The Ultimate Christmas Drinks Guide

Christmas wouldn’t be the same without a gorgeous glass of wine or a sip of your favourite tipple. For that reason we have been trying some of the best offerings out there this holiday season. In this guide you will find our favourite fizzes, reds, whites and aperitifs. We even have offerings from renowned brands such as Courvoisier, Codorniu and Aldi!

Fizzy and sparkling

Veuve Monsigny Champagne Brut by Philizot (Aldi, £9.97)

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Aldi is now famous in the UK for supplying low cost but high quality product and brand alternatives, especially at this time of year. With the Veuve Monsigny champagne they have certainly produced another corking (I’m sorry) deal. This champagne has a wonderful golden colour and vibrant bubbles. For under £10 this has to be one of the steals of the season and I would suggest you get some now, just before they run out. Crisp, refined and a joy to drink – yum!

 

Codorníu Reina Maria Cristina Blanc de Noirs Reserva 2012

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 Another fantastic fizz on the shelves this Christmas is this pinot noir cava from Codorniu. This cava is named after Regent Queen Maria Cristina of Austria, who in 1987 granted Codorníu with the title of “Official Provider of the Royal House”. Sparkling, dry, fantastic on the nose and sophisticated, this is a great alternative to the run of the mill cava.

 

Abbesse Crémant de Loire Rosé 2013 (£12.99)

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This pink cremant will light up any table this Christmas. Full of fresh strawberry and lemon flavours, this vibrant fizz is a real treat and fun for all. Much like champagne, the Abbesse is given secondary bottle fermentation to make those bubbles extra fine. A refreshing and crisp offering, we love this wine. Available at Laithwaites Wines.

Whites

Brancott Estate Terroir Sauvignon Blanc

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If you are a fan of Sauvignon Blanc, then this complex and fun bottle from Brancott Estate is surprisingly very good indeed! This wine had a unique feel and (after some research), this is down to the Awatere Valley’s cool, windy climate and very free-draining soils. Subtle and yet with fantastic layers of zest and a good aroma, this Sauvignon has a little more about it than others on the shelf at the moment. Ideal foil for grilled oysters or seared salmon. Available here.

 

Aldi’s Exquisite Collection Gavi

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As you would expect, this wine is produced from Cortese grapes grown around the idyllic town of Gavi, in the Piemont wine region of northern Italy. This versatile wine had a balanced fruit flavour and comes in an elegant bottle to match. Quite an enjoyable wine, we loved the aroma and would suggest this goes particularly well with a winter risotto. This is available from Aldi for £5.49 (not in all stores).

 

 

Reds

Campo Viejo Gran Reserva

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Now for our favourite wine of this wonderful Christmas selection. The Campo Viejo Gran Reserva is a superbly delicious ruby red Rioja. Perfect for a winter stew or to go with a rich, dark chocolate pudding, this is absolutely ideal for Christmas. This would make an ideal gift for any red wine for or even for a treat for yourself. IN fact, the 2014 vintage won a Silver Medal at The Decanter World Wine Awards 2015. The DWWA is the world’s largest and most influential wine competition. This wine for us was smooth and like velvet on the tongue. Plus there were blackberry and blueberry aromas on the nose, with hints of spice. Available from most supermarkets nationwide. RRP:  £16.79 (but worth every penny!).

 

Graffigna Centenario Malbec

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This Argentinian Malbec is a great all rounder and a solid addition to any present list this year. Obviously ideal for steak, this is also a great sipper to have when it’s raining ourside. Graffigna has been making wine for over 135 years and you can taste the craftsmanship in each bottle. For under £10 this is a strongly performing Malbed, complete with dark berry and hints of black pepper. Available from Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Ocado and Nisa (RRP: £9.99)

 

La Crema, Sonoma Coast, Pinot Noir (£14.96)

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If you are looking for a slightly fruiter offering and a spiciness, then you will not go too far wrong with this award winning offering from Sonoma. Full of wintery flavour, this wonderful wine combines cherry, red, plum and spice for a fantastically exciting glass. Jackson Family Wines is a collection of premium wineries owned privately by Barbara Banke and the Jackson family. Over the years, the Banke-Jackson family has assembled an unparalleled portfolio of esteemed vineyards and wineries along California’s cool coastal ridges, stretching northwards from Santa Barbara up through Monterey, Sonoma, Napa and Mendocino counties, and continuing into Oregon’s famed Willamette Valley. This is suggested for a nice glazed Christmas ham or lamb. Available from http://www.winedirect.co.uk.

Desert wine and tipples

Taylor’s 2010 Late Bottled Vintage Port

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It has to be said, someone you know this Christmas will sip on a glass of port and it’s a must-buy on anyone’s shopping list. Why not go for this 2010 late bottled vintage port from Taylor’s. This British run company has oodles of history and pedigree when it comes to port, so they know how to make a good one. Ideal for dad’s Christmas stocking or just to have on the Christmas dinner table, this port is a snip at £15. Hints of black liquorice and firm tannins, this port stands up to all those after dinner flavours, such as strong cheeses and dark chocolate.

Available at around £15 a bottle at Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury, Morrison’s Waitrose and Booths, Taylor’s 2010 Late Bottled Vintage Port will be sold in individual bottles or in a cardboard gift box. For those who want to impress, a magnum of Taylor’s 2010 Late Bottled Vintage Port is available in a wooden gift box at £35 at John Lewis.

 

Courvoisier VSOP and Cocktail recommendation (£32.85)

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Now, we know a lot of cognac fans out there and for them Courvoisier’s VSOP is their go to. VSOP (Very Superior Old Pale) can be enjoyed on its own or as part of a distinguished cocktail. VSOP is a superb blend of cognacs (which are up to 10 years old), from to of the finest crus in the Cognac region. Expertly crafted using a minimum of 50% Grande Champagne grapes blended exclusively with Petite Champagne grapes, the marque is entitled to carry the prestigious ‘Fine Champagne’ designation. This is a real treat and a fantastic gift.

Courvoisier Champagne Cocktail

Ingredients:

  • 1 part Courvoisier VSOP
  • 1 Demerara sugar cube
  • 2 dashes of Angostura bitters
  • Top up with Champagne

Method: Soak a sugar cube in bitters and drop into a champagne flute. Cover with Courvoisier VSOP and slowly top with champagne.

Courvoisier VSOP is available nationwide from selected Waitrose stores (RRP £32.85)

 

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