Christmas Wines

It's worth splashing out on some more expensive wines at Christmas, just to make the festive occasion that little bit special. However, the vast choice of drinks in the £6 to £15 range at your local supermarket or wine seller can be a bit daunting, so here are ten suggestions worth considering as you stock-up your wine cellar for Christmas.

1. Cotes de Gascogne 2017, France (£6.50 Tesco)
A juicy taste and very crisp. almost like eating a freshly picked green apple. This white wine is made from the colombard and gros manseng grapes. It's a good alternative if you normally opt for a sauvignon blanc. Ideal for spritzers and a reasonable price.

2. Languedoc Rouge 2017, France (£7.00 Sainsbury's 'Taste the Difference' range)
Also available in a Languedoc White, it is made by Domaines Paul Mas, and is good value. A blend of grenache and syrah and carignan grapes. Ideal to drink while you are busy cooking.

3. Albacea Jumilla Monastrell 2017, Spain (£10 Coop)
A mighty red that is bold in flavour with the taste of blackberries, blueberries and woodland spices. Very alcoholic at 15%, but you can't tell. Superb for getting the party started!

4. Chateau Teyssier 2012 Saint-Emillion, France (£18.50 Berry, Bros & Rudd)
It's worth splashing out on a great red to sip gradually throughout the festive season. Very sumptuous and easy to drink, this is mainly a merlot with 12% cabernet sauvignon and 2% cabernet franc. Excellent value for the high cost.

5. Hill-Smith Estate Chardonnay 2017, Eden Valley, Australia (£11.99 Waitrose)
Tastes of oatmeal and lemons and ideal for an accompaniment to smoked salmon. You won't be able to stop drinking this modern Australian chardonnay.

6. Languedoc Blanc 2017, France (£7.00 Sainsbury's 'Taste the Difference' range)
A great little house wine from the Grenache, Marsanne and Vermentino grapes that gives a bouquet of freshness with a soft texture and subtle hints of apricot sand almond.

7. Les Plonniers Champagne Brut NV, France (£18.99 Coop)
I've read  that this is one of the best own-label champagnes around at the moment. A treat to pour, but if you can afford the vintage version at £26.99 then 'go-for-it' you won't be disappointed. But both are equally excellent.

8. Cuvee Royale Brut NV Cremant de Limoux, France (£11.99 Waitrose)
This champagne is on offer at £8.99 until next Tuesday (27 November 2018). Limoux is known for excellent sparkling wines, and this wine is made in the same way as champagne, using two of the same grapes - chardonnay and pint noir, plus a dash of chenin blanc. Orchard fruits and zesty lemons linger in the taste.

9. Tesco Finest PX Sherry (£6.37 Tesco)
An exceptionally sweet sherry, with dark molasses and rich in the taste of raisins and black treacle. What about serving it over ice cream as a special after-meal drink.

10. Sandeman Late Bottled Vintage 2013, Portugal (£16.99 Waitrose)
This sherry is on offer at £13.59 until next Tuesday (27 November 2018). Rich in prunes with cedar ad spicy flavours, ideal on a cold night. Drink it while standing and listening to the carol singers.


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