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Christmas wines Part 1: Seven fresh and fruity whites for under £14

I always think of white Christmas wines as being in two camps. Fresh and fruity wines which sit happily with seafood, or the creamier, more complex whites which add richness to the main course.

In my first festive wine missive for 2018 I’m bringing you some fresh and fruity white wines for Christmas. Next time I’ll add in some complexity. If I can as I’m not a very complex northern bird.

White Christmas wines to tingle Your tastebuds

I was rather taken with Clara Hills Albariño (£8, Asda) so I Googled and read that it’s won a gold gong at the Quality Food Awards. The grape is native to Rías Baixas in the Galicia region of Spain and this wine is quite lovely. It is zippy with notes of lime, pear and grapefruit and I’d be happy to share a glass on Christmas Day. Or maybe keep to myself.

I’ll move into France with my second choice, a Bordeaux white. Château Le Coin Sauvignon Gris (£10.99, Laithwaites) has a flash of lemon on the nose and a playfulness of stone fruits such as apricot and peach. The palate is intense with citrus freshness and a tingle of spice. This wine could add zizzang to your prawn starter and then pour through the rest of your meal.

We’ll stay in Europe (oooo, not in the Brexit sense) and wander lazily over to Italy with a glass in hand to try Co-op Irresistible Gavi Broglia 2017 (£8.50). It is a dry and refreshing wine, with delightful, if not a little shy, aromas of white peach and lemon. There’s also a subtle peep of orange peel in the mouth. Mmmmm, salmon please and a squeeze of lemon. This year wine won an IWC Great Value Trophy for the best white wine between £8 and £13.

We’re going to head to the southern hemisphere now. Peter Yealands Sauvignon Blanc 2018 (RRP £8-£9, in Sainsbury) is a vibrant New Zealand wine, very confident in itself and the stone fruit and herbal nuances it delivers.

A dash across the Pacific takes us to Chile and another sauvignon blanc Errazuriz Aconcagua Costa Sauvignon Blanc 2017 (RRP £13.75, Waitrose). The grapes are from the Aconcagua Valley and the classic herbal notes of sauvignon blanc are found here too, plus a dalliance with mango and mandarin fruits. They’re both tasty versions of this ever-popular grape, grown almost 6,000 miles apart.

One of my oh-so favourite wines for a seafood starter is riesling. I’m staying below the equator with McGuigan The Shortlist Eden Valley Riesling (£14, Sainsbury).  White peach, pear and lemons set the scene with this Australian wine, as a freshness and good acidity lift the palate and a subtlety of flint adds backbone.

Oh my, finally a pinot grigio (I know! I never mention pinot grigio!) but credit where credit is due and a nod to Spar’s Pinot Grigio Dolomiti (£7). The grapes grow in the north of alpine Italy and they deliver a nose of pears and lychees and to taste, a freshness and purity.


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 2: Six chardonnay wines for your festive table
Christmas 2018 wines Part 3: Six light, fruity, savoury, spicy reds 
Christmas 2018 wines Part 4: Festive red wine to warm and hug you 

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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