If it's red wine you're after this Christmas then Christine Austin has picked out some affordable treats.

Whether you are planning turkey, goose, beef or a veggie option, you will need some red wine to go with the festive food.  Here are my top 20 red wine suggestions for the whole of the Christmas period, to cover events such as welcoming the students home, small neighbourhood gatherings and even the main event.  Not everything is on offer – some wines are really worth their full price.

 

Under £8

Beaujolais 2017, France Morrisons £5

Light, fresh and full of cherry fruit.  Perfect alongside a late-night turkey and cranberry sauce sandwich.

Claret 2017, Bordeaux, France, Tesco £5

I have no idea how Tesco manage to get such good quality wine in the bottle for such a small price.  This is mainly Merlot grapes bolstered by a splash of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc and it is juicy, supple and very quaffable.

Porcupine Ridge Shiraz 2017, South Africa, Sainsbury down from £7.50 to £6.25 until 1 January

A good all-rounder for parties, buffets or just a glass of wine by the fire. Full of smooth, bramble and spice flavours, it will drink well through winter and into the barbecue season.

Exquisite Collection New Zealand Pinot Noir 2017, Aldi £6.79

A simple, light, strawberry-scented Pinot that can be enjoyed on its own or with food.  Astonishing value for money, even at its full price.

Côtes du Rhône 2017, France, Booths £7

A proper Grenache and Syrah-filled Côtes du Rhône with deep-flavoured, pepper-dashed blackberry fruit and enough backbone to stand up to anything meaty.

Paul Mas Réserve Grenache/Syrah/Carignan 2017, Languedoc, France, Waitrose down from £9.39 to £6.99 until 1 January

Snap up as much of this hearty, spiced plum and blackberry-filled wine as you can carry. It will drink well throughout Christmas and last until the clocks go forward.

The Best Chianti Classico, Tuscany, Italy, Morrisons, down from £7.50 to £7 until 1 January

Sangiovese provides the spiced cherry fruit, and a splash of Merlot adds depth, but there is some Pugnitello in this blend, a rare, newly-rescued grape variety that adds individuality and style. Perfect with pasta and game.

Legendary Malbec 2016, Cahors, Spar £7.50

Spar has really upped its game when it comes to wine and this is a fine example.  From the traditional home of Malbec, this is an unoaked, fruit-filled version, with dark plum and cherry flavours and a long, supple finish.

£8 to £12

Warner’s Corner Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2016, South Australia, The Wine Society, £8.95

From classy producer Leconfield this is packed full of herb-dusted cassis with supple, fine tannins and a long, food-friendly finish.

 

Viñalta Malbec 2017, Mendoza, Argentina, Marks and Spencer £9

Made by a Frenchman working in Argentina so it blends the opulent mulberry and plum fruit of high-altitude vineyards with a more serious structure and complexity supported by supple, sunshine-ripened tannins.

Ch. Jouanin 2014, Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux, France, Co-op £9

At its full price, but still exceptional value.  Mainly Cabernet Franc which gives it a lifted leafy, fresh crunchy blackcurrant style, with plump Merlot filling in the edges.  Great with beef or turkey, so long as there is rich gravy on the plate. Good enough for the main event.

Taste the Difference Valpolicella Ripasso 2014, Italy, Sainsbury, down from £11 to £9.75

Ripasso is sometimes called ‘baby amarone’ since it is fermented on the skins of grapes used to make Amarone.  The result is a wine with deep, damson and black raspberry fruit, layered with vanilla and a soft, raisin character.  A fabulous winter-weight wine to be enjoyed with roast meats and game.

 

Errazuriz Max Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2015, Chile, Sainsbury down from £12 to £10 until 1 January

Outstanding flavour for money in this mint-edged, cassis-filled, spice-dusted, smooth, elegant wine.  Perfect with beef or game.

Louis Latour 2016, Red Burgundy, France, Waitrose down from £14.99 to £11.99 until 1 January

Soft, delicate Pinot Noir with true Burgundian redcurrant and wild strawberry style followed by gentle complexity and a smooth finish. Big enough to cope with roast turkey without overwhelming it.

The Best Rioja Gran Reserva 2012, Spain, Morrisons £12

Aged for at least two years in barrel and then another three years in bottle, this is a Rioja with tremendous character and complexity.  It comes from a renowned bodega but Morrisons have bottled it under their own label, which makes it terrific value.

£12 to £20

Henry Fessy Côte de Brouilly 2015, Bon Coeur £13.19

So much more than a Beaujolais, this is from one of the best Crus, and is full of juicy, deep, seamless cherry and raspberry flavours with a supple, silky finish.  Good with pork or turkey.

 

Matetic Corraillo Syrah 2014, San Antonio, Chile, Booths £13.50

This comes from an organic estate in the cool San Antonio valley, where Syrah vines are planted on warm facing slopes, so the vines benefit from the heat of the day and the chill of the evenings. This has ripe bramble fruit, edged with spice and a harmonious finish.

Circle of Life Red 2015, Waterkloof Estate, South Africa, Field and Fawcett £14.35

From a gorgeous estate overlooking the ocean at the Cape where organic and biodynamic viticulture means that there are horses in the vineyards to plough between the rows and no chemicals are used.  This is a blend of Syrah, Merlot and Petit Verdot with full, rounded, red fruit flavours, edged with spice.

Also available at Buonvino in Austwick.

Pinot Noir on Sandstone 2017, Catherine Marshall, Harrogate Wines £16.99

Pinot Noir changes dramatically according to the soil it grows in.  This comes from sandstone, made by Catherine Marshall, the most dynamic winemaker I know.  The wine has ripe cherry fruit, layers of savoury earthy notes and a long finish.

Villa Cafaggio 2014, Chianti Classico, Italy, Magnum, Waitrose £26.99 down to £19.99 until 1 January

An outstanding bargain because this bottle holds 2-normal sized bottles of wine and so it makes a glorious centrepiece to any festive celebration.  Elegant, strawberry and cherry-filled flavours, edged with gentle spice and a light, persistent finish.

 

 

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