Christmas lunch needs a beginning and an end. There needs to be something sparkling to set the day in motion and then, often overlooked in my opinion, you have to have something sweet to finish the meal and go with the pud.
So in reverse order Chateau Les Sablines 2012 Monbazillac (Waitrose 50cl £9.99 on offer at £7.99 until December 30) is a great value alternative to its big brothers in Sauternes. This is light and fresh with a touch of apricot marmalade and lovely acidity to stop it becoming cloying. It works beautifully with some fruit-based desserts or blue cheese.
Tesco Finest Dessert Semillion 2009, Australia (Tesco 37.5cl £6.79) is amazing value with tropical fruits, honey, peaches and a long luscious finish.
When it comes to Champagne the Co-operative Les Pionniers Vintage Champagne 2006 (Co-op £24.99) is a justifiably award-winning vintage champagne with complexity which would shame a lot of champagne at twice the price.
For all that’s written about cut-price Christmas Champagne there are few that deliver, but this is one of them (pictured). From Premier Cru vineyards this is classy Champagne with classic biscuit flavours, a rich creamy palate and great balance. Tesco £19.99 on offer at £12.99 until December 31 and £10.39 if you buy three bottles from the Finest range.