Berry Bros. & Rudd Reserve White £8.75
This gem yields from the steep slopes of Limoux in the South of France. Made from a blend of white grape varieties, it has been barrel-fermented which adds a creamy complexity to its citric core. It compliments white meats like a traditional roast turkey, as well as making a fine accompaniment to lighter dishes such as grilled fish.
2015 Chablis, Domaine Pinson £16.95
With its clear lemon and green colour and a fresh and fruity mineral nose, this young’un is screaming of summer. The palate shows beautiful purity and excellent length, with fruit filling out the middle very nicely. That said, for all the sunshine of 2015 this is still a rather typical Chablis.
2016 Pecorino Terre di Chieti, white wine, Abruzzo, £6.50
If you fancy a glass of white and you’re not drinking Sauvignon Blanc, then generally speaking you’ve got Gavi di Gavi. We prefer to get our citrus and peach notes from a different region of Italy. Pecorino (yes, like the cheese) is from the Abruzzo region of central Italy, and is deliciously fresh, with more grapefruit notes than Gavi’s lemon, and a juicy peach and herbal zing as well. Pale yellow and very quaffable – watch out – it is also remarkably inexpensive. Best paired with a nutty cheese (such as its sheep's milk cheese namesake), cod or white meat.
2016, Sancerre, André Dezat, £15
Some of the best sauvignon blanc in the world comes from the two communes of Sancerre and Pouilly Fumé. This Sancerre, from a fabulous vintage, is exactly what you want a Sancerre to be. It is packed with zesty fruits, but with just the right flinty edge. It feels wonderfully smooth and robust in the mouth and lingers a long time on the palate. The perfect riposte to any idiot who claims not to like sauvignon.
2015 Oxney Organic, Classic, Sparkling, East Sussex £35.00
A relatively new addition to the growing English wine trade, Oxney is an organic winery specialising in producing sparkling wine in the traditional method, using the classic blend of pinot noir, pinot meunier and chardonnay. The owners are about to plant some more vines, which will make it the largest organic winery in the country. This recently released 2015 classic is its best wine yet, with lovely rich, well balanced fruit flavours, just the right floral notes, and a sensational crisp, dry finish.
NV La Montina, Franciacorta Brut, Lombardy £27
If you’re looking for something little more fancy than Prosecco, but are not quite ready to leave Italy for Champagne, this is an excellent option. Unlike tank-fermented Prosecco, Franciacorta is made the traditional way, with a second two-year fermentation in the bottle and uses a well-balanced blend of Champagne grapes. This is an excellent example of Lombardy’s best kept secret, offering plenty of stone fruit and citrus zest, balanced with some gorgeous yeasty notes.
Berry Bros. & Rudd Champagne by Mailly, Grand Cru £28.50
All the hallmarks of Grand Cru are present here, with brioche and flowers on the nose and an elegant palate which marries notes of lemon grass, gingerbread and honeysuckle. This is a classic blend of 75% Pinot Noir and 25% Chardonnay, which effortlessly combines structure and finesse, benefiting from over three years’ ageing.
2013 Gusbourne Estate, Rosé, Sparkling, Kent £37.95
Despite its delicate strawberry nose, this exciting bubbly offers much more assertive undertones hinting of just-ripe redcurrant and cranberries. Its dry, creamy texture promotes an authentic Pinot Noir style. A big step up from Gusbourne’s previous vintages.
Berry Bros. & Rudd Good Ordinary Claret £9.95
A glassful of ruby can’t get much better than this velvety mixture of black cherry, bramble fruits and wood smoke. Matched with anything from a heartening stew or warming pie to a sumptuous roast, it’s exactly what you need at Christmas. So take a break from the mulled stuff and hail the season with this triumph on the table.