Best Christmas Wines: White Wines and Stars

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It’s crucial to get organized in the run up to Christmas and the New Year and it won’t surprise you to hear that wine is at the top of my to-do list. Over the next two weeks, I’ll be sharing with you the 40 most exciting wines I’ve picked from the top independent wine merchants and supermarkets across the country.

This week it’s sparklers and white – all prices from just £3.95 to £39. Whether you’re after party wines, lip-smacking aperitifs or dinner treats, every taste and style is catered for and every trader delivers to your door. Merry Christmas!

2020 muscadet, Sevre and Maine Sur Lie, Le Grand Fief, Domaine de la Chauvinière

Loire, France (£10.65, reduced to £9.40 per suitcase, hhandc.co.uk)

My favorite Muscadet of the year dips under a tenner if you buy it by the box – and you won’t regret it because the taste is so downright compelling.

With hints of sea mist over a linear, ultra-refreshing, green apple core of fruit, this is an elite white for drooling while you set the table, rummage through the kitchen and even do the dreaded dishes. Whatever your tasks this Christmas, this elegant clear coat will cheer you up and put a smile on your face.

Bodega Norton 2021, Coleccion Sauvignon Blank

mendoza, Argentina (£8.99, reduced to £6.99 to January 2, Waitrose)

This bargain sauvignon comes from the high-altitude vineyards of Mendoza, where red grapes such as malbec are commonly found. Norton is a famous winery and this sauvignon is an absolute star. Citrus, elderflower, fresh green herbal notes and a hint of grassiness can all be found in this cheerful little wine.

2019 Arbois Chardonnay, Florent Rouve

Jura, France (£18.99, Waitrose)

My quest to find something different this year continues with this wonderful chardonnay. Made in the mountainous Jura region, this Burgundian flavor is extraordinary. The sunny yet chilly weather of the Jura heightens the ripeness and accentuates the cleansing acidity in this breathtakingly beautiful wine, making it my elite turkey wine of 2021.

2020 Dear Falanghina del Sannio

Campania, Italy (9 £, Tesco)

This sparkling white is a diva in the glass. With a taste more suited to Michelin-starred restaurants than supermarket shelves, it’s brimming with orange zest, stone fruit and lime leaf, and the finish is compelling, with tartness and raspiness offsetting the tantalizing fruit notes. Drink it with seafood, smoked salmon, sushi… simply fantastic!

2020 Trebbiano d’Abruzzo

Italy (€3.95,tesco)

This price is not a typo. I went back to this bottle again and again to make sure I wasn’t going crazy and I can assure you that this crystal clear, sparkly beauty is a winner. Dry, clean, crisp, precise and balanced, this great wine will save you a lot of money on parties you host this Christmas.

Lenz Moser Squad Austria 2020 Chardonnay

Burgenland, Austria (£5.99, Aldi)

Austria may not be the first place you think of when looking for great chardonnay, but this wine is delicious. It’s the sunny days and cool Austrian nights that give this chardonnay its dramatic character and apple theme. Unaged, crunchy and wonderfully refreshing, this is a classy aperitif white that does its job with grace and style.

2020 Dear Vinas del Rey albarino

Rías Baixas, Spain (£9, reduced to £8 for Clubcard holders until December 6, Tesco)

This expressive albariño will draw you in with its seductive perfume and notes of citrus and pear juice. Hints of violet and ginger keep the palate on edge, before a silky mid-palate takes over and rolls into a neat finish. This wonderful wine can tackle a turkey if necessary, but it loves fish and seafood main dishes and even recipes with pungent flavors and spices.

2021 Best Stellenbosch Chenin Blanc

south Africa (£7.50, Tesco)

South African chenin blanc covers a wide variety of flavors from cheap gluggers to intense main courses. You can take any example under a tenner and put it against this bottle and this wine will walk away triumphant.

Created by the Stellenrust winery, which has a nearly 100-year history in the Cape, this spectacular creation sees a whisper of oak wood as the base for the pineapple peel, Comice pear and lemon peel and fruit notes. It’s a delightful wine with loads of culture and balance – and it looks pretty smart too!

2020 Taste the difference Gewurztraminer

Alsace, France (£9, reduced to £8.50 from December 15 to January 1, Sainsburys)

The Gewurztraminer grape is highly perfumed and very juicy, and this wine, made by the excellent Cave de Turckheim, is bursting with exotic lychee and rose water notes. While the taste is smooth and gossamer, the finish isn’t quite as grape-like as some versions due to the perky acidity. Delicious with spicy food and also quite nice with your Christmas party, this talented wine brings huge flavor to your spend.

2020 Masseria Pietrosa, Verdeca

apulia, Italy (£8.50, reduced to £6.50 until January 1, Morrisons)

It’s the season of discounts. I always think this wine is a bargain anyway so when £2 is written off there is genuine laughter. Hailing from the south of Italy and blessed with richness, a touch of exoticism and a discreet amount of oak nuance, this is a very turkey-friendly white wine. A main course with a modest label, there is so much flavor here.

2019 Menetou Salon, Domaine Jean Teiller

Loire, France (£16.95, yapp.co.uk)

If you like sauvignon blanc, my tip of the year is this wine from the little-known Menetou-Salon, just down the road from the most famous sauvignon blanc producing villages in the world, Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé. It’s nothing short of exciting to the nose and palate, the kind of wine listed in the best restaurants – at a very different price! This will amaze you with its elegance and persistence of taste.

