Xmas cheers!

(by peter & susie)

Susie & PeterAnyone thirsty?

We’ve put together our top tips for Christmas drinking – all 60 glorious tips are listed below.

These are tough times for everyone, with purse strings tighter than ever, so every penny counts. All of the wines listed below represent great value for money. Some are on special offer, some aren’t – but all are delightful, rewarding and well worth your time and taste buds.

A healthy portion of these are from the big retailers because quite simply that’s where most people shop, and this list is about providing easy-to-use recommendations for you. Some are from smaller merchants and independents – we’d urge you, if you can, to support these local suppliers as they often have fantastic small production wines that you can’t find in the big retailers.

These suggestions cover wines for both Christmas and New Year’s Eve – so we’ve gone heavy on the fizz plus party whites and reds, not forgetting some fab wines to go with festive food and luscious sweet wines to cap it all off.

Featured below are half-price Champagnes, fizz from £6.65, a Lebanese red and Chignin white, sweets from £3.99, English sparkling wine, winners from our What Food What Wine Christmas matching awards, reds and whites from £5.99, and wines that we’ve used recently at the BBC Good Food Shows and our Wine School events.

It all adds up to some beautiful festive drinking.

On which note, Susie and I would like to wish you a very happy and delicious Christmas and 2013.



Jacob’s Creek Sparkling Chardonnay Pinot Noir, Australia – £6.65 until 24.12.12 (down from £9.99), Sainsbury’s

Taste the Difference Prosecco Conegliano, Italy – bottle £7.32 until 1.1.13 (down from £10.99), Sainsbury’s

Finest Vintage Cava 2010, Spain – £7.49 until 1.1.13 (down from 8.99) Tesco – easy-going red apple and herbal flavours.

Sainsbury’s Blanc de Blancs Champagne NV – £14.98 until 1.1.13 (down from £22.49)

Cloudy Bay Pelorus NV – £14.99 until 4.2.13 (down from £19.99) Majestic

Chapagne Louis Chaurey NV – £15 until 1.1.13 (down from £30) Marks & Spencer – tangy, cogent, classic – great value.

Finest Rosé Champagne NV – £18.99 until 1.1.13 (down from £21.99) Tesco – we matched this lovely pink fizz with James Martin’s chilli tofu at the BBC Good Food Show.

Nyetimber Classic Cuvée 2008 West Sussex, UK – £23.99 until 2.1.13 (down from £29.99), Waitrose

Oudinot Vintage 2005 Champagne – £24 until 1.1.13 (down from £29) Marks & Spencer – lovely concentration and richness.

Gusbourne Estate Blanc de Blancs 2007, Appledore, Kent – £29.99, Armit Wines – one of the up-and-coming stars on the UK fizzy wine scene. Delightful.

Sainsbury’s Blanc de Noirs Champagne NV – magnum £29.99 until 1.1.13 (down from £39.99)

Egly-Ouriet Rosé Grand Cru Brut – £42, Roberson Wine


Mâcon-Villages 2011 – £5.99 until 1.1.13 (down from £8.99), Marks & Spencer – creamy apple, classic.

Ragged Point Sauvignon Blanc 2012, Malborough, New Zealand – £5.99 until 4.2.13 (down from £7.99) Majestic – tangy, tomato leaf, zippy style, great value and ideal with smoked salmon.

Marlborough Sun Sauvignon Blanc 2012 – £6.48 until 3.1.13 (down from £7.98) Asda

Secano Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2011, Chile – £6.99 until 1.1.13 (down from £8.99) Marks & Spencer

Pietrariccia Fiano 2011, Surani, Italy – £6.99 when you buy 2 until 4.2.12 (down from £8.99) Majestic

Viña Mar Chardonnay Reserva 2010 – £8.95, Corney & Barrow – this nutty white came away with a trophy at our What Food What Wine Awards for pairing beautifully with roast turkey served with sage and onion stuffing.

Petit Chablis 2011, UVC, France – £8.99 when you buy 2 until 4.2.13 (down from £9.99) Majestic

Chignin 2010, Gilles Berlioz, Savoie – from £10.95, The Wine Society, Vine Trail – earthy glazed, floral and mineral. Lovely and different.

Anjou Chenin Blanc 2011, Chateau de la Roulerie – £9.75, The Wine Treasury

Finest Pouilly-Fumé 2010 – £11 until 1.1.13 (down from £12.99) Tesco – at the BBC Good Food Show we paired this with Pierre Koffmann’s cuttlefish Bolognese. As you do.

Mâcon-Cruzille Les Genevrieres 2010, Domaine Guillot-Broux – £14.82, Aubert & Mascoli

Pouilly-Fuissé 2011, Domaine Cordier – £15.99 when you buy 2 until 4.2.13 (down from £16.99) Majestic – deep richy nutty and rounded, heart-warming

Jurançon La Virada 2010, Jean-Marc Grussaute – £17.25, H2Vin – life-affirming stuff.

