Both of our number 1 wines hail from Marlborough, New Zealand.
The festive holiday period is a time for relaxing with friends and family.
Whether it is inviting people for a party, enjoying a quiet drink, or having a family feast, for many us, drinking is on the agenda.
Our guide to the 10 Festive Wines, includes a wide range of widely available and affordable red and white wines.
1. The Exquisite Collection Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough 2014, aldi.co.uk, £7.99
Both of our number 1 wines in each category hail from Marlborough, New Zealand. Situated on the South Island, the sheltered area has its own microclimate, which is perfect for wine growing.
This fruity and elderflower-scented wine tastes like a blend of peach and citrus flavours, with a long lasting aftertaste.
Being so rich, ripe, and creamy, it will match Indian cuisine. Tikka and tandoori dishes would match this wine well, as well as paneer, seafood, and fish dishes.
2. Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Conegliano Prosecco, £7.50
Sainsbury’s best-selling drink in their ‘Taste the Difference’ range is made in the Conegliano region of Northern Italy.
Whilst being creamy, the ripe conference pear gives this well-balanced Prosecco possesses a crisp and deep taste.
This is a brilliant accompaniment for Indian and vegetarian dishes, such as saag, paneer, makhani and Balti dishes.
3. Asda Extra Special Chablis, Domaine de la Levée, 2012, £9.75
Chablis boasts an heir of exclusivity, and it is rare to find Chablis for under £10. It is made from chardonnay grown in the mountains of Burgundy in France.
Far away from the Mediterranean, the harsh atmosphere and slate mineral-rich soils are responsible for its distinctive character.
Produced by the highly regarded, Jean-Marc Brocard, its creamy texture will match pork, salmon, and tuna particularly well.
4. Morrisons Signature Alsace gewürztraminer 2012, £7.99
Gewurztraminer, despite its German sounding name, is actually from Alsace in France.
Gold Medal winner at the International Wine Challenge 2014, this exotic wine exudes aromas of rose petals and lychees, and tastes of juicy mango with a hint of spice.
This makes it perfect for Indian cuisine, in particular creamy curries, tandoori dishes, and generally dishes rich in masala, herbs, ginger, garlic, and cardamom.
5. M&S Mineralstein riesling 2012, £9.99
This off-dry, German Riesling is made for M&S by winemaker Gerd Stepp. It combines a delicate taste of grapes and crisp apples with ripe notes of juicy pears, without being overly sweet.
It is best served chilled as an aperitif. It will suit roast pork, if it is accompanied by apple or cranberry sauce. It also makes a good partner for seafood particularly smoked fish, prawns, and sushi.
Furthermore it will go with, including dishes heavy in flavour and spices, and lamb dishes, especially Rogan Josh.
1. Asda Extra Special New Zealand Pinot Noir, £9.50
Hailing from the heralded Marlbourough microclimate, iconic wine producers Wither Hills are responsible for this great-value, silky smooth, medium-bodied red. Full of fruity berry flavours, this Pinot leaves a deliciously long aftertaste.
It would be well matched with duck, lamb chops, or a cold meat buffet. It would also suit chicken, pork, and sea food.
For vegetarians, this would go well with most dishes, particularly spicy ones, and those containing paneer.
2. Toro Loco Tempranillo 2013, aldi.co.uk, £3.79
Toro Loco, which means ‘Crazy Bull’, was awarded Bronze Medals at the 2013 International Wine & Spirit Competition and the 2014 International Wine Challenge.
The cheapest wine in our guide, in blind tastes, it competed with red wines costing nearly 10 times as much.
Tempranillo is the main grape used in Spain’s emblematic Rioja. This fruity, rounded party wine is bursting with berries.
It will go well with spicy dishes, such as many vegetarian Indian and Mexican dishes, as well as red meat.
3. Jim Barry, The Lodge Hill Shiraz 2012, Co-op, £9.99
This red comes from one of the most iconic wine producing estates, the late Jim Barry’s Lodge Hill.
The French Syrah grape has been grown to produce a dark, brooding red with inky berry flavours, and a long rich finish.
This wine is usually far more expensive so it is an absolute bargain at this price. This would be well matched with grilled meats, lasagne and casseroles.
4. M&S Red Mulled Wine, £5
For the festive season, this list would not be complete without mulled wine. This variety contains rich, fruity Spanish red wine from La Mancha blended with warm spices.
To bring out the best of the warming aromas and flavours of cinnamon, apple, and cloves, we would suggest that you enjoy with a slice of orange.
This could be the perfect time to bring out the cheese board and crackers. It could also pair well with a nut roast, sausages, quiche, or Christmas cookies.
5. Rochester Dark Ginger Drink, Holland & Barrett, £3.99
We’re cheating here as this is not a wine, or alcoholic for that matter. But this is the perfect festive treat.
Rochester Ginger is a traditional ginger drink. It has a smooth, clean, and crisp, and a long finish with a satisfying kick.
This is perfect for adding a kick to coffee or for spicing up lemonade or sparkling water. Alternatively it could be served with whiskey.
This non-alcoholic wine suits most Indian dishes, chilli con carne, or jerk chicken.
Great wine can be the perfect accompaniment for great food, especially with festive and Indian dishes. Our comprehensive guide offers palatable wines to suit any festive occasion. Take your pick and enjoy the holidays!