Our pick of Christmas wines – festive fizz and party pleasers
To really get you into the Christmas spirit, Helene Nickin (AKA Winebird) shares her pick of festive fizz and party-pleasing wines.
The countdown to Christmas is ON! As we all run around like headless chickens trying to get ready, know this one thing: as long as you have enough delicious booze to go round, the world will be a happy place.
So here’s my guide to party wines that overdeliver for price, slightly special dinner wines, great fizz and super, splash-out wines for gifts. They’re are in style and price order so you can decide what to do with them!
Festive fizz and party pleasers
Surani Fiano – Majestic – £6.99 when you buy six (£8.99 single bottle)
This Fiano (that’s the grape) is my go-to party white wine as it’s fresh and zippy enough to please Sauvignon fans but tropical enough for those who like a little more body.
‘Comuna’ Pinot Grigio – Sainsbury’s – £7
It’s Pinot Grigio but maybe not as you know it. Hailing from Argentina, it has a little more floral character and fruit than Italian styles and a funky label that catches the eye.
Primitivo, Natale Verga 2015 – Majestic – £6.49 when you buy six (£7.99 single bottle)
A juicy, figgy, Christmassy red that tastes more expensive than it is. Guaranteed to make your guest go ‘oooh, that’s nice’!
Mt Benson Shiraz 2015 – M&S – £12
I love the complexity of delicate, fine wine, but sometimes you just want ‘the throw down’. Can I say that?! Well, this is that AND it’s good. Ballsy and rich, all licorice and chocolate. Yum.
Cvne Imperial Reserva Rioja 2010 – £24.40 Stockists: Majestic, The Co-op, Waitrose, The Wine Society, Wine Rack, Hailsham Cellars, Bon Coeur Fine Wines, Brinkley’s Wines, The Wine Reserve, Vino Wines, Planet of the Grapes.
A handsome label with table/gift appeal and a delicious wine that is drinking well now, but can hang on for a few years if you want to lay it down. The perfect blend of fruit and tobacco, spice and complexity.
Menestrello Vino Spumante Bianco – Morrisons – £5.75 until Jan 8th
A brilliant, bargain fizz that is drier than many Proseccos. Very easy drinking and versatile.
Graham Beck ‘The Rhona’ sparkling rosé – M&S – £12
An elegant, rose-coloured pink fizz made with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from South Africa. A really decent drop for £12.
Greyfriars English Sparkling Fumé – winery cellar door – £15
Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc from England? I wasn’t sure either but then I tasted it. A remarkable wine that’s flinty, fresh and deliciously quirky. And at £15 a bottle, you can order a whole case!
Hambledon Vineyards Premiere Cuvée – £42.50 Stockists: Lay & Wheeler, BBR, The Finest Bubble, Hedonism, Waitrose Cellar, Hook & Ford, The Exceptional English Wine Co, South Down Cellars.
This English sparkling wine from Hampshire is already considered by many to be England’s finest sparkling wine, rivaling many Champagnes at the price point. A fantastic gift for wine lovers and looks the part in a sleek, sexy bottle.
Limited edition: Billecart-Salmon Blanc de Blancs Champagne, Grand Cru, Non-Vintage magnum and carafe gift set – RRP £190 – various independents
The ultimate luxury wine gift: Grand Cru Champagne with its own stunning decanter to bring out the complex, brioche and white fruit notes and, as they say, ‘soften the bubbles’. Nothing says wow like Champagne in a decanter! The Brut is also available at £175.
Winebird is a freelance writer, presenter and author of VINALOGY: wine basics with a twist! You can follow her on Twitter, and find her on YouTube.