Our award-winning range is bigger and better this Christmas, with tens of wines that have won an impressive range of badges of honour including England’s finest (and multi-award winning) sparkling wine, Nyetimber and a wine as bright and sunny as an African sunset, Honeybunch that will keep you reaching for more.
Check out our guide to the best festive tipples, which have been curated by the team to balance your Christmas energy levels through the merry day filled with laughter, reflection, gifting and overeating.
Select the number of bottles you desire and create your own festive box. If you’re in need of some advice on choices, please get in touch.
Aperitifs and Lighter Wines
Whether it’s a tradition for you to begin once you’re sat at the table, or it’s at the breakfast table with your smoked salmon, here’s some light bodied crisp quaffers.
One of the UK’s favourites – NZ Sauvignon Blanc still is the go-to for a bottle to share for easy drinking, delicious juicy gooseberry and elderflower juice. Caythorpe Sauvignon Blanc has fresh citrus flavours and creamy finish; the wine is dry, lively and bright. Not quite the typical Marlborough Sauvignon taste, this is perfectly unique.
Another option is the Great Expectations Colombard; a grape long forgotten but making a well-earned comeback when it is put in the hands of the right winemaker. As an apertif, it is perfect – low alcohol level and fresh mouth-watering citrus-lime finish, its profile is delicious and approachable.
Our ‘skinny’ Prosecco is still one of our best-selling wines. Curated by Daniele Molmenti after placing a bet that if he won 2012 Olympic gold in the men’s kayaking he would buy a vineyard. This Prosecco also gets the gold from us! Extra-dry (and so less calories) with fine bubbles and light fruit aromas, it ticks all the boxes.
Finally, Champagne taste without the price tag! Grown just a little further South of the Champagne region, Cremant from Burgundy gives you the crisp, thirst quenching taste from the same grapes they use in Champagne. The wine is beautifully balanced; slightly creamy, yet fresh and citrussy with just a touch of sweet fruit.
It wouldn’t be Christmas Day without raising a toast with a glass of top-notch bubbly! We’ve picked out four extra-special fizzes from our range; some classical, some new styles and regions.
Starting with a dry, great value sparkling from England is the Wren Reserve Sparkling. Situated next to an orchard where the wrens flit from branch to branch, the wine has a distinct character, being from its Bacchus grapes. Subtle fruit flavours, fresh red apples and stewed compote notes will have you talking about this new up and coming producer.
Next comes Nyetimber English Sparkling Wine – the first English wine to beat Champagne in a blind tasting competition. It is a gentle, delicate wine with a fine bubble structure and elegance. Pale gold in colour, it is toasty and spicy with flavours of honeyed almonds, pastry and apple.
For a classic Champagne style, we think the house cuvee from Roger Barnier is perfect. Curated with a traditional blend of the three grapes, it has balanced and crisp flavours of apple, flower blossom and light biscuit. Aged in oak, and further in the cave, it is rich and complex – perfect for matching with canapés!
Intense and grand; the Arteis 2007 Brut is described as “more of a wine than a Champagne”. Massively complex, layered and with a mouth-watering finish, it hones the style of some of the most expensive grand marque Champagnes we know, but at half the price.
Wines to pair with food can be a much more complicated decision. You need enough body and acidity to complement the food without the wine getting lost, or overpowering. Here are some options that will perform brilliantly with smaller plates of winter dishes.
The Fruilano grape is one that is relatively unknown. Molmenti & Celot’s example has a light-medium body, fresh citrus profile and delicate, mouth-watering flavours of almonds and lemon. Without a hefty price tag, this white North-Eastern Italian gem has earnt its space on the Christmas Table.
Remhoogte Honeybunch Chenin Blanc is rich and complex with a nose of floral honeysuckle, acacia and limes. Oaked but without an “oaky” profile, the fact is was matured in wooden barrels isn’t obvious, it’s integrated into the subtleties of the wine. It is a big, exuberant and expressive wine with long flavours of honey, lemon, honeydew melon and apricots. You will not be disappointed.
For a lighter red that will suit, go for Oliver’s Taranga small batch Grenache. Made in small batches, intense and well made, this wine shows off the outstanding skill of the winemaker, Corrina Wright. It is delicate, pretty and floral with a nose of cherry spice, cinnamon and nutmeg which jumps from the glass. Light on its feet, it still packs plenty of flavour.
For a classic Pinot Noir at great value, look no further than where the grape shows itself best: Oregon in the US. This bright, layered and textural wine brings ripe cherries, summer fruits, strawberries and blackcurrants across your nose and pallet with a mineral slate edge.
Main Courses and Food Wines
Big plates of food and big flavours need wines which will stand up to the challenge. Here are four that will suit perfectly:
First up is our juicy and rich Cotes Du Rhone. Offering juicy cherry and light, fresh blackcurrant flavours and a long smooth finish, it works with a wide range of foods whilst not breaking the bank. This is award winning and one of our best wines.
Delivering a beautiful balance of layered flavours and aromas, the elegant Great Expectations Maxim Cabernet is a classy choice for New World lovers. Rose and violet on the nose, blackcurrant and concentrated cassis on the palate. This wine packs way more than you’d expect from its price tag.
For big, bold flavours and and intense deep, dark colour, look no further than the 97 point Oliver’s Taranga HJ Shiraz. The ‘treasury’ of this estate; this wine has flavours of blackberry, black pepper, chocolate and coffee with a finish of long, intense fig. The complexity and intensity back up their heritage – these same grapes go into Penfolds top wine, Hermitage Grange with price tags north of £350.
Last but by no means least, the Dagon Clan ‘Jar’ is a fantastic medium to full-bodied biodynamic red wine from Romania. Complex yet structured, there is a long finish after experiencing layers of fruits and flavours including plums and cooked blueberries.
Wines to go with cheese, but not port? The secret is for the wines to have tannin and body which will stand up to the fat content and big flavours of cheese; soft to hard.
Our first recommendation is an artisanal project of pure genius! Oliver’s Taranga Small Batch Tempranillo achieves the Rioja rustic charm (being made from the same grape) with savoury elegance for a rare grape variety in the New World. Low yields mean this Tempranillo is intense, concentrated with an exceptional intensity of flavour.
And award-winning with the structure to suit perfectly, Remhoogte’s Sir Thomas Cullinan offers a very long, smooth and polished journey, livened by a gentle acidity and spices in the finish. Deep and opaque violet in colour, the nose is all dark fruits and the flavour is a journey of cranberry, blackcurrant and cassis plus touches of cinnamon, violet and green pepper. This wine embodies everything you might want for a memorable bottle this year.