15 Great Christmas Wines Under £20 | SLMan

15 Great Christmas Wines Under £20

If you haven’t yet ordered your wine for Christmas, we asked three experts for the best options under £20. Here’s what they went for…
Photography ISTOCK/GILAXIA
15 Great Christmas Wines Under £20
ISTOCK/GILAXIA
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CHAMPAGNE & SPARKLING

Tim Laudler, wine expert at Hedonism Wines, recommends…

Sainsbury's Demi-sec Champagne NV, £19

Country: France

Why I Like It: I’m a big fan of Sainsbury’s branded booze, and this demi-sec champagne is no exception. A great choice if you prefer yours on the slightly sweeter side, it has ripe stone fruit flavours and a beautifully rich honeyed undertone. It goes down a treat.

Pair It With: Spiced dishes, whether savoury or sweet. A wonderful accompaniment to turkey curry on Boxing Day.

Available here

Chapel Down Bacchus Sparkling, £14.99

Country: England

This bottle from the Chapel Down estate in Kent might look simple, but the flavours are complex – look out for aromas of pineapple, grapefruit and elderflower. Crisp and tropical, it’s a crowd-pleaser.

Pair It With: Asian-style nibbles like tempura prawns or sesame toast with the Boxing Day spread. It also goes well with seafood dishes, particularly shellfish like crab and lobster. 

Available here

Veuve Monsigny Champagne Brut, £13.99

Country: France

Why I Like It: This is one of Aldi’s bestselling bottles of all time, and it’s easy to see why. The champagne is a blend of chardonnay, pinot meunier and pinot noir grapes, from champagne house Philizot & Fils. With hints of ripe apple and soft red fruit, if offers a complex profile for such an affordable bottle. 

Pair It With: This works brilliantly as an aperitif, or with canapés topped with something light like crème fraiche or soft cheese.

Available here

Oyster Bay Sparkling Cuvée Brut, £13

Country: New Zealand

Why I Like It: Brut can sometimes get a bad rap as it’s often incredibly dry with too much tannin, but this one strikes the right balance. Made from chardonnay grapes, it’s an elegant brut with white peach and citrus fruit flavours. Crisp and refreshing. 

Pair It With: This will go nicely with your Christmas breakfast – think smoked salmon and scrambled eggs. Add a dash of orange juice for a refreshing mimosa.

Available here

François Martenot Cremant de Bourgogne, £12.99

Country: France

Why I Like It: This is a wonderfully aromatic crémant, deep with intensity and fruity flavour. Specifically made to be enjoyed over the festive period, it uses chardonnay and gamay grapes – ideal if you like a bit of punch.

Pair It With: I like to drink this on its own, but it goes particularly well with spiced chutneys and cheese. 

Available here

REDS

Wine expert Tom Surgey recommends…

Romain Duvernay Saint Joseph, £14.99

Country: France

Why I Like It: This is a big wine, but with enough acidity to make it really moreish. It has bold and juicy dark berry fruits, black pepper and cinnamon spice layered on one another. Ideal for a festive gathering, it’s a classic Saint Joseph at a good price.

Pair It With: Richer, fattier birds like goose would be great. Equally, it’ll do well with beef or a nut roast.

Available here

Definition Rioja Reserva 2016/17, £11.99

Country: Spain

Why I Like It: This is a prime, Christmas classic that delivers mature red and black fruit complexity, uplifting vanilla and toasty oak spice. Concentrated and rich, it’s medium-bodied rather than heavy and dense, with smooth, supple tannins.

Pair It With: This is an all-day Christmas wine. It will see you through lunch, and do brilliantly with cheese. Easy enough to be sipped on its own late into the night too – ideal for boardgames and snacks. 

Available here

Comtesse Saint Hilaire Montagne Saint Emilion, £10

Country: France

Why I Like It: This is a properly nice, easy-drinking bordeaux at a price to be generous with. Lots of merlot going on. You’ve got cocoa-y plums, notes of blackcurrant, and a woody, musky perfume. It’s dry, full bodied and has grippy tannins. It tastes and looks classier than you’d expect. Your father-in-law will approve.

Pair It With: Bring it to the Christmas table and keep it flowing until bed, or serve with rib-eye steak topped with stilton.

Available here

M&S Found Xinomavro & Mandilaria, £9.50

Country: Greece

Why I Like It: Wine is about exploration, so if you want to drink off the beaten track, this wine rewards adventure. Think pinot noir silkiness and elegant herby spice, with a bigger body of rich, dense blackberry and cherry fruit, and a powerful grip of tannin. Fine acidity balances.

Pair It With: Beef. Whether a roasted joint or classic wellington. Mushroom wellington would be great, too. 

Available here

Summer Road Old Vine Grenache, £8.49

Country: Australia

Why I Like It: It isn’t just about rich, classic reds at Christmas. You need some freshness and lift in your day too. This is a smashable, lighter-bodied, red cherry and raspberry-scented grenache from old vines that offer way more character and charm than your average. Fresh acidity and soft tannins mean you could even chill it if you like. 

Pair It With: Duck, turkey or goose – basically any type of fowl. I can even imagine this working with a hot smoked salmon fishcake.

Available here

WHITE

Charles Beaini, wine executive at Corinthia London and Kerridge’s Bar & Grill, recommends…

Kaapzicht Estate Bush Vine Chenin Blanc Stellenbosch, £13.99

Country: South Africa

Why I Like It: This wine is full of ripe stone fruit, zippy acidity, and an edge of savoury minerality to balance the delicate use of oak barrel. An excellent alternative to your standard oaked chardonnay.

Pair It With: Duck liver pâté or charcuterie meats.

Available here

Ascheri Gavi Di Gavi, £13

Country: Italy

Why I Like It: If you’re after an excellent white, this one more than fits the bill. Elegant and crisp, it has notes of lemon and grapefruit, with a light mineral finish. Refreshing and highly quaffable.

Pair It With: Smoked salmon or trout fishcakes.

Available here

Paco & Lola Albariño, £14

Country: Spain

Why I Like It: Albariño has an almost savoury sea-breeze quality to it. Clean with vivid acidity, expect some notes of white peach and a delicate flavour pronunciation. 

Pair It With: This would go nicely with a cheese board (if you prefer white over red) or festive nibbles like cheese twists or canapés topped with caviar.  

Available here

Léon Vatan Sancerre Les Chanvrieres, £14.99

Country: France

Why I Like It: You’ll be able to detect flavours of crisp gooseberries and lime in this wine. It’s a poised, balanced white that’s particularly smooth. For a wine of this quality, it’s excellent value. 

Pair It With: Oysters or seafood platters. 

Available here

D.V Catena Chardonnay, £12

Country: Argentina

Why I Like It: This is a prime example of an elegantly oaked white. With notes of ripe tropical fruits, including pineapple, it’s well balanced in an elegant and fresh way. Notes of citrus flavours add extra zing.

Pair It With: Lincolnshire Poacher cheese. 

Available here

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