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Monday, 11 October 2021

Four Christmas Wines from Tesco

Four wines for Christmas Day from Tesco

I've long believed that Christmas Day is not a time to be experimenting with new or off-beat wines; you want something reliable and familiar and, if budgets allow, a little superior to what you might normally drink.

Moving up too many price brackets can actually be counter-productive; for where you can simply crack open and enjoy younger, fruiter wines as soon as they are poured, more ambitious bottles may need a little longer in bottle or more aeration to show their best.

Get it even slightly wrong and your showpiece wine can seem underwhelming, your guests less-than-wowed; under-aged reds reds can seem lacking in fruit and a little chewy until they have opened up; whites that need a bit of aeration can seem basic and underwhelming.

These four Tesco wines are all a step up from everyday drinking but, importantly, also show very well on first pouring. They continue to improve with some aeration but certainly don't require an extensive aging and decanting regime to become approachable.

So that's one less thing to worry about this year, then.

There's a lot to like with these four bottles - big-name wines that don't cost silly money and are easy to enjoy.

The extra-nice surprises are how inexpensive the Champagne is, the superb wine-making of the Bordeaux and the amazing value of the dessert wine.

On arrival

Tesco Finest Premier Cru Champagne Brut NV, (£21.00, vegan) 

IWSC 2021 Gold medal winner and IWC Great Value Champion Sparkling.

This multi award-winning Premier Cru Champagne is produced for Tesco by Union Champagne in Avize, from hand-harvested grapes grown in Premier Cru vineyards in the Côte des Blancs, south of Epernay. Aged for 36 months, this extra maturation results in elegant flavours of citrus, green fruits and brioche with a fine mousse.

Perfect as an aperitif or with smoked salmon crostini.

yeasty almondy brioche and bruised apple with delicate florality; citrussy, linear and and mineral with cidery, bruised orchard fruits and a complex, creamy brazil-nut savouriness; fine mousse. Poised, structured and textured.

Very Good and Good Value.

With starters

Tesco Finest Gavi (£8.50, vegetarian) 

IWC 2021 Silver medal winner This dry, elegant wine is made from premium Cortese grapes from the Gavi region in north west Italy. Part of the crop is harvested later, when grapes are riper, lending extra richness and depth to the wine. 

Its juicy white peach and citrus flavours and long smooth finish make it wonderful with food. Serve chilled with oven-baked fish or pasta dishes.

orchard fruits and white peach with delicate florality and a whiff of white pepper; citrussy, sappy and rich with stone fruits, melon some sweet spice and minerality; good underpinnings.


The Main Event

Tesco Finest Margaux (£22.00)

IWC 2021 Gold medal winner Made for Tesco by the prestigious Château Boyd Cantenac in Bordeaux's iconic Margaux region, using exceptional quality grapes from vines that are an average of 30 years old. It is a bold but well-balanced red that is rich, ripe and vibrant with complex flavours of dark fruits, cherries, spices and oak.

Serve alongside beef or vegetarian wellington.

dark cherries, bramble fruit, morello cherries, plums, spice and some dried green herbs; full, supple and fresh, with plush ripe dark fruits - cherries, plums, cassis, cool mint and a touch of oaky astringency; complex and very long with very fine, perfectly rounded tannins and a savoury, spicy graphite finish.

Very Good.

With Dessert

Tesco Finest Dessert Semillon 11.5% abv, £6.00 (vegetarian) 

IWC 2021 Silver medal winner and IWC 2021 Great Value Sweet Under £12 

This is an award-winning dessert wine from Australia’s De Bortoli family winery.

Made from late-harvested grapes which are left to ripen on the vine until their natural sugars and flavours have grown incredibly rich and intense. The result is a golden hued wine boasting a delicate concentration of citrus, peach and apricot flavours that are simultaneously sumptuous and fresh.

The perfect dessert wine to pair with Christmas pudding or blue cheese.

floral with overripe stone fruits, sweet spice and musky beeswax; sweet and rich with complex buttery roasted peaches and vanilla sugar; fresh, savoury and long.

Good and Good Value.

As an alternative to the Semillon, Tesco's Finest Speyside Single Malt Whisky would also be an excellent match with Christmas pudding - or just sip in your favourite armchair with the Bond film or the Queen's Speech.

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