The best white wines for the Christmas feast

Is there a quintessential Christmas white? Our wine writer considers the contendersIn an attempt to make life a bit easier over the festive season, last week I suggested focusing on a single type of red. But is there a quintessential Christmas white? Continue...

Take the pain out of buying red wine for the Christmas season

You won’t go far wrong if you stick to southern French reds for the festive tableThe fact that most wine merchants offer a subscription scheme suggests a fair few people don’t want to think too hard about wine and just receive regular cases of the style they like. I suspect this applies even more to Christmas, so this week I’m going to save you any hard thinking and suggest one type of red for the holiday season. And that’s wine from the south of France, especially the Rhône and Languedoc.Why? Well, they’re particularly well suited to festive drinking: vivid and powerful, they act like a sort of liquid cranberry sauce. They should keep older members of the family happy, while being fruity enough for younger ones, and they hit the spot at practically every price point. Continue...

Low-alcohol wine is not wine, it’s grape juice. Where’s the joy in that? | Fiona Beckett

Supermarkets are reporting booming sales. But you don’t have to get drunk to enjoy the taste and the redolence of the real thing• Fiona Beckett is the Guardian’s wine writerThere’s nothing more dispiriting than the three words “low-alcohol wine”, with the possible exception of “low-fat cheese”. They usually denote a sickly-sweet concoction with little resemblance to anything you would normally drink.Yet sales are booming, according to Tesco and Marks & Spencer, which are both releasing new products to meet the demand. (Mind you, they’ve been saying that for the past 10 years – usually around this time of year, as dry January heaves into view.) Continue...

Winter’s a time for comfort food – and for comfort drinks, too

Forget crisp whites, light rosés and refreshing cordials: when winter comes, we want dark, warming sherries, big reds and spiced liqueursUntil November starts, you can just about kid yourself it’s still summer, but the fact that it now gets dark at 5pm plunges us headlong into winter and the desire for comfort food – I was going to say comfort drink, but that sounds unhealthy. Continue...