For many of us, Christmas just wouldn't be the same without a nice glass of red wine. Here's my selection.....

Visits to and from my scattered family means that I shall be enjoying three Christmas dinners this year.  Whether I have to cope with three turkey dinners is another matter but I have the feeling that goose may feature at one event, while there could be a strong vegetarian theme at another.  If your main Christmas event is still at the planning stage, here are a few suggestions for wines to go with whatever gets served up on your plate. Not everything is on offer – some wines are really worth their full price.

 

£8 and under

Gerard Bertrand Merlot 2018, Languedoc-Roussillon, France, Morrisons down from £9 to £6.50 until 31 December

Lots of juicy cassis and red plum fruit with a rounded, smooth finish. Tastes well above its price point.

CVNE Rioja Crianza 2015, Spain, Morrisons down from £8.50 to £6.50 until 31 December

Every Christmas needs a Rioja and this one is fantastic value.  Lighter than many, without the thud of oak that sometimes gets in the way of the fruit, this will accompany the full works of turkey and the trimmings, but might be better with a cold turkey sandwich on Boxing Day.

Famille Perrin Les Cardinaux 2017, Rhône, France, Co-op down from £10 to £7 starting on 11 December until 3 January

No grand appellations on this wine, apart from the fact that it comes from one of the best producers in the Rhône.  The Perrin family own the famous Ch. de Beaucastel in Châteauneuf-du-Pape and while this is definitely not CNDP it has similar warm, dark fruits with spice and a rounded, full finish. Worth buying a case to see you through winter.

Gloria Douro Reserva 2017, Portugal, 13.5%, Aldi £7.29

Made from the same grapes that go into port this wine is packed with plum, blackberry and raspberry flavours with a chunky style that makes it perfect for a late-night sausage supper.

Ch. Pey La Tour 2016, Bordeaux Superieur, Waitrose down from £10.69 to £7.99 until 2 January

A serious claret at a bargain price.  This is smooth, elegant and full of gentle cassis fruit and will partner chicken, turkey or lamb to perfection.

Pata Negra Rioja Reserva 2015, Aldi £15.99 for a magnum

These magnum bottles march out of Aldi as soon as they hit the shelves so make a detour or order it online to get this impressive big bottle full of soft, fruity Rioja.

 

Botham 80 Series Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2017, South Australia, 14.5%, Tesco down from £11 to £8 until 1 January

Glorious black cherry and mulberry fruit with notes of pepper and cedar. Perfect beef.

 

£8 to £12

Finca Constantia Organic Tempranillo Moon Wine 2017, Sainsbury down from £10 to £8.50 starting on 11 December until 31 December

Bright with red cherries, with a savoury backbone and a fresh finish. This is as politically correct as a wine can get – organic, vegan and biodynamic.

Angove Organic Shiraz Cabernet 2016, McLaren Vale, Australia, Roberts and Speight, Beverley, £8.99

Australian Shiraz/Cab blends are no longer the over-powering beasts they once were.  Now fruit, balance and elegance are to the fore and this is a great example.

Reyneke Organic Cabernet/Merlot, Western Cape, South Africa, Waitrose, down from £10.99 to £8.99 until 2 January

From one of the most dedicated organic producers I have met, this is a well-structured wine with black cherries, blueberries and savoury leafy tobacco notes.

Ch. Bel Orme Tronquoy de Lalande 2006, Haut Médoc, France, Majestic, down from £16.99 to £9.99 on a mix six deal starting on 10 December until 16 December

Head for your local Majestic store and make friends with the people behind the counter to reserve your allocation of this fabulous wine. Ripe and ready with savoury plum and cassis notes and an elegant, supple structure.  Perfect with turkey or lamb.

Guigal Côtes du Rhône 2016, France, Tesco down from £12 to £10 until 1 January

Almost legendary for its quality, this is a wine to keep in stock at all times. Dark red fruits, a touch of spice and terrific length.

Monteflores Malbec 2018, Argentina, Marks and Spencer £10

Fairtrade and vegan, this is a structured elegant bramble and mulberry-filled Malbec that can take on a rib of beef or chunk of cheddar.

Campo Aldea Rioja Graciano Reserva 2015, Marks and Spencer £12

There is Graciano in most Riojas but this is 100% which gives the wine dark raspberry flavours and purity of style.  Good enough for the main event.

 

£12 to £20

Baron Edmond de Rothschild Montagne St Emilion 2012, Bordeaux, France, Majestic down from £18.99 to £12.49 on a mix six deal starting on 10 December until 16 December

Another cracking deal from Majestic for a claret with impeccable credentials.  From an excellent vintage, this has ripe blueberry and blackberry fruit with just the right structure to tackle a serious plateful of food.

Glenelly Glass Collection Syrah 2016, Stellenbosch, South Africa, Booths £12.50

What do you do after you have sold your top-flight Bordeaux château?  For Mme. May-Eliane de Lencquesaing the answer was to buy a hillside property in South Africa and plant vines.  This is the result; a fabulous, deep-flavoured Syrah with bramble fruit and a long finish. Perfect with beef.

Villa Cafaggio Chianti Classico 2016, Italy, 13.5%, Waitrose £13.49

If you missed the autumn offer on this wine then you will have to pay full price for it, but even so it is great value with spiced black cherry fruit and truffle undertones.  Alternatively step up to the magnum bottle that is on offer at £19.99, until 2 January.

Taste the Difference Gigondas 2016, Rhône, France, Sainsbury down from £15 to £13.50 until 10 December

Old vine Grenache and Syrah with just a splash of Mourvèdre give this wine deep damson flavours, edged with spice and liquorice.  It will go with anything that has mushrooms and herbs in the mix.

Kalfu ‘Kuda’ Pinot Noir 2017, Leyda, Chile, Harrogate Wines £13.99

A new wine from Chile, with a fresh, lively taste that comes from its cool-climate origins.

La Grange St Martin Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2017, Rhône, Waitrose down from £49.99 to £39.99 for a magnum until 2 January

There is nothing more impressive than a large format bottle being poured around a table.  This will easily fill 12 glasses and its dark, juicy fruit, spice and long, serious finish will partner the full Christmas dinner with ease.

 

 

About The Author

Christine Austin

Christine is a wine writer, broadcaster and a wine judge for several international wine competitions. She has a technical background and spent five years as a buyer for a major supermarket before moving to wine writing.She writes for The Yorkshire Post Magazine and organises the York Festival of Food and Drink. She has won both the Lanson and the Roederer prizes for wine writing.

Let us know what you think

comments