2018 L’Atzar, Cava Reserve Brut

Catalonia, Spain (€11.99, discount up to £8.99 until January 2, watch rose)

There are quite a few cavas these days that sneak international grape varieties, such as chardonnay and pinot noir, into their blends – and while I don’t disagree with these recipes, I feel the wines are somehow more authentic when they’re Spanish. use varieties.

Made from parellada, macabeo and xarel-lo grapes, L’Atzar is a truly authentic creation and I think it’s the best cava of the year. Fresh, pure and with extraordinarily elegant bubbles, it’s a welcome jolt to the system – both on the palate and thanks to the incredible value of this wine this Christmas.

2018 Gusbourne, Brut Reserve

Kent, England (£39, bbr.com, davywine.co.uk; £38.95, fortnumandmason.com, jeroboams.co.uk)

Instead of finding a heavyweight champagne for my sparkling wine tree this Christmas, I opted for the very best English sparkling wine of the year for a change. Just released, this 2018 from Gusbourne is a monumental wine with so much class and refinement it’s stunning. 2018 was a great vintage in the UK, and the Gusbourne winery has captured this year’s energy and vibrancy and managed to fit every fractal beauty and wonder into this bottle.

2020 Taste the difference Conegliano Prosecco Superiore Brut

Treviso, Italy (£10, reduced to £8 to January 1, Sainsbury’s)

My tasting note for this wine in my notebook is remarkably short! Just two short phrases sum up the precision of this prosecco and it continues an unbroken string of excellent vintages for this wine.

‘Spot on’ and ‘brilliant’ may be a little less expansive than my usual enthusiastic expressions, but at £8 this is an exhilarating wine with the silkiest of bubbles and a taste that remains tart and refreshing while so many others slide down the slippery slope in sweetness. This is your emergency star for the 2021 holidays.

2020 Prosecco Brut, Conte Priuli Oro, Millesimato

Veneto, Italy (£20, 150cl magnum bottle, Marks & Spencer)

I usually shy away from over-extended bottles, and colored or decorated glass will rarely, if ever, get me excited, but I made an exception for this golden torpedo of joy! Made from glera grapes harvested from the two top regions in Veneto, I gave this a mighty score in my notes.

Dry and very refreshing, it’s also solid and golden, so this is one bottle you don’t need to gift wrap – so save a few pounds in paper! Hurry up to grab this double bottle because I think it will be one of the unlikely wine heroes of the season.

NV Taste the difference, Blanc de Noirs Champagne

France (£21, reduced to £19 from December 15 to January 1, Sainsburys)

You’ll need to put a diary reminder in your phone by Wednesday the 15th, as this tempting wine will dip under £20, making it the best value red-grape-in-white-wine sparkler out there. I love when you can smell the pinot noir and the pinot meunier fruit in the nose, and here they manifest as wild cherry and strawberry perfumes.

This celestial theme continues on the succulent palate and fresh, clear finish. There is enough fruit weight here to propel this wine from aperitifs to your starters and even main courses, so deep in flavor and persistence.

2019 special Selected Crémant du Jura

France (£8.49, aldi)

Christmas wouldn’t be the same without this hugely priced sparkler. Made from 100% Chardonnay, so it’s a Blanc de Blancs in technical parlance, this wine comes from the chilly hills of the beautiful Jura region of France – and it’s this unique situation that gives this attractive wine its pungent refreshing acidity that gives the forms the basis for the floral, crunchy apple and crunchy pear fruit. It’s also a great wine to use when making sparkling wine cocktails.

NV Hattingley Valley, Classic Reserve

Hampshire, England (£30, reduced to £24 until January 2, watch rose)

This wine from the brilliant Hattingley Valley winery benefits from the fact that 19% of it is fermented in old white Burgundy casks, adding extraordinary class to the finished wine. While it’s a non-vintage creation, it definitely has a ‘vintage’ flavor, and you’ll be craving more. Bold, ripe, classy and the kind of wine you’ll feel extremely proud of when you drink it, this is an elite English sparkler and it’s tailor-made for top-notch entertainment this Christmas.

2013 Le Mesnil, Blanco de Blancs, Grand Cru Champagne

France (£34.99, Waitrose)

Like the own Tesco label champagne below, this wine gets its chardonnay grapes from the Côtes des Blancs, but in the case of Le Mesnil it is 100% chardonnay and all vineyards are Grand Cru classified – these are the best of the best.

I’ve loved Le Mesnil’s wines for over 30 years and while the price tag isn’t cheap, the wines are always extremely impressive and half the price of more well-known houses using identical ingredients. So splash out this year and reward your very best friends with this sophisticated sparkler.

NV Finest Premier Cru Brut Champagne

France (£21, Tesco)

This beautiful wine leads with 70% chardonnay and completes the blend with 30% pinot noir, which changes the taste in the mouth and turns it into an upright, impressive and layered wine. Purists will love the suspense and apparent grandeur here, as it manages to capture all the reputation of the Côte des Blancs in its well-balanced delivery. If I were to get this wine “blind”, I’m not ashamed to say I’d be hanging around 40lbs and not in the 20lb zone. Well done Tesco – this is a very successful piece of winemaking.

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