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A Festive Guide to Wine by Margaret Rand

Christmas is the time to have some fun with wine, and to try something to surprise yourself and everybody else. I’ve picked three, at different price points, and they’re all amazing value. Look on www.winesearcher.com for stockists.


Under £10:

Romate Fino Perdido

This is Fino Sherry with extra age, fermented with ambient yeasts. Proper artisan wine, with a wonderful earth-after-rain smell (it’s called “petrichor” if you want to bandy the word around) and great elegance and complexity. Try it with tapas, or with smoked fish. Or on its own, with an olive or two.



Under £20

Ochetti Nebbiolo Langhe 2019, Renato Ratti

Renato Ratti is a top-flight Barolo producer, and this is the same grape ­– Nebbiolo – but with a less grand appellation, so it has all the wonderful savoury incense and rose aromas, and good weight, but you can drink it straightaway. It has a quality I describe as “aliveness” – an inner energy.


Push the boat out

La Perfide Blanc de Noirs, Coates & Seely 2014

How about some seriously good English fizz?  This is white sparkling made from Pinot Noir and a touch of Meunier, aged on the lees for five years, and showing notes of chocolate, pastry, honey, lemon shortbread and herbs; it’s seamless, layered and superbly elegant and deep. “La Perfide”, by the way, is a joke: Perfidious Albion.


For the best guide to wines to see you through the New Year and beyond, check out Hugh Johnson Pocket Wine 2022: The new edition of the no 1 best-selling wine guide


This piece is written by Margaret Rand.