Christmas and Wine

by Grape Expectations

As Christmas traditions go, stocking up on booze is up there alongside buying Christmas crackers, turkey and mince pies. Us Brits can’t get enough.

According to market analysts Mintel, wine is the most popular choice at this time of year but with a daunting selection to choose from and an array of social events and food types to throw in the mix, it’s not always easy to know what to buy.

First things first - price is not necessarily an indicator of quality. It is true that you get what you pay for and expensive wines are likely to be more complex, more nuanced and longer-lived, but ultimately you need a wine that is fit for purpose and suits your taste. Otherwise, it’s like buying a Ferrari as a city run-around.

Price is often influenced by brand name and demand. Well known and historically revered locations such as many of the best known French wines, e.g. Champagne, Bordeaux and Burgundy can command a premium on the basis of their name and the fact that there is often limited production. Of course quality plays a role in the price, but it’s not a guarantee and often you need to pay quite a bit for really good stuff from these sorts of regions.

On the other hand, a less well known and less popular region simply cannot justify a high price. Winemakers in these situations need to work harder to ensure their wines have quality and character, or it will be much harder to get stocked by UK retailers. This means that by being a little more adventurous and not always falling back on wines that you know, you can often get much better value for money.

Click on the links below for some festive wine ideas ranging from the traditional to the more unusual and at a selection of price points. Of course you want everything to be just right this Christmas and that may mean sticking with the brands you trust. But if you want to save a few quid too, be brave - you may be pleasantly surprised!

Festive Fizz

For Starters

The Main Event – Christmas Dinner

Just Desserts

The Cheese-fest

Grape Expectations is a small wine tasting company, specialising in informal wine tasting events for friends and colleagues. Events are tailored to suit the requirements of the group and are designed to increase wine knowledge in an interesting and interactive way. The aim is to have fun and enjoy wine.

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Sir Henry Cole commissioned the first commercial christmas card in the mid 19th Century. The card was illustrated by John Callcott Horsley and showed a family drinking wine. He sold out of his first 2000 print run.