Part four: A wine for every occasion

16th December 2015

Working with Waitrose means I get to sample some amazing wines in time for Christmas. I have spent hours tasting the range (it's a tough job!) and have put together this case of 12 to suit all your occasions.

For greeting guests...

Italia Collezione Prosecco Brut NV, £11.99/75cl
Everybody who walks through the door of our house gets a glass of fizz at Christmas, without question. They all love the fact that Prosecco is friendlier and just a little sweeter than Champagne, with a gorgeous lime zing to it. It also has depth and it is superbly versatile - whatever treat your visitors are nibbling on, this will cope manfully. There is no doubt that when I greet them at the door with this Prosecco, they will say, 'Oooh, that's good!'

Pre-dinner family favourite...

Champteloup Muscadet Sevre-et-Maine, £7.99/75cl
A large number in my family prefer an easy-to-drink wine, and I like to find something they haven't tried before. Muscadet can be a little uncomplicated but this has an extra dimension. It is made using sur lie, which means it is in contact with its own yeast while aging, giving a complexity to the crisp, citrussy flavour. It's perfect for when everyone gathers in the kitchen while dinner is being prepared.

For that Crimbo-limbo curry...

Zalze Bush Vine Chenin Blanc, £8.29/75cl
Our house can be quite full over the festive period. If yours is too, I am convinced this South African white wine will please all the troops - and, it is terrific value for money. It goes particularly well with spicy food, so if you do make the fabled curry with your leftover turkey, serve it with this. It also complements fish very well so it is definitely one for those meals between Christmas and New Year, such as chilli prawns or even seafood laksa.

For the Boxing Day buffet...

Montemajone Chianti Classico, £10.49/75cl
You've enjoyed a Burgundy on Christmas Day with turkey and all the trimmings, so this is the one for the Boxing Day buffet, when the leftovers are joined by some ham, chutneys and pickles. It is an elegant and refined wine - rather than a fruit bomb that smacks you in the face. It has a real dignity to it with flavours of very moreish fruit, particularly cherry. It really brings out the flavours in the buffet.

For sipping next to a log fire...

Waitrose Fairtrade South African Merlot, £6.39/75cl
During my time with Waitrose I have become very good at matching food and wine. This is a bit different because I am going to match this wine with a log fire. In our house, I love it when the back door is opened and a bit of smoke from the fire wafts into the room. This Me riot is fruity with just the right amount of smoke, which makes it a lovely one to sip while sitting next to a real log fire.

For Christmas Eve family fun...

Waitrose Reserva Carmenere, £7.49/75cl
Even though our girls are now 19 and 22, every year we still mix together some oats and glitter and use it to paint an arrow on the ground so Father Christmas knows where to go. They will never grow out of it. This year
I will accompany that very important task with a glass of this soft and velvety Chilean wine. Trust me, once you've opened the bottle, it'll go quickly.

Pick up a copy of Waitrose Weekend in store, available for free every Thursday.
Order any 6 wines or spirits with free delivery at waitrosecellar.com.

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