21st Dec 2012
Thewineremedy team suggest 4 fantastic, great value wines that are perfect for any Christmas celebration, and one stunning white for when you really fancy pushing the boat out!
Ok, so here is the good news: there has never been as much great value, excellent wine out there - and now the bad: there has never been as much great value, excellent wine out there! The sheer choice of brands, promotions and places to buy your wine can be a little overwhelming, especially at Christmas when supermarkets aggressively compete for your business.
So, it’s a terrible cliché I know, but we have prepared a list of 5 wine suggestions for Christmas lunch, parties and celebrations that are (nearly) all under £15, including a real show stopper that should make white wine aficionados swoon. We realise of course that this Christmas we are all tightening our belts, but that doesn't mean that wine lovers need miss out on delicious, superb wines at prices that don't weigh heavy on January credit card bill. You just need to shop around more and be judicious in your choices.
We have tasted all of the below this year and we can vouch for their quality, compatibility with Christmas food and value for money.
Enjoy and Merry Christmas!
Try it with: the obligatory smoked salmon starter!
2011 Leitz Kabinett Riesling, Rheingau, Germany, £12.99
Where to buy: Waitrose
Salty, strongly flavoured smoked salmon requires a very special type of wine, one with enough acidity, structure and body to stand up to those intense flavours. And this Riesling from the fantastic Leitz estate in Germany fits the bill nicely. It is a strongly perfumed, citrus, peach and pepper flavoured white, with a marvellous freshness and zest. One of the best Rieslings we have tried this year at a price!
Try it with: Boxing Day roast beef
2009 Vergelegen Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Cabernet Franc, Stellenbosch, South Africa £10.99
Where to buy: www.majestic.co.uk
This intense, rich and velvety Bordeaux Blend from one of South Africa's premier red wine producers is the perfect match for similarly richly flavoured British Beef. After the turkey onslaught, we look forward so much to some red meat, and what better wine to enjoy with it that this delicious red from Vergelelen (don't even bother trying to pronounce it) It offers gorgeous blackcurrant, cassis, vanilla and mocha aromas, the palate is similarly complex and would stand to age for a few years. But then, who could wait?
2009 Queulat Gran Reserva Carmenere, Maipo Valley, Chile, £10.40
Try it with: Vegetarian dishes, like the ubiquitous Christmas Day Nut roast
Where to buy: www.slurp.co.uk
Closely related to Merlot, this is one of Chile’s signature grape varieties. Many examples can be found in the UK marketplace – the good, the bad and the very ugly! This Carmenere from Quelat is one the best value Chilean wines we have sampled in 2012, loads of plummy fruit, soft tannins and just a touch of oak. It will stand up to any strongly seasoned, flavoursome vegetarian dish nicely; especially the equally loved and dreaded Nut Roast. Come on cooks; let’s offer vegetarians something more imaginative this year!
2012 Villa Maria Private Bin Rosé, New Zealand £9.99
Try it with: parties and celebrations
Where to buy: Tesco, www.majestic.co.uk
What better wine to open at parties or buffets than this wonderfully fragrant rose from the acclaimed wine company Villa Maria in New Zealand. We are not the biggest fan of the style, but the red fruit and guava aromas and flavours on this deliciously balanced (and dry!) wine did win us over. And crucially, it will not clash with the ride range of flavours and textures going on a Christmas party, providing a fantastic inoffensive background to your Thai fishcakes and vol-au-vents - or whatever you fancy serving.
And for something really special try with your Christmas day Turkey -or goose! -try this 2010 Louis Jadot Chassagne-Montrachet from Burgundy, France's most famous home of Chardonnay. It is not cheap at £31 we know, but you are getting a hell of a lot of wine for the money. We tried this earlier this year and it is most definitely our Christmas day wine, a complex beauty offering butterscotch, citrus, almond and vanilla on the nose and palate, a wine with real depth and class! One to change the minds of the 'Anything but Chardonnay' crew, it’s simply divine.
Where to buy: Waitrose