New Year’s Eve wine: Here’s some choices for your special celebrations!!

New Year wines 2017

Another new year is appearing round the corner as one slides off into the distance. How did that happen? Pop some bubbles and enjoy some New Year’s Eve wine as you say hello to 2018 and goodbye to 2017.

New Year’s Eve wine: A brace of cavas

Vilarnau Brut Reserva Cava (£11.99, Ocado, Booths and, 11.5% abv) With its artist-designed bottle sleeve, this cava from Barcelona looks like it’s put on a party dress to stroll along Las Ramblas. Traditional cava grapes macabeo, xarel-lo and parellada create a delicious blend with flavours of apple and a lemon sorbet finish. It is great with salty nibbles.

Cava Sumarroca El Gran Amigo Gran Reserva, 2012 (£10.95, 12% abv) A good price for a vintage cava, and it’s a delicious one too. Those same  grapes deliver a nutty, citrus-led wine which is easy on the palate and very elegant. There’s a touch of vanilla pastry, which will have developed from the wine’s aging on the lees for three years. I love cava; give it some me-time in 2018!!

New Year’s Eve wine: Buy champers on your Big Shop

Pierre Darcys Brut Champagne (£12, Asda, 12% abv) This is a fabulous fizz.  It is pale gold with a slight blush and plenty of bubbles. It would really look the part for a New Year’s Eve bash. It is crisp with flavours of apples and a hint of lemon. It slips down easily – perhaps a little too easily! Be sure to stock up before the big night.

Bissinger Champagne 1er Cuvee Brut (£17.99, Lidl, 12% abv) The fizz has a lush nose of apples and pears, dotted with caramel and a buttery biscuit base of brioche. The bubbles are elegantly eager and there’s a nice tingle in the mouth with a crisp apple bite.

New Year’s Eve wine: A couple of pinks

Veuve Monsigny Champagne Rosé (£15.99, Aldi, 12% abv) This is the pop princess of New Year champagnes. Perky and pink, it bubbles away nicely and is a good party tipple. It might be a bit lightweight for when the clock strikes midnight but it is a nice treat to welcome visitors. (For thirsty guests, Aldi is also selling a magnum of premier cru champagne at £29.99 but a strong arm is needed to pour it!)

Irresistible Spumante Rosato Brut (£7.99, the Co-op, 11.5% abv) This sparkler is a vibrant pink colour and the fizz is giddy and can be a bit overpowering. On the positive, the long-lasting bubbles deliver a good mousse. The wine has a lovely light and gentle taste, with the flavour of the sweet grapes coming through.  Definitely one for parties.

New Year’s Eve wine: A class act for the midnight chimes

Charles Heidsieck, Brut Réserve

Charles Heidsieck, Brut Réserve (£35,, 12% abv) The original Champagne Charlie was the founder of this champagne house; Charles-Camille Heidsieck is the man credited with popularising champagne. Pour this as the clocks strike midnight. It has aromas of brioche and apples, as if baked in a tarte tatin, and notes of dried fruits, apricot and honey.

New Year’s Eve wine: If you don’t want fizz 

A New Year white: Tuna Club Verdejo Sauvignon Blanc (£7.99, Waitrose, 13% abv) Some sauvignon blancs can be a bit tart but this was zesty and light. A strong hint of melon and pear gives it a fruity finish. A New Year red: Nip to Marks & Spencer for the very affordable Vino Tavola Rosso (£5) It is a drinkable red with notes of cherries and black pepper at a good price to serve lots of guests.

I hope 2018 brings you everything you could wish for. 


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– Huddersfield Examiner – The Chronicle, Newcastle 
– Teesside Gazette – Birmingham Mail –
Coventry Telegraph  – Paisley Daily Express 

Finish your festive feast with a drop of Christmas port … it would be rude not to

Not long to go! I’ve pulled together a selection of Christmas port, a couple of sweet wines and last-minute buys for you to enjoy over the festive break. Enjoy.

Some peeps of Christmas port:

Maynard’s Pink Port (£7.99, Aldi, 50cl) Aldi’s port range has won gold in the new International Wine Challenge with Maynard’s 1992 Late Bottled Vintage Port (£19.99) but the pink port is a little bit different. It has sweet aromas of raspberries and cherries and is pleasant enough; but alongside a strong cheddar cheese it reaches the high notes like a Christmas Eve carols’ singer.

Special Reserve Port Decanter (£8, down from £16, 50cl, Marks & Spencer) I sipped this in an M&S tasting and said out loud to no-one  “yowser, this is great”! It is now half-price and is a tasty, plummy, rich bargain made by the team behind Taylor’s port. I enjoy it on its own.

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Tesco finest* 10 Year Old Tawny Port  (£12, 75cl) This award-winner delivers notes of cinnamon and vanilla, with nuts and a dash of citrus. It’s another port made by a famous producer, this time Symington Family Estates. Try it with a chocolate dessert or creme caramel.

Kopke Colheita Port 2003 (£16.99 or £14.99 in a buy six deal at Majestic, 37.5cl) Kopke is the oldest port house founded in 1638; its wines have seen many a celebration! It is the colour of caramel, with aromas of dried fruit and sweet spice. It tastes a little of quince jelly, speckled with a flash of spice and a lift of vanilla.

Sandeman 20 Year-Old Tawny Port (£28.49 at Waitrose until December 24, then back to £37.99, 75cl) Bring the iconic drinks’ logo to your table – the cloaked Sandeman Don. The port has honey and hazelnuts on the nose, a swish of vanilla in the mouth and a long, soft finish. I’d say a platter of hard cheeses and walnuts.

A couple of sweeties
Martini Asti
Martini Asti Spumante

Martini Asti Spumante (£7, until January 1, Tesco, 7.5% abv) When an Asti sparkler is made, the fermentation is stopped early so it is low alcohol and there’s lots of sugar remaining in the grapes. Can you have a sweet fizz with puddings or cheese? Yes!! It’s great. Go for a cheesecake or blue cheese and you’ll enjoy the wine’s notes of pear and peach.

Lidl Pillitteri Vidal Canadian Icewine 2016
Lidl Pillitteri Vidal Canadian Icewine 2016

Vidal Pilliteri Icewine 2016 (£14.99, Lidl, 11% abv) Ice wines are created in the most extraordinary way. The grapes (in this case from Canada) freeze on the vines, then the frozen water is crushed out, leaving behind the intensity of the fruit from which the wine is made. I love the seductive lusciousness of fresh stone fruit, lychee and pears.  

Last-minute WINE buys:


A classy white: Clos Floridene Graves Blanc (£18.99, The Co-op, 13% abv) This white Bordeaux is a complex blend of sauvignon blanc and semillon and is bright with citrus notes and a hint of tropical fruits. Enjoy with turkey or Boxing Day ham.

A special red: Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2015 (£10.99, Lidl, 13.5% abv) This is a plummy, full-bodied Bordeaux red which scooped the 2017 International Wine Challenge’s Great Value Red between £8 and £12. Savour it.  

A bargain fizz: Fillipo Sansovino Prosecco (£6.50, Asda, 11.5% abv) This extra dry fizz is lovely with a strong taste, not insipid at all, with hints of apple. It has lots of bubbles and would make a great budget alternative to champagne.

Have an amazing Christmas. Jane xx

Hull Daily Mail – Leicester Mercury – Cambridge News –
Liverpool Echo – South Wales Echo – Daily Post Wales
– Huddersfield Examiner – The Chronicle, Newcastle 
– Teesside Gazette – Birmingham Mail –
Coventry Telegraph  – Paisley Daily Express