Wednesday 11 December 2019
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theguardian - 19 days ago

Merry thriftmas: how to drink well but pay less this Christmas | Fiona Beckett on wine

A selection of delicious yet affordable wines to get you through ChristmasA couple of years ago, I wrote about cheaper options for Christmas drinking, only to be admonished by several readers, who said that, at this time of year, I should be writing about more expensive wines instead (a rare event for this column, because outrage is more usually confined to my more costly recommendations). As a result, you’ll be hearing more from me over the coming weeks about slightly spendier wines for the festive table, but what about all those days in the run-up to the big day, not to mention the seemingly endless period afterwards, when you have to provide food and wine for days on end?It’s all about providing something that’s drinkable, at an affordable price and that will do for everything from the odd glass for the cook to an impromptu party. In the case of reds, especially, it’s also really useful to have wines to hand that are suitable for cooking with and for mulling. That doesn’t mean any old tat, but there’s no point in spending too much on them, either. You might think this is the ideal opportunity to get rid of wine that needs drinking up, but if a bottle was, say, oaky to start with and has lost all its fruit, it’s not going to make for a particularly delicious drink (though you can add a slosh of vintage character or late-bottled vintage port to perk it up). Instead, look out for basic, full-bodied wines such as corbières and Spanish garnacha, which you can often pick up for well under a fiver. Continue reading...

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