Top Ten Last Minute Christmas Wine Bargains

Aldi Toscana RossoTop Ten Last Minute Christmas Bargains this week. Because, if you’re like me, then you’ve been concentrating on the nosh side of Christmas rather than what wine to match with the roast turkey, the cold turkey, the turkey curry, the mince pies, the puddings, the nuts...yes well. So here are ten wines ranging from Aldi’s £3.99 stonking value Italian red to some posher clarets at over £10 a bottle. And what these wines have in common is that they’re all well worth the money.

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Top Five Sparkling Wines of 2012

half bottles of champagneTop Five Sparkling Wines of 2012 this week. Which makes a change from 2011 where there was such a dearth of the decent bubbly stuff that a top sparkling round-up couldn’t be justified. Things are a little better this year. But while we’ve had a Top Ten Whites and Top Ten Reds, and even a Top Ten Under A Fiver, there still wasn’t quite enough tasty fizz this year to make a top ten list. So you’ll have to make do with a top five instead. And here they are.

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Top Ten Red Wines of 2012

Caliterra labelTop Ten Reds of 2012 this week including three at under £7 plus plenty of slurpable chocolate and cherry flavours. Here they are in order of fabness.

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Top Ten White Wines of 2012

Errazuriz Wild FermentTop Ten White Wines of 2012 this week. There will also be a Paula’s Top Ten Red Wine choices of 2012 and the Top Five Sparkling Wines of 2012. But no Top Ten Rosés or After Dinner wines. Because this year has seen a dearth of great tasting and great value wines that are a delightful pink colour and an even greater lack of wines to match the cheese and nuts course. But slurpable whites at a reasonable price there have been, in abundance - which made it very hard to knock the list back to just the top ten. But here they are ranging in price from £6.79 to £12.49 listed in order of which bottle to save first if the house floods.

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Top Ten Wines For Under A Fiver

pound coinsThe £5 and under wine category has expanded rapidly this year now that retailers have finally realised consumer spending habits have changed irrevocably due to the recession. Waitrose added its own value range in October, while Tesco and Sainsbury’s enhanced and expanded their existing cheaper wine ranges. But Aldi still holds the top spot for the supermarket with the most consistently drinkable value wines. And that’s why six of its wines fill this year’s Top Ten Wines Under A Fiver.

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Chocolate sponge, chocolate chip muffins, Mars Bar cake - but what wine?

gooey cakeChocolate cakes come in many guises – dark chocolate sponges, white chocolate chip muffins and high-cocoa content cake topped with melted Mars Bars. But come the final cake count there will be two important questions to answer: “Which cake to slice first?”, and “What wine will match all that chocolate?”.

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1994 Riojas: drink now

Murrieta RiojaEighteen years of age is just a little too old to be young, yet not quite old enough to have any worldly-wise maturity. But what applies to humans doesn’t necessarily translate into the world of wine – particularly if you’re a red from the Spanish region of Rioja. These 1994s are at their best now and there just ain’t any point holding on to the corkscrew any longer.

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That wine smells good

nose in wine glassPretending to be Jilly Goolden while swirling and sniffing the contents of each wine glass is half the fun of wine appreciation. But sometimes, I admit it, I need help identifying a wine’s aromas. Just because someone tells you they smell and taste wines for a living it doesn’t make their judgement infallible.

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iPhone wine apps: any good?

WineFind appSupermarket wine aisles can be lonely places. And pretty intimidating too when you’re the only person there, which seems so often the case. So when you need some wine and food matching advice who you gonna call? Not Dan Ackroyd in a 1980s film with a catch phrase that won’t leave the head, but Wine Find, a wine and food matching app on your mobile phone.

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Reviewed: Majestic's free Wine Course

Majestic Knowedge logoWhat’s free, crammed full of useful wine knowledge and available at 187 locations across the UK? Answer: the Majestic Wine Course, a 90 minute in-store introductory guide to wines, wine tasting and food matching. Run monthly at each Majestic outlet across the UK this informal group tasting and chat (numbers restricted to a maximum of 10) is tutored by the store manager, who in this case was Hayley - a bubbly and enthusiastic wine aficionado running the new Midlands store at Ludlow.

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