The 10 Best party wines
Whether it’s dinner with friends or a bash big enough to make you blush, these bottles will make NYE go with a bang
Thursday 27 December 2012
A few bottles of this could serve you well as belated gifts while you do the rounds on those festive parties. A succulent, dry wine, which is a blend of south-western grapes, it should still be rich enough to complement a cheese board.
An expensive buy, certainly, but if you’re staying in this year, it’s worth spending the extra on this, Moët’s most approachable non-vintage champagne. There’s a pleasing blend of the three champagne grapes – chardonnay, pinot noir, pinot meunier – which gives a blossomy nose and mousey flavour.
A vibrant Rioja made with the less well-known graciano grape, as opposed to the tempranillo. With its cherry and chocolate flavour and woody notes, a glass of this would go well with fish.
An aristocratic champagne from an aristocratic marque. Ruinart is one of the older champagne houses, having been founded in 1792, and tends to go for high proportions of chardonnay grapes in its wines. And no exception here – the wine is fresh, fruity and quite delightful.
A juicy, full-bodied wine from the French-run Argentinian vineyard. The award-winning Viñalba’s Malbec reserve is at the foot of the Andes, with grapes grown at different altitudes to get the precise balance of flavour.
There is snapping acidity to this wine, the result of the terroir, in the eastern foot hills of the Pyrénées in southern France, in which it is grown. There are hints of citrus fruits, too. A good all-rounder.
Aldi may not be renowned for its quality of wine, but this one was put through blind taste tests, pitched against other reds costing considerably more and it did remarkably well. If you’re still not convinced, why not try a bottle? It won’t cost you much at all.
There is a tendency to think of prosecco as a sort of second-rate champagne – but it’s quite a different animal, with a lighter, less complex flavour. This Taste the Difference bottle is a fine example – it’s not too sweet on the tongue and has a pleasing creaminess to it.
With its mix of tangy flavours and nutty notes, this wine would be ideal with a fish dish or soft goat’s cheese. It is produced by a modern cooperative, Producteurs Plaimont, who use traditional grape varieties consistent with the local winemaking style.
A medium-bodied red but still full in flavour, the spicy clove and sweet cherry notes means this will go down perfectly with a family feast. At 14.5 per cent it’s stronger than your average bottle, but if you’re only planning to eat turkey all day you’ve got nothing to worry about.
Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes
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