Yay, we’re allowed to have some family time at Christmas after all.
Maybe it’s worth pushing the boat out with some smashing wines!
First up, a quick nod to a couple of supermarket whites which have won the accolade Great Value White Under £15 in the latest International Wine Challenge awards.
An albariño and two rieslings which zing
I’ll stay in Tesco with Paco and Lola Albariño (£12) which dances with lemons and grapefruit.
Guava and lychee then waltz alongside on the dancefloor lit up by a good acidity. Albariño wine is always good with seafood.
Riesling is one of my go-to grape varieties.
Majestic’s Definition Mosel Riesling 2019 (£11.99, or £9.99 in a buy six deal) has lime and crisp apple notes with a wonderful refreshing acidity.
If you have a lighter-style Boxing Day curry on the horizon it could be a perfect glass.
Another super riesling choice – both of them fron Germany by the way – is the Co-op’s Gunderloch Redstone Riesling (£8) which has dynamic lime zest notes and flashing acidity.
An English white and a French delight
Chardonnay is at its heart, with seven other grapes in the blend. It has an aroma cocktail of apple, lemon, lime, lychee and melon.
I’m very familiar with Beaujolais reds, but less so with Beaujolais whites.
I was delighted to sip this next wine with pork and it would be ideal with turkey.
Arnaud Aucoeur Beaujolais Villages Vieilles Vignes 2018 (RRP: £13.50, online at Yapp) is crafted from chardonnay and is crisp, green and apple bright. It has a slight creamy mouthfeel and a knife-edge acidity.
Oh my, I’m on a roll with chardonnay! Here’s three more.
Apricot, vanilla and green apples will seduce you. The wine can be your companion through all the complex flavours of a Christmas dinner.
Chablis is the place which first wooed me into the wine world and I’m happy to include a sip here.
Chablis, Marcel et Blanche Fèvre, 2018 (£18.40, online at Tanners) is a trademark Chablis.
It’s a mouth-watering wine with apples and stone fruit working together in a palate partnership, the flavours continuing for an eternity.
Montagny 1er Cru, Olivier Leflaive Frères (£12.74, 37.5cl, online Lay & Wheeler) is a taste-treat from the Côte Chalonnaise.
It’s a Burgundian power ballad from this famous region. The nose is rich with butter, vanilla, ripe apples, peach and butterscotch. So delicious.
A white rioja to perk up your prawns.
The grapes for El Jardin De La Emperatriz Rioja Blanco 2019 (£13.50, champagnesandchateaux.co.uk) grow in a vineyard once owned by the Empress of France.
And so you can enjoy a right royal treat with this wine.
The wine is made from the viura grape. It is a good counter-balance of freshness to the plethora of taste sensations happening at Christmas. The rioja is light and fresh with lemon, lime, melon and white peach.
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