Tipping’s Tipples: Festive wines which deliver Christmas cheer

Wine to share at Christmas (and wine to keep just for yourself). Photograph: tbuptij3104
18 Dec 2016 @ 9.29 pm
| Food & drink

Somehow you have missed all those pre-Chrimbo supermarket “25% off when you buy six” promotions.

You forgot about the Christmas tasting event at your local independent wine merchant and it’s too late to put in your wine order with your favourite online vintner.

To make things worse you have misplaced all those “fifty wines for Christmas” features that appeared in the national Sunday newspapers’ magazine supplements a few weeks ago.

However, all is not lost, you will be able to get your hands on this trio of tipples for the festivities, stock permitting, right up until the supermarkets close on Christmas Eve.

Brilliant bargain bubby

Sainsbury’s Blanc de Blanc Champagne Brut

£20 at Sainsbury’s


You can keep your Prosecco and Cava, when it comes to fizz there’s nothing like Champagne. It needn’t cost an absolute fortune though, Sainsbury’s Blanc de Blancs Champagne Brut is a very good and reasonably priced.

Produced for the supermarket by Champagne house Duval-Leroy it is made using only Chardonnay grapes, hence the blanc de blancs on the label.

It has a persistent stream of fine bubbles in the glass, with notes of freshly baked bread, hazlenut and citrus. It is nicely balanced and perfect as an aperitif but has enough about it to pair with the turkey roast if needs be.

Festive food’s friend

Villa Maria Private Bin Pinot Noir 2014

Around £9 at Morrison’s and Asda


A lighter red, such as Pinot Noir makes a great partner for turkey and the trimmings, assuming the trimmings are chipolata sausages and cranberry sauce. Villa Maria Private Bin Pinot Noir 2014, is a silky smooth and approachable example from the Marlborough region of New Zealand.

Widely available, it is bursting with cherry, raspberry, cloves and spice, all complemented by a lick of vanilla.

This wine is quite versatile and will match with other festive grub too, be it goose, duck, or even pork pie. Pinot noir like this is good chilled down a little but don’t overdo it, an hour in the fridge will be plenty.

The perfect pressie

Denbies Noble Harvest 2015

£19.99 at Waitrose (37.5cl)


Denbies Noble Harvest 2015 is an English sticky wine made from botrytised Ortega grapes, from Denbies’ vineyards in Surrey. It’s not cheap at £20 for a half-bottle but it is very good and would make a lovely, talking point, Christmas gift for any wine aficionados in the family.

It would also be good to keep for yourself.

Its intense, honey-like sweetness is dashed by a well balanced acidity, with rich flavours of peach, marmalade zest and ginger spice. Drink this on its own, with blue cheese or fruit based desserts.

Have a very merry Christmas!