Last-minute wines to go with a glutton feast at Christmas | Alistair Gibson

It’s Christmas Eve and you may have the turkey and all the trimmings.

By Alistair Gibson
Thursday, 23rd December 2021, 7:24 pm
Updated Thursday, 23rd December 2021, 7:24 pm

But if you haven’t yet picked out your festive tipple, here are a few recommendations for a quick sweep around the supermarket wine aisles.

You will of course need something sparkling.

I recommended Tesco Finest* Premier Cru Champagne Brut NV (Tesco £21) earlier in the month.

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However, if you trade up a little to Tesco Finest* Vintage Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs 2015 (Tesco £26) you won’t be disappointed.

Made from 100 per cent chardonnay from the very good 2015 vintage, this wine is elegant with apple fruit and nutty notes in the background.

It could definitely hold its own against many well-known, big brand Champagne.

Serve it as an aperitif to start off the festivities. It would also work with smoked salmon or oysters.For a really good white wine all-rounder, La Mia Strada Falanghina 2020, Italy (Co-op £7.50) is very food friendly.

Falanghina is an Italian grape variety in the south of the country which deserves much better recognition.

It’s fresh with apple and quince, and a lovely twist of orange peel on the nose.

The palate has a zesty fruit zing and a crisp, clean finish.

This would happily work with fresh fish or simple roasted vegetables.

Perhaps one of the best value red wines of the year is Co-op’s Romanian Pinot Noir (Co-op £5.50), made by Romania’s largest producer, Cramele Recas and co-owned by Englishman Philip Cox.

This is soft, fruit-forward wine with red berries, cherries and an easy, supple mouth feel.

While it is certainly not going to gain any awards for complexity, it is perfect as a Boxing Day red with the cold cuts or even the post-Christmas curry.

Staying with the Co-op’s selection, Close Encounters 2018, Châteauneuf du Pape (Co-op £20) is made by the Perrin Family, one of the most famous wine producers in the Rhône Valley.

The story behind the name makes it worth buying the wine alone. But suffice to say, to the best of my knowledge, no UFOs have ever landed in Châteauneuf du Pape.

This wine is deep in colour with dark berry fruits, some Asian spices and dried herbs on the nose, followed by a full-bodied palate with more dark fruits and spices, ripe tannins and a long, very accomplished finish.

I have always thought that Châteauneuf du Pape makes a great accompaniment to Christmas lunch and this would work equally well with turkey, goose or duck.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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