The Raise a Glass feature is published every week … my countdown to Christmas wines 2020 began way back at the beginning of November. Here’s my first selection of Christmas white wines to buy: Wines under £10
Well hello festive countdown.
It doesn’t seem two minutes since we were last here, you and me. Not much has happened since we last met. Nope, it’s been an uneventful year.
Ah. If only that was true.
What a strange year. And who knows what Christmas will look like. But yes! We will enjoy it no matter what!
I dillied and dallied wondering how to share some wine thoughts with you this time around and in the end I’ve decided on the price ranges.
They’ll be the pick of the wines I’ve tasted for your benefit, categorised by the pound sign.
To start, here’s a selection of white wines under £10.
All of these will be great with a classic salmon starter, or a plump prawn cocktail, spritzed with enthusiastic squeezes of lemon.
An Australian delight and an Italian cracker
My first is The Society’s Hunter Valley Semillon 2020 (£8.95, The Wine Society). The Hunter Valley region is home to fascinating semillon wines which age wonderfully.
This young version is almost water-white in colour with a zing of lemon and lime freshness which will keep you refreshed throughout your meal. It’s a subtle delight.
A quick hop to Italy now, courtesy of Lidl.
A bottle of Gavi DOCG (£6.69, Lidl) often finds its way into my shopping basket as I head to the check-outs.
And why not, I say, as a DOCG wine is an indicator of a quality wine region, and this Gavi – created from the cortese grape – is a lovely dry Italian white, crisp with lemon freshness.
Sauvignon blanc is a glass of class
I loved nose-dipping into this next wine, to breathe in the aromas. Dourthe Terroirs d’Exception Roqueblanche Bordeaux Blanc (£9.49, Waitrose) is a delightful sauvignon blanc. There’s lemon, yes there’s an airy floral note, and yes there’s a delight of subtle stone fruit.
It’s a glass of class for under a tenner.
Talking of sauvignon blanc, if you like it, the Co-op’s Fairtrade Irresistible Sauvignon Blanc is a smash at only £6.
As it’s a Fairtrade wine, this particular one helps fund after school clubs including a karate club which is helping to take children away from issues of drug abuse in South Africa.
It hits the spot for lovers of Savvy B, with green notes, pears and a touch of tropical fruit.
When I fell in love with an albariño
I’ve taken to “dictating” my wine notes and these are the words I spoke into my phone, breathlessly about this wine Tesco Finest Vinas del Rey Albariño 2019 (£8.50).
“I Iove albariño. This has apricots and honeysuckle and zesty lemon on the nose.
In the mouth its an awakening of acidity and citrus and grapefruit. Its absolutely divine”. This albariño from Spain’s Rías Baixas region, not far from the Atlantic coast, is so tasty with seafood.
A week after I sipped this albariño, it won a top award at the International Wine Challenge. Read my story here!
A wine with a river of zest
A wine to lift your palate after a few days of feasting is definitely this one: Trabocchetto Pecorino (£9.90, online at The Bottle Club).
This wine is upright and proud of its backbone of acidity, its mouthwatering river of zest, which weaves in and out of lemon and lime and ripe white peach.
Like all my choices in this £10 and under selection, this wine will greet seafood with open arms; or it can happily be your lively companion in a festive Zoom quiz.
First published in UK regional newspapers including:
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