Best Sweet Wines for Christmas | wine

IChristmas is the last resort before bleak dieting prospects and a dry January, you too could be bankrupt. Sure, there’s probably more than enough sweet stuff on offer already, but why not top your tulips with a cup of something luscious, too. Besides, they make great bottles to give as gifts.

They’re often ridiculously cheap, at least compared to other wines, and not always from the places you’d expect. There are a number of great buys from Majestic on its regular ‘mix six’ deal, including the elegant 2013 sauternes from the Definition range (13%) at £19.99 for a full-size bottle (or £9.99 for a half, which is less than what Aldi charges for the device). within the specially defined range). And the Greek hometown in today’s pick — from Waitrose, no less — is an absolute steal.

Port, too, can be incredibly good value, especially because it’s served in smaller portions and you can get 10 glasses a bottle, instead of the usual six. It’s a question of which style you should choose: walnut tan or sapphire blue/bottled wine. I prefer the former with cheese and the latter – Morrisons Special Reserve Port (20%) at a wallet-friendly £8.50 is a good example – with mince pie.

Even tawnies made from ports that have spent an average of 10 years in cask can be found for around £12 if you go for the private brands rather than the big ones. Try Aldi’s Tawny cute 10-year-old (20%) at £11.49, which tastes almost like a salted caramel liqueur; Morrisons’ Best Tawny 10 Year Old at £12.50 is also good.

Fortified Muscat, Australia’s answer to Tawny Harbour, is another good Christmas buy and is especially tasty with anything nutty or nutty. I recommended an eight-year-old Aldi’s Muscat (18%) two weeks ago, served with Ravneet Gill’s chocolate-caramel mousse, but Campbell’s Rutherglen Muscat (£11.16 half a bottle, £13 stall, 17.5%) would also hit the spot with most festive baking Especially the birthday cake.

The famous Hungarian sweet wine Tokaji is another option. Again, it’s excellent with Christmas pudding, as you’d expect from an apricot-and-jam-flavoured wine, but it’s also surprisingly good with stiltons. Majestic has a bottle for £12.99 (same as Lidl’s 9.5% charge for 2014 Tokaji Aszu 5 Puttonyos), and it’s still cheaper if you buy it in a mix-six deal, making it £9.99 which is rather for the books.

Finally, if you want a little show, try the festive-looking L’Occhiolino Sparkling Red 2021 (£12 Averys and Laithwaites, or £9 if you buy a mixed box of 12, 7.5%). It may not be to everyone’s taste, but it would make a deliciously enjoyable partner for a chocolate pavlova. Or the inevitable Cadbury Roses tin, come to that.

Six candies for Christmas

Morrisons the best botrytis semillon 2018 £7.25 for half a bottle, 11.5% off. Australia’s answer to sauerkraut, with an added dimension of grilled pineapple.

Samos sweet wine 2020 £8.99 Waitrose vault, 15% off. This Greek wine tastes of dried apricots and orange, so it’s perfect with a Christmas pudding. Great value for a full size bottle too.

Specially selected Pedro Ximenez £5.49 Half a bottle of Aldi, 17% off. Sherry is outrageously sweet with the taste of liquid raisins. Pour over ice cream (maybe with a slab of fried Christmas pudding underneath).

Pelletiere Estates Vidal Ice2020 wine £13.99 Lidl, 10.5% off. Intensely sweet, so drink it intensely cold. Great gift.

Marks and Spencer Solera Cream Cherry £8 (offered), 17.5%. No matter Santa, pie makers and gift-wrappers deserve a cup of this.

Late royal tokaji harvest 2017/18 £12.99 for 50cl (or £9.99 for a mix of six) Majestic, 12% off. I actually prefer Hungary’s famous dessert wine to sauternes this time of year.

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