Wine recommendations for festive fizz whites and reds
- Credit: Archant
Order seasonal bottles soon before the Christmas rush advises Ham&High wine expert Liz
A word of advice: order seasonal bottles soon. The myriad offers may well sell out quickly (I’ve had previews of those at Jeroboams and Waitrose – tempting indeed) and there’ll be huge demand on delivery services.
What to buy? First, let’s sparkle. English fizz continues to wow competition judges: stylish Roebuck Estates Classic Cuvée 2014 (£35, roebuckestates.co.uk) was a Decanter World Wine Awards 2020 best-in-show. Or support green growers: Albury (alburyvineyard.com) and Oxney (oxneyestate.com) organic estates offer much to enjoy.
From Tasmania, Jansz (£18, Waitrose, many independents) is classic, classy bubbly. Waitrose also has Cuvée Royale Brut Crémant de Limoux (£12) – French crémants are great value. Or try a happy Italian rarity: bubbly red off-dry Banfi Rosa Regale Brachetto d’Aqui (£16-£19, weaverswines.com, simplywinesdirect.uk), from high Piedmont.
One unique treat is Mar de Frades Brut Nature (£25-£27, vinvm.co.uk, greatwine.co.uk), first traditional method sparkling albariño from Rias Baixas DO, northern Spain. Innovative winemaker Paula Fandiño ensures it sings out its salty, cool origin. Or find hints of Andean mountain air in fine, refreshing Cordillera Pinot Noir Brut from Miguel Torres Chile (£14, vinvm.co.uk, ministryofdrinks.co.uk).
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Remember, too, cava’s remarkable value. The Wine Society Cava Reserva Brut (£8.95) is citrussy yet rounded. And The Society Prosecco (£11), from the skilled Adami family, is a cut above many – it comes, too, in a Bellini case (£22.50), with fruit nectars.
Muscadet as a chablis alternative? Yes! Jérémie Huchet’s Clos les Montys (£13, thewinesociety.com), from vines planted in 1914, is complex, steely, delicious.
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Quickly, other food-friendly ideas: three pinot noir bargains: pure, elegant Louis Latour Domaine de Valmoissine 2017 (£12-£12.50, Majestic mix-six, tanners-wines.co.uk); from Chile bolder, richer Undurraga TH Las Gaviotas 2018 (£15.50, thewinesociety.com); from Burgundy itself cherry-rich Eduoard Delaunay Septembre 2017 (£15, Majestic mix-six – the sister chardonnay, £11, is excellent, too). Another white reason to stay conventional is smooth, fresh Domaine Gonon, Mâcon La Roche Vineuse 2019 (£10.50, thewinesociety.com).
Just to counter the cool claims, two enticements from warmer climes: light, so drinkable organic fizz from Sicily, Purato Grillo Spumante (£12, Ocado) and seriously smart but restrained Californian pinot noir, Marimar Estate La Masía 2017 (£30, northandsouthwines.co.uk).