12 Great Christmas Wines For Under £30 | SLMan
Left it a bit late to go Christmas wine shopping this year? SLMan asked expert Will Sandbach to recommend a dozen wines – including some sparklers – for under £30. Here’s what he went for…

White Wine

Rocca Murer Pinot Grigio Trentino, £7 

Country: Italy
Tastes Like: An inexpensive pinot grigio from the north of Italy where the berries can reach their full aromatic potential. It’s dry, fragrant and refreshing.
Why I Like It: The price! Many supermarket wines under £10 can be pretty dreadful but this is really delicious.
Pair It With: Make sure the bottle is really cold, then simply serve it with salted cashew nuts. 
 
Available here

Domaine Gayda Viognier, Pays d'Oc, £10.49

Country: France
Tastes Like: Viognier is an aromatic grape variety and this wine ticks all the boxes with flavours of apricot, peach and blossom, but it’s still well balanced in an elegant and fresh way.
Why I Like It: I could have chosen many wines from this fantastic winery in the south of France. The whole range is worth exploring – and the winery is worth visiting if you’re in the area.
Pair It With: Soups and creamy pasta, but it’s great on its own too.
 
Available here

Palacio de Fefiñanes Albariño, £12.62

Country: Spain
Tastes Like: This wine is zesty, vibrant, aromatic and has a lovely depth. The complex flavours include stone fruit, orchard fruit and citrus fruit.
Why I Like It: From the Rias Baixas area of northwest Spain, albariño has become a very popular grape variety recently and this is a gorgeous example.
Pair It With: Palacio de Fefiñanes is a total winner as an aperitif or served with seafood dishes, like they do on the Spanish coast.
 
Available here

Dog Point Sauvignon Blanc, £17.99 (6 minimum)

Country: New Zealand
Tastes Like: A sauvignon with a touch of class. It has the passionfruit flavours of a classic New Zealand sauvignon, with a gorgeously grassy character and elegant minerality.
Why I Like It: This wine combines the best of the New Zealand characteristic with the minerality and class you might expect from a sancerre.
Pair It With: Meat such as chicken, pork or turkey.
 
Available here

Red Wine

Amie, £15

Country: France
Tastes Like: Made from 100% carignan, a grape native to the Languedoc, this wine is well-rounded and elegant with blackberry flavours. It’s been made from vines that are over 35 years old.
Why I Like It: I’m biased on this one, as my fiancée and I founded Amie. This wine is a very elegant, flavoursome, easy drinker.
Pair It With: This is a versatile wine, so it will go with meaty fish like tuna, and most savoury dishes. It’s also very good for glugging on the sofa after Christmas dinner.
 
Available here

Terre di San Vito, Il Vescovo, £15.95

Country: Italy
Tastes Like: Made from cabernet sauvignon and malbec grapes, this red has a fantastically complex, rich and full-bodied flavour. The heat in Puglia’s wine regions extract all the flavour and tannins from the grapes to create something really special.
Why I Like It: The region is most commonly known for local red wines such as primitivo and negroamaro, but Terre di San Vito is mixing things up with some cracking international varieties. Each bottle is hand labelled and dipped in wax. 
Pair It With: A powerful red like this calls for rich, tasty food. Think steak, beef wellington, casseroles…
 
Available here

Astralabe Chêne Bleu, £19.99

Country: France
Tastes Like: A typical Côtes du Rhône blend (but not a typical Côtes du Rhône), this wine is made from syrah and grenache grapes. The syrah brings spice and complexity while the grenache balances the wine for a smooth, velvety palate.
Why I Like It: Often referred to as a ‘super rhone’, the high altitude gives Chêne Bleu a unique micro-climate. The vineyard is biodynamic, organic, sustainable, and every grape is handpicked. It also happens to be on a Unesco heritage site – one of the most beautiful places in the world.
Pair It With: Meat, poultry, grilled fish, cheeses and Mediterranean dishes.
 
Available here

The First XI The Belter, £19.99 

Country: South Africa
Tastes Like: An elegant and intriguing wine, this is a South African take on a Côtes du Rhône using several varieties of grape, including syrah, cinsault, mourvèdre, grenache and tannat. Soft on the palate with notes of pepper, red fruit and chocolate.
Why I Like It: South African cricketers Faf du Plessis and AB de Villiers have teamed up with Wynand Grobler to make some really great wines.
Pair It With: Barbecue meats – otherwise known as ‘braai’ in South Africa.
 
Available here

Champagne & Sparkling Wine

Le Dolci Colline Prosecco, £11.50

Country: Italy
Tastes Like: This is a delicate, fresh fruity Prosecco which is lively and really refreshing. The green and citrus fruit flavours complement the zestiness too. 
Why I Like It: Prosecco is Italy's answer to refreshing, well-made sparkling wine at a reasonable price. This example has some wonderful delicate flavours and aromatics. 
Pair It With: Serve it chilled as an aperitif or with peach juice for the perfect bellini. 
 
Available here
 

Georges de Roualet NV, Champagne £22.95

Country: France
Tastes Like: Classically made Champagne. The pinot meunier gives body and roundness while the pinot noir adds rich fruitiness. The house style has a lively mousse, fresh balanced taste and delicate consistency.
Why I Like It: The Autréau family have been involved in Champagne since 1670. Based in the picturesque village of Champillon, the current generation maintain the family tradition of producing quality Champagne at a great price.
Pair It With: Crack open a bottle with fresh oysters or other seafood delights.
 
Available here
 

Rathfinny Estate Classic Cuvée, £29.50

Country: UK
Tastes Like: This Sussex wine has a nose of ripe English orchard apples, a palate of creamy mousse, and notes of toasted almonds.
Why I Like It: Using the traditional Champagne method, Rathfinny produces some incredible wines to rival the top French producers. With the same soils as Champagne, the southern counties in the UK are producing cracking wines – particularly sparkling varieties.
Pair It With: Think truffle-infused arancini, or other delicious salty and creamy starters and mains like fish pie. It’ll go down a treat with the Christmas Day smoked salmon brunch too.
 
Available here
 

Taittinger Brut Reserve, £29.99

Country: France
Tastes Like: A chardonnay and pinot noir blend, this Champagne is full of honeysuckle, brioche and pear flavours. Fresh and wonderful. 
Why I Like It: Taittinger is one of the few Champagne houses still owned and managed by the family whose name appears on the label. 
Pair It With: Enjoy the light, crisp, citrus notes as an aperitif, or serve it with a fish and chip supper for something a little more special.
 
Available here

For more wine recommendations from Will, follow him @VIND on Instagram

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