Great value wines for Christmas parties!

Christmas Party Wines

Hosting or attending a Christmas Party this year?

Don’t worry Wotwine has your wine selection covered

Nothing adds stress to a Christmas party like being put in charge of choosing the wine, whether for your friends, family or colleagues.  And getting it badly wrong is all too easy with the vast choice available in the supermarkets and “special offers” that often turn out to be anything but! So we thought we should provide some festive advice, which means you can relax and enjoy the celebrations knowing that, unlike some of the knitwear, the wine will always be in excellent taste.
First a selection of bottles for under £6 which are really excellent value. The three whites are light, fresh wines, perfect with light snacks and finger food and easy-drinking…….so perfect for parties!
We begin with a great example from Sicily.  Grillo is not particularly well-known in the UK and it’s therefore not something that would jump off the shelf. We think that’s a pity. It was the mainstay grape variety in Sicily’s famous Marsala fortified wine, sadly now largely relegated to cooking, but it has been reinvented to produces crisp and attractive table wines, with a salty finish which is an ideal accompaniment to seafood.

ASDA Wine Atlas Grillo

Asda Wine Atlas Grillo 2017 
From: ASDA
Price: £5.48
The Wotwine panel thinks this is worth: £6.50
Tasting note: Nicely made, citrusy wine with good pure minerality and a savoury edge

 

Another great option is this South African Chenin Blanc, also from Asda. It has the ripeness you expect from Paarl, being further inland and therefore warmer, but retains the fresh apple character so typical of Chenin.
 ASDA Extra special chenin blanc
Chenin Blanc Asda Extra Special 2017
From: ASDA
Price: £5.50
The Wotwine panel thinks this is worth: £6.50
Tasting note: Intense, ripe wine with papaya and mango, yellow apples and apricots. Soft with good weight and length

 

It’s not often you will find us recommending a basic Pinot Grigio, as many are dilute and characterless, but this example from Tesco is an attractive wine and offers genuine value.

Dino Trebbiano Pinot Grigio

Dino Pinot Grigio 2017
From: Tesco
Price: £5.00
The Wotwine panel thinks this is worth: £6.50
Tasting note: Well made, balanced wine with yellow apples and ripe citrus fruit

 

Again, for those with a limited budget to work to, we have picked out some warming and fruity reds for £6 or less.
The first is a soft, plush wine from Northern Italy. Although Piedmont is now more famous for the highly structured Nebbiolo wines of Barolo and Barbaresco, Barbera is the most widely-planted variety in the region and tends to be much more approachable.This is a good example at a very reasonable price.

Morrisons Castelvero Barbera

Castelvero Piemonte Barbera 2017
From: Morrisons
Price: £5.00
The Wotwine panel thinks this is worth: £7.00
Tasting note: Bright, spicy red cherry and cranberry fruit and some wild herb rusticity. Reasonable, genuine wine

 

Costieres de Nimes is rapidly establishing itself as a great value source of Southern Rhone wines, with an intensity that reflects the warm Mediterranean climate. Prices are still markedly lower than its more famous neighbours and this is a well-made wine that offers excellent value.
ALDI Venturer Costières de Nîmes Red
                  
Venturer Costieres de Nimes 2017
From: ALDI
Price: £5.99
The Wotwine panel thinks this is worth: £8.00
Tasting note: Nicely rustic, fresh wine with good fruit intensity and genuine herb and spice character

 

Finally, a lovely intense and spicy wine from Portugal, which is a blend of some of the countries most famous grape varieties. The name means “Dog House” but don’t let that put you off … although that’s where you might end up if you over-indulge at the office party! 

ALDI Monte Cao Alentejo DOC

Monte Cao Alentejo 2017
From: ALDI
Price: £5.69
The Wotwine panel thinks this is worth: £7.50
Tasting note: Well made, characterful wine with ripe plums, dark cherries, blackberries and sweet oak character

 

For those looking to treat themselves at Christmas, we have picked out some really excellent wines which are also great value. First up is a classic oaked Chardonnay from New Zealand. We don’t usually find we can recommend the larger brands but this is well-priced and a welcome exception.

SAINSBURYS Oyster Bay Chardonna

Oyster Bay Chardonnay 2017
From: Sainsbury’s
Price: £8.50
The Wotwine panel thinks this is worth: £10.00
Tasting note: Oaked, but fresh and balanced wine with crisp green apple, flinty minerality and warm spices. If you like oaked whites, this one’s for you!

 

Also from New Zealand, this is a characteristic Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc: aromatic, lively and fresh plus, of course, very good value!

ALDI Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc

Redwood Hills Sauvignon Blanc 2018
From: ALDI
Price: £7.99
The Wotwine panel thinks this is worth: £9.00
Tasting note: Green, grassy wine with nettle, capsicum and asparagus character. Fresh and zingy

 

Equally impressive are the final two reds, serious wines without the serious price tag and a real treat for Christmas. 
The first is an impressive Bordeaux blend from one of New Zealand’s outstanding producers, Te Mata. Their top wines can sell for over £50 but this offers a sense of the quality coming out of Hawkes Bay at a more affordable level.

LIDL Te Mata Merlot Cabernets

Te Mata Merlot Cabernets 2016
From: LIDL
Price: £10.99
The Wotwine panel thinks this is worth: £12.00
Tasting note: Well made, classy wine with balanced, lifted cherry and black currant fruit, leafy character and good complexity

 

The second is an excellent Beaujolais, which we tasted just too late to make it into our recent recommendations.

WAITROSE Fleurie AOC Beaujolais Henry Fessy

Fleurie Le Pavillon 2014
From: Waitrose
Price: £13.49
The Wotwine panel thinks this is worth: £13.00
Tasting note: Bright, savoury wine with some hedgerow berry fruit and baking spices. Sophisticated and balanced

 

There are currently deals to be had at several retailers including ASDA, Sainsbury’s & Tesco offering discounts of 25% when you purchase 6 bottles on selected wines. But hurry some of these offers end next week – So if you are after some extra value – get your wine this coming weekend for Christmas. You can get even MORE value from your wine shop if you use the Wotwine app – In addition to the recommendations above.

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