Luisa Welch takes a look at what’s on shelf right now and picks winning wines which won’t break the bank.

With the festive season just weeks away, it’s time to stock up on wines which will see you through to the end of the year in style.

Whether you are buying for yourself or selecting wines to share with friends and family, you are probably looking for both quality and value for money.

It’s no surprise that Tesco performs well here, as this favourite supermarket chain was recently named International Wine Challenge Supermarket of the Year 2023, as well as winning the IWC Own Label Range for the Year for the second year running.  Having totalled up over 100 medals across its wine range, there are many wines worth stocking up.

The festivities often call for something sparkling to celebrate with, and what better than Tesco Finest English Sparkling at £21 (often on offer). This celebrated sparkling wine is produced by the award-winning Balfour Winery in Kent, and is made from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes from their own estate. Crisp and elegant, it boasts attractive aromas of apple and bright citrus with a hint of delicate brioche. It is dry, with a long finish and it’s great to toast a special occasion this festive season.

Ring the changes from Prosecco with this fantastic value sparkling wine, Tesco’s Blanquette de Limoux at just £10. From one of the oldest regions of fine bubbles in France, this wine was created back in 1531. Keeping with tradition, it has been aged in bottle for 12 months to produce a complex flavour of peach, apples and toasted brioche. It’s excellent as an aperitif, with seafood, and it will also go well with an apple based cake. And it’s vegan too!

The Tesco Finest Viña del Cura Rioja Blanco gets my vote as the perfect white for the festive table. And at £10, I would gladly buy more than one bottle. This white Rioja, made in a fresh and modern style, is made from a blend of classic grapes, Viura and Tempranillo Blanco. Made for Tesco by award winning producer Baron de Ley, it shows a generous palate of floral and exotic fruit flavours, and a hint of spice on the finish. This wine will pair beautifully with roast chicken or turkey, but also with seafood dishes and vegetables.

When it comes to bridging the gap between white and red wines, my choice is Tesco’s Cinsault Rosé at £7.50. Light but flavourful, it is produced from grapes grown on South Africa’s Western Cape, where oceanic breezes provide perfect vineyard conditions for this refreshing and bright rosé. Dry and light, it will pair well with prawns, salmon and white meats. A real winner.

Whether it’s to serve alongside a hearty warming dinner, to enjoy curled up on the sofa or to serve at the festive table, I would be more than happy to have a bottle of three of Tesco’s Finest Douro at £11. Portugal is enjoying a revival and many wines from this country are now in the spotlight. This rich red wine is produced from indigenous grape varieties grown and hand picked on the slopes of the Douro Valley in Northern Portugal. The wine is powerful yet elegant, with aromas or red and black fruits and subtle spice with a long, concentrated finish. A perfect match for lamb cutlets or even a vegetarian aubergine parmigiana.  Delicious.

The Montagne Sant-Emilion from Bordeaux totally wowed me. This wine, at just £10, is made from the best Merlot and Cabernet Franc grapes, and boasts cherry fruit on the nose, with hints of cocoa on the palate. Great with all meat and pasta dishes.

Without forgetting a luscious glass of Sauternes for those with a sweet palate. Tesco’s Finest Sauternes is made from Semillion grapes is affected by ‘noble rot’  – don’t be put off by it, this much sought after grape condition concentrates sugars and flavours.  It is sweet but not cloying, with flavours of honey and dry apricots. At £13.50 for half a bottle, it’s a real Christmas treat and it will go a long way as you only need a small glass.

Now’s the time to bag a bargain, as many of the wines above are on special offer.

1 Comment
  1. Rosie Bainbridge 6 months ago

    Hi Luisa, good to hear your ideas for festive wines.
    I’ve just bought their Estancia Vineyards, Monterey County Pinot Noir – think it will drink well with duck and game dishes.
    Kind regards Rosie

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