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Wines in the press - December 2-4

Published:  06 December, 2011

The Guardian

Fiona Beckett thinks it's hard to beat fizz at Christmas, but even with all the cut-price offers around, you might not want to make it Champagne, she says.

In terms of less expensive sparklers, there's a good deal on the attractively creamy Cave de Lugny Sparkling Burgundy Blanc de Blancs (25% off, at £8.99 until Dec 6, Waitrose). Or, at almost the same price as cheap Champagne, but much nicer, is the Prosecco, Asolo Extra Dry Bele Casel (£12.95, or £11.65 if you buy a case, Berry Bros & Rudd). Best offers in terms of whites are on New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, which is the only wine retailers seem to think we want to drink, says Beckett. She suggests Wither Hills Sauvignon Blanc 2011 (£5.99 if you buy two or more. Majestic). Majestic also has one of the best party reds, the Château Jouaninel 2009 Fronton (£5.99 if you buy two or more). And if you're in Lidl, pick up some Dornfelder 2009 (£5.99). It's a delicious - a soft German red that would be great for a Boxing Day bash, adds Beckett.

The Observer

David Williams chooses three very different wines to tickle the reader's taste buds. Firstly, Villa Rasina Soave Classico, Italy 2010 (£6.95, Soave is not the most fashionable of wine styles, having been eclipsed by another northeastern Italian white, Pinot Grigio. Like Pinot Grigio, much of what passes for Soave is thin and neutral at best, but the better examples have a subtle, seafood-friendly charm all of their own, says Williams. Campo Aldea Graciano Rioja, Spain 2006 (£12.99, Marks & Spencer) is made from the Graciano grape variety that is generally the junior partner in blends with the classic Rioja variety, Tempranillo, but which is now being given the chance to shine on its own. "This wine shows the experiment is working: it's sinuous, silky and full of vivid blackberry fruit," says Williams. Lastly, Château Suduiraut Lions de Suduiraut, Sauternes, Bordeaux, France 2009 (£14.99, is bit of a treat, with plenty of racy, orange citrus acidity and purity.

The Sunday Telegraph
Susy Atkins thinks for a nation of sugar cravers, it is peculiar that we don't make more of dessert wines. We whip out the liqueurs and chocs after dinner, but rarely a pudding wine. Or, worse, we stick with whatever we were sipping with our main course, regardless of whether it's the right partner for, say, creamy panna cotta or an airy meringue, says Atkins. Even serious wine pros - have clean forgotten to make way for a sweetie at just the moment when it will enhance the feast. Atkins is making it a resolution to bring out the sweet wines this Christmas. For Christmas cake she recommends Gran Barquero Pedro Ximenez, Montilla-Moriles, Spain (Waitrose, £9.25). For a plate of blue cheese or apple tart, Atkins suggests Château Suduiraut Lions de Suduiraut, Sauternes, Bordeaux, France 2009 (£14.99,

The Mail on Sunday

Olly Smith thinks Christmas parties rock. But if only the booze lived up to the social buzz, he adds. It's really quite simple to get it right if you stick to two golden rules: nothing too fancy and nothing too heavy. All you really need is some top-value fizz to get the party started, followed by white and red wine and a light beer served in bottles from a large bucket of ice. First up he recommends Philippe Michel Crémant du Jura 2008 (Aldi, £6.99). This is incredible value from a single vintage which has very brisk bright lemony zip to it and fine bubbles, he says. But if you find it a little too brisk, customise it with a jot of blackcurrant cassis, or add cordials such as elderflower or rose. Pinot Grigio is a safe bet for the white, try Aspen Estate Pinot Grigio 2011, Australia (Majestic, £4.99). It's a lemony fresh wine that offers tremendous value for money As for a red, there is only one wine Smith says you need to buy and that is Cuvée Chasseur 2010 (Waitrose, £4.13). Grab as much of it as your trolley can take. Smith cannot recommend it highly enough.