Pernand-Vergelesses Blanc 2010, Louis Jadot, France – £17.99 when you buy 2 until 4.2.13 (down from £19.99) Majestc – mineral, nutty, steely

St Aubin 1er Cru Les Champlots 2008, Caroline Morey – £19.75, Vine Trail – nutty, mineral, delicious

Meursault Le Limozin, Vincent Girardin, France – £23.99 until 2.1.13 (down from £29.99), Waitrose

Schäfter-Frölich Felsenberg Riesling Grand Cru Nahe 2011 – £28.85, The WineBarn – yes it’s impossible to say, and it’s expensive, but it’s beautiful dry tangy mineral haunting Riesling.


Torre del Falco Nero di Troia, Italy – £5.99 until 2.1.13 (down from £7.99), Waitrose – we matched this to Atul Kochhar’s spicy, meaty Bunny Chow at the BBC Good Food Show. Delightful!

Finest Swartland Malbec 2012 – £6 until 1.1.13 (down from £7.99) Tesco

Finest Chianti Riserva 2009, Italy – £6 until 1.1.13 (down from £7.99) Tesco

Secano Estate Pinot Noir 2011, Chile – £6.99 until 1.1.13 (down from £8.99) Marks & Spencer

Ravenswood Vintner’s Blend Zinfandel, USA, £7.49 until 2.1.13 (down from £9.99), Waitrose

Bourgogne Pinot Noir Vieilles Vignes 2010, Nicolas Potel, France – £7.99 when you buy 2 bottles until 4.2.13 (down from £11.99) Majestic – one of the best value red Burgundies around, great with turkey

Leyda Reserva Syrah 2010, Chile – £7.99 until 4.2.13 (down from £9.99) Majestic – also available from The Wine Society at £6.50 (membership is a good Christmas present suggestion), this is one of the best value reds in the UK right now, a lovely peppery warming succulent drop that’s a staple in our household.

Cadet de Ka 2008, Lebanon – £8.49, Marks & Spencer  – a fine match for Lawrence Keogh’s shoulder of lamb stuffed with pistachios, apricots and served with fresh mint sauce at the BBC Good Food Show.

La Clape Coteux du Languedoc 2010, Château l’Hospitalet, La Réserve – £9.59 until 2.1.13 (down from £11.99) Waitrose

Mayu Syrah Reserva 2009, Chile, £9.99, Sainsburys

Carmagnole Prestige Caramany 2011, £9.99, Marks & Spencer – a wine we put with Glynn Purnell’s elbow of lamb with red lentil stew at the BBC Good Food Show. Yum.

Finest Viña Mara Rioja Gran REserva 2004, Spain – £10 until 1.1.13 (down from £13.99) Tesco

Crozes-Hermitage L’Etincelle 2010, Domaine Basset £10.95, Flint Wines

Morgon Vieilles Vignes 2009, Daniel Bouland – £11.35, Vine Trail – lovely cogent scented stuff.

Tim Adams Clare Valley Shiraz 2009 – £12.49, Tesco – inky, minty, succulent, balanced, rich and utterly rewarding.

Martinborough Vineyard ‘Te Tera’ Piont Noir 2011, New Zealand – £13.99 until 4.2.13 (down from £17.49) Majestic or £13.50 at The Wine Society – utterly gorgeous complex, drinkable and savoury. Perfect all-rounder with the bird. Buy buy buy!

Craggy Range Te Kahu 2010, Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand – £14.39 until 4.2.13 (down from £17.99) Majestic – a richer version of classic claret, very versatile, especially if you’re having beef or red meat.

Châteauneuf-du-Pape Clos l’Oratoire des Papes 2010, France, £16.99, Sainsbury’s (down from £18.99)

Wedgetail Estate Single Vineyard Pinot Noir, Yarra Valley – £18, H2Vin

Bergström Cumberland Reserve Pinot Noir, Oregon, 2010 – £22, Roberson Wine

Chambolle Musigny 2008, Domaine Hudelot-Noellat – £22.95, Flint Wines

Surveyor Thomson Pinot Noir 2009 – £27.60, Hallowed Ground


House Dessert Wine NV, Germany, £3.99 for 37.5cl, Sainsbury’s

Torres Floralis Moscatel de Oro NV, Spain – £7.19 until 2.1.13 (down from £8.99) Waitrose – a raisiny, great value sticky that won a trophy at our What Food What Wine awards 2012 for pairing beautifully with Christmas pudding and rum sauce. Perfect!

Taste the Difference 12-year-old Sweet Pedro Ximenez, Spain – £7.99, Sainsburys (enjoy poured over vanilla ice cream)

Rustenberg Straw Wine 2010, South Africa – £9.99 for a half bottle when you buy 2 until 4.2.13 (down from £12.49) Majestic

Graham’s LBV 2007 – from £13.32, Waitrose, Sainsburys, Co-op, Morrisons, Asda, Tesco, Booth’s

Quinta do Noval 10-year-old tawny port – £15.19 until 2.1.13 (down from £18.99) Waitrose

Vin Santo del Chianti Rufina 2003, Italy – £15.99 – sumptuous.

Henriques & Henriques 10-year-old Malmsey Madeira – £16.99 for 50cl, Majestic or £17, The Wine Society

Grant Burge 10-year-old tawny – £23.95, Harrod’s – won a trophy at What Food What Wine Awards for a sumptuous pairing with stilton.