The best wines for Christmas: 12 bottles to see you through the festive period

Terry Kirby reveals which labels will add some seasonal cheer

Aperitifs

Devaux Grande Réserve NV

A big and rich champagne from an emerging house. The Pinot Noir grapes are enlivened by a little Chardonnay, delivering full flavours and a long finish. Highly satisfying sipped on Christmas Day morning in pyjamas while opening the first presents. £24.99, slurp.co.uk; £25.89, rannochscott.co.uk

Pierre Mignon Rosé NV

This gorgeous, bone-dry, sparkling rosé is the ideal aperitif with canapés and tapas-style snacks – white anchovies, Serrano ham and tomato bread – but perfect on its own. Scented, bright, red-berry fruits and a few biscuity notes. £19.99 henningswine.co.uk; £28, crossstobswine.co.uk

Conte Priuli Prosecco

Perfect for popping at all types of celebrations, this fizz is pricier than some prosecco but has that bit of extra quality. Just on the right side of dry, it is bursting with flavours of ripe peaches and pears, with a slight citric twang. And it makes a mean base for a Bellini. £11.99, Marks & Spencer

Whites

Mas La Chevalière Vignoble Peyroli 2012

This restrained, balanced, French Chardonnay from the Languedoc is crisply mineral and Chablis-style. The oak adds a touch of spice rather than dominating the fragrant, light, white fruit flavours, New World-style. For shellfish, salmon or chicken. £12.99, majestic.co.uk (as part of a purchase of six mixed bottles)

Collefrisio Pecorino Terre di Chieti 2013

The relatively obscure Pecorino grape delivers an attractive balance of a creamy base with gorgeous peach flavours, touches of honey and a lingering finish. A full-bodied and complex wine, for a big roast or baked prime white fish. £13.99, cambridgewine.com

Torre Solar Macabeo 2013

Crisp flavours of pineapples, lemons and lime dominate this refreshing white from one of northern Spain's staple grapes, mostly used to make cava. Easygoing, highly drinkable and great as an aperitif, for parties or for fishy starters. £7.99, dbmwines.co.uk

 

Reds

Rioja Vega Gran Reserva 2005

Notes of vanilla, soft oak and lush blackberry fruits characterise this big, modern Rioja, which will be equally suitable for a roast goose, lamb or a rib of beef. Elegant, powerful, structured, needing early decanting and slow savouring. £19.99, houseoftownend.com

Yealands Estate Pinot Noir 2013

Why pay premium for French burgundy when New Zealand Pinot is just as classy? From a smallish, bespoke concern, this is velvety, smooth and rounded, and has the right combination of body and mineral acidity to work with duck or a Bronze turkey. £13.50, greatwesternwine.co.uk

Ogier Heritage Côtes du Rhône 2013

Every festive season needs an all-purpose red as much at home on the dinner table as at the leftovers lunch or the party buffet. Warming, savoury, masses of black fruits and hints of garrigue herbs. A terrific buy at the offer price. £6.59, Morrisons (from 1 December to 4 January; normally £9.99)

Dessert

Ambré Rivesaltes, Domaine Cazes 2000

From France's biggest organic and biodynamic estate, a sumptuous, luscious wine. Concentrated and intense, the rich flavours of dried fruits, honey and nuts, but a clean, mineral finish make this instantly appealing. For any creamy sweet puddings. £13.04, thedrinkshop.com; £14.56, masterofmalt.com

Porto Quinta do Infantado LBV 2009

Owned by one family for more than a century, the Infantado vineyards represent the best kind of small-producer port. This has lovely, unfiltered, rustic plum, black cherry and liquorice flavours, with really attractive underlying freshness. The wine for Stilton and Christmas pudding. £14.95, slurp.co.uk; £14.70, eclectictastes.co.uk (minimum order of six bottles)

Gonzalaz Byass Del Duque Amontillado Sherry

An extraordinary wine. Palamino Fino grapes, oak-aged for 30 years, produce amazing layers of flavour: almonds, apricots, Seville oranges and spices. Bone-dry, it lingers for ever on the nose and the palate. Wonderful with hard, strong cheeses, nuts or dried fruits. And try as an aperitif. £19.95, thewhiskyexchange.com; £22, hedonism.co.uk

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