part of a shared Christmas table with a glass of Wolf Blass Grey Label Shiraz.