Home > Editorial > Our top eight fine wines for Christmas

 

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Christmas throws up a host of questions, from what to drink with turkey to which wines pair best with pudding. If you’ve found yourself pondering which wines to uncork this Christmas, explore our guide to festive food and wine matching.

 

Berry Bros. & Rudd Champagne by Mailly, Grand Cru

Style: rich, complex, decadent
Character: golden fruits, peaches and cream
Best for: Christmas dinner apéritif

There is no better way start Christmas Day than with a glass of our celebrated Grand Cru Champagne – affectionately known as “UKC”. Our bestselling, adored Champagne is a favourite amongst staff and customers alike. From Grand Cru vineyards in the village of Mailly, this Pinot Noir-dominant cuvée gleams gold in the glass, with a nose of red apple, dried citrus and gingerbread. The palate fizzes and delights with gentle mousse, golden fruits, spiced peaches and cream, with a mineral freshness from the purebred chalk terroir. Rich, elegant and utterly delicious, it promises festive joy from the moment the cork pops. It’s perfect for breakfast coupes through to the turkey crown.

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2018 Meursault, Benjamin Leroux, Burgundy

Style: rich, oaked Chardonnay 
Character: stone fruit, vanilla, toast, passionfruit and pear
Best for: turkey, seafood and cheese

“For me, white Burgundy is the Christmas white wine of choice,” says Adam Bruntlett, our Burgundy Buyer, “and Benjamin Leroux’s Meursault is a textbook example.” It has delicious notes of ripe, generous stone-fruit, rich vanilla and toast, with a saline finish and a backbone of refreshing acidity. These elements combined give the wine real versatility, allowing it to pair beautifully with a wide range of festive fare – including turkey, prawns, lobster and cheeses. It’s the perfect introduction to the wines of Benjamin Leroux, one of our favourite Burgundy winemakers.

Uncork it this Christmas, or enjoy it up to 2026.

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2019 Bolgheri, Rosso, Grattamacco, Tuscany

Style: full-bodied, Bordeaux-blend Super Tuscan  
Character: red fruit, plum, damson, cocoa, wild Tuscan herbs
Best for: Christmas dinner

This wine, sourced from a single vineyard, is a blend of the Bordeaux varieties with 10% Sangiovese, matured in French oak for 10 months. It has a heady nose of plum, damson, cocoa and wild Tuscan herbs. The palate is harmonious, with depth of fruit and warm spice from oak, framed by glossy tannins and sapid crunchy-berry freshness.

Wines like this demonstrate that Bolgheri is a region now reaching its full potential. The second oldest winery in the area has some of the highest vineyards in the region, giving their wines great depth and freshness. Boisterous and food-friendly, this is a versatile wine to see you through the festive period.

Drink now to 2028.

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2009 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge, Domaine des Sénéchaux, Rhône

Style: complex, medium-bodied, multi-blend  
Character: wild strawberries, cedar, dried flowers, leather, roasted meat
Best for: goose, rich meats and Boxing Day leftovers

“This perfectly mature Châteauneuf-du-Pape is both festive and exotic,” says Georgina Haacke, our Wine Buyer, “it really embodies the flavours of Christmas.” The 2009 is made up of 60% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 18% Mourvèdre, and 2% Vaccarèse-Cinsault. With a decade now behind it, this is a wonderful example of a mature Châteauneuf-du-Pape, with all the rich, spicy notes for which the appellation is renowned – the perfect wine for a cold day.

It has a fruity nose of wild strawberries and raspberry jam, mingling with sauna wood spice, cedar and dried flowers. There’s a savoury backbone of forest floor, leather and roasted meat, and a seamlessly silky palate of tannins. It’s ideal if you prefer goose over turkey for your Christmas meal, or for adding a little grandeur to the Boxing Day leftovers.

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2010 Château Potensac,
Médoc, Bordeaux

Style: rich, full-bodied Claret
Character: rich dark fruit, leather
Best for: Christmas dinner

Château Potensac is long-established as one of Bordeaux’s great-value wines. The château is situated in the northern Médoc with its lighter gravels. Here, Merlot plays a bigger role, contributing to the wine’s accessibility. The 2010 vintage is renowned as one of the exceptional vintages of this century, and this wine is just entering its prime. A decade on, it’s full of dark fruit, with subtle notes of savoury, warm leather notes signalling its maturity. It’s traditional, yet has such charm and poise that it will match beautifully with both traditional and non-traditional Christmas suppers, and impress guests across the board.

It’s drinking perfectly now, but will also age well for another five years. Decanting an hour before drinking should enhance the wine.

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2009 Viña Tondonia Tinto, Reserva, Bodegas R. López de Heredia, Rioja

Style: refreshing and balanced
Character: fresh red fruit, fresh leather, wild sage
Best for: turkey and duck

Gorgeous aromas soar out of the glass with this wine – very open and generous. It has notes of sweet strawberries and raspberries, mingling with a hint of fresh leather which is typical of this wine, as well as autumn leaves and wild sage. At its core lies a concentrated ball of fruit, nestled between complex yet balanced elements: gentle redcurrant fruit, very fine tannins, an unmistakable savoury character, and a long mouth-watering finish.

“There is something so wonderful about Tondonia Tinto Reserva,” says Catriona Felstead MW, our Wine Buyer. “It has a heart-warming quality that never fails to make me smile, as if I am meeting an old friend every time I taste it. Complex, savoury and absolutely delicious.

This is a beautiful Tondonia for drinking soon.

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2001 Château Suduiraut, Sauternes

Style: sweet and rich
Character: honey, ripe fruit, creamy and opulent
Best for: dessert, foie gras, alongside a cheese board or with tarte tatin

In 2001, winemaker Pierre Pascaud at Château Suduirat produced this exceptional wine – a real contender for “wine of the vintage”. It’s seductive and creamy, with an elegant nose and layers of complex flavours exploding on the palate: apricot, honey and ginger. The sweetness and acidity are in perfect harmony, with a deliciously long finish. It’s perfect with cheese at the end of a meal, or simply on its own. Vibrant, gold and decadent, it even looks the part for Christmas.

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1970 Graham’s,
Port, Portugal

Style: rich, luscious, aged Vintage Port
Character: Medjool dates, cinnamon, allspice and plum pudding
Best for: soft blue cheese, Christmas pudding

In the words of Philip Moulin, our Fine Wine Authentication Manager, “Christmas allows us the time to really embrace the traditional joy of Vintage Port – from decanting that dusty old bottle on Christmas morning to savouring its warming, figgy fruit alongside a decent Stilton as the evening draws in.”

This particular bottling is one of the finest Ports from a great vintage, now at its apogee. The colour has softened to a mellow brick red, and the nose is wonderfully fragrant and complex: Medjool dates laced with cinnamon and allspice. Warm plum pudding flavours linger on the gorgeously detailed, velvety finish, making this a quintessential Port for the Christmas table.

Decant two hours before drinking.

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