Given that Christmas is the last surviving feast day, it is no surprise that a great deal of focus goes on luxury wines to accompany that mealtime.
Indeed, my Thursday posts are designed to steer MidWeekers towards what I consider to be good choices for that event.
However, it also the time for less formal (and expensive) celebratory occasions.
That may be Christmas or New Year parties or just people dropping in to wish each other well.
In either event, kindly priced but sound quality, good value wine is what you need to lubricate the proceedings.
Enter, then, my Monday Top Tip recommendations where I recommend wine that will cement your reputation as a good host without giving the bank manager a heart attack.
Today, it is South African white and a Spanish red that have been selected to perform duty as – in effect – “house wines”.
The images and hyperlinks provided should help you to find them in crowded displays.
Starting with a grape variety South Africa does well
2021 Extra Special Chenin Blanc (currently £6 – instead of £7 – at Asda and 13.5% abv):
If you have forgotten the joys that well-made South African chenin blanc can offer, this is the white wine for you.
Opening with gentle blossom aromas, it follows through with peach, red apple and honey flavours.
Those are then adroitly integrated with nippy acidity, citrus zestiness and a mild, oak influenced, depth.
Next heading north to Spain
2016 Carinena Monte Plogar Gran Reserva (£5.49 at Lidl and 13.5%):
Once again, we step outside Spain’s most familiar wine regions to secure wine of exceptional value.
Smooth with just a dash of vanilla, this example provides earthy damson and prune flavours enlivened by fresh and energetic acidity.
Next come touches of eucalyptus, baking spice and cocoa which, in turn, are coupled with well-integrated tannin.
This Thursday’s post takes a break from the four-part Christmas recommendations to run the rule over the latest Lidl Wine Tour – which has just started.
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