red wine bauble festive red wines Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Christmas wines Part 4: Festive red wine to warm and hug you (if only it had arms)

Hold on to your Christmas hats! If you love red wines with a bit of heart, depth, richness and ripe fruits which can comfort and hug, then I’m here for you. I won’t dilly dally with these festive red wine choices, as there’s lots to get through.

Three festive red wine choices from France

It would be wrong not to head to Bordeaux with a couple of wines that say “food, food, food”. Grand Plessis, Médoc, 2015 (£11, Marks & Spencer) is a smooth and fruity claret. It’s classy and elegant on the palate like a good French wine should be, with a lovely floral nose. There are hints of spice and liquorice beneath the blackberry fruit flavours.

Calvet Reserve, Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon, Bordeaux, 2016 (Waitrose £9.39) is a blend of merlot and cabernet sauvignon and is ideal if roast beef is your Christmas Day roast of choice. But hey! This full-bodied red, lashed with dark fruits and pepper is also suitable for vegetarians so forget the beef and sip with your veggie option.

Where to go next? Well I’m spoilt for choice but I’ll stick with France because I Iove this wine Domaine Jones Fitou 2016 (£15.50, The Wine Society). I jealously guarded it when I was “tasting” it for your benefit. The challenges I face. It’s a blend of grenache, carignan and syrah and is full-bodied and rich and the essence of ripe, delicious, plummy dark and red fruits stunningly shine through. Main course? Yes. Cheese? Definitely.

… and now four more festive red wine choices 

I’m here waving a Christmas glass of Zalze Shiraz Mourvedre Viognier (RRP £8.79, Waitrose, Morrisons and Asda) and thinking it’s a good match for a plate of all the Christmas dinner goodies, from turkey to parsnips, from sprouts to roasties. Shiraz takes centre stage in this blend, which has notes of brambly hedgerow fruits and cherry.

If a Spanish Rioja is more to your festive liking, then  Marques De Caceres Gran Reserva 2009 (RRP £18.99, will be a good choice. It has been aged for over two years in oak, a process which leaves a legacy of vanilla, coffee, spice and bold red fruits. It’s a powerpack of a red wine and the flavours just keep on giving.

Clos de los Siete (RRP £17, Sainsbury) hails from Argentina. The country’s signature wine grape malbec takes the lead in a five-grape blend including merlot, cabernet sauvignon and syrah. The flavours of red fruits, plums and spices dance a tango in your mouth and then linger temptingly. Sip and watch the Christmas episode of Strictly for the full effect.

Co-op Irresistible Chilean Carmenere 2017
Co-op Irresistible Chilean Carmenere 2017

A final choice, as I hate to leave you with a wine dilemma, is Co-op Irresistible Chilean Carménère 2017 (£7) which is a new wine in Co-op stores and was two years in the planning between the Co-op team and winemaker Diego Covarrubias. You’ll enjoy an easy-drinking, any-day kind of wine, full of black cherries. More than anything, you’ll love the label.

Read more of my Christmas 2018 wine thoughts

Champagne Taste Test 2018: We rate 10 supermarket champagnes
Prosecco Taste Test 2018: We rate 10 supermarket proseccos

Christmas 2018 wines Part 1: Fresh and fruity whites
Christmas 2018 wines Part 2: Six chardonnay wines 
Christmas 2018 wines Part 3: Six light, fruity, savoury, spicy reds

First published in over 30 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 

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