Whether it’s to sip with a quiet meal or raise a toast at a gathering, here’s my pick of wines and fizz to enjoy over the holidays...


To enjoy at home

Tesco Finest Premier Cru Brut champagne NV (£23, Tesco)

This creamy, chardonnay-rich champagne is great value and a much better buy than many of the well-known brands. The vintage version is even better – more toasty and precise, and only a few pounds more – but both are excellent.

Aldi Specially Selected douro 2019 (£7.99, Aldi)

Red wines from the Douro have been called ‘poor man’s claret’, which is unfair as they have a personality all their own – wild, darker and fruitier than a similarly priced claret, though still structured.

Morrisons The Best falanghina 2021 (£7.50, Morrisons)

Falanghina is an Italian grape that grows in the area around Naples and produces refreshing white wines with the tang and subtle festive fragrance of orange blossom.

Asti spumante 2020 (£5.29, Lidl)

Such a joy, this is frothily effervescent, light, sweet (but not too sweet) and slightly floral, like fresh grapes and honeysuckle. Refreshing with rich foods, and great with Christmas pud.

More like this

Dow’s Quinta do Bomfim vintage port (£35, Tanners)

It’s worth splashing out on good port, because it goes a long way. This single-estate vintage port is lovely – intense and rich, with an edge of freshness.

To take to a party

Bride Valley Eosé Bella 2018 (£34.95, The Whisky Exchange)

This pink sparkling wine has pleasingly upfront red berry flavours – think crunchy redcurrants, late-summer raspberries and wild strawberries.

Domaine Pouderoux Maury grande réserve NV (£11.49/50cl, Waitrose & Partners)

A fortified red wine made in the south of France from Grenache, this sings of bramble jelly, sloes, walnuts and prunes with a hint of cocoa. It goes well with chocolate and chocolatey desserts.

Blind River sauvignon blanc 2021 (£10.99, Waitrose & Partners)

For some, New Zealand Marlborough sauvignon blanc is the ultimate white wine: luminously fragrant and refreshing. This is a particularly good example that both looks and tastes the part, all passion fruit, lemon sorbet and lemongrass.

d’Arenberg The Shepherd’s Clock GSM 2019 (£10, M&S)

A sumptuous, thickly textured red that offers swags of berry flavours with white pepper and pumice. GSM stands for grenache, syrah and mourvèdre – three grapes found in Rhône blends too, so you can buy this for a classicist or someone who prefers a more punchy red.


La Raison du Château des Fougères 2012 (£16, Tesco)

A treat for anyone who loves claret with some maturity, this 70/30 merlot-cabernet sauvignon blend is perfumed, like mushrooms and truffles with notes of cedar and prune. Lovely with chicken forestière or beef with chestnuts.

Comments, questions and tips

Choose the type of message you'd like to post

Choose the type of message you'd like to post