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3 Great value party wines for Christmas

With all those extra visitors, Christmas is usually a good time to focus on wines that look good and taste good but do not cost a fortune – here then are a trio to fit the bill perfectly.

Even though the International Wine Challenge named Morrisons as Supermarket of the Year back in the summer, I have not been able to feature their wines often on this website.

Here, though, are three wines from Morrisons current promotion that would make ideal and inexpensive “house” or party wines over Christmas.

Although the discounts shown end on 22 November, the judgements about the wines themselves should hold good until well after Christmas.

Click on any of the bottles shown for an enlarged image to help you pinpoint the wine on a crowded shelf.

South Africa’s come-back kid

Morrisons Signature Chenin BlancSwartland (for years one of South Africa’s “so-what” regions) is currently producing some cracking wines; many of them are based on the chenin blanc grape – often from old vines planted in the sixties.

The long and zippy 2015 Signature Chenin Blanc (two for £10 – or £5 a bottle in Scotland – instead of £7, until 22 November) has a perception of almost Loire-like “off-dryness” behind its concentrated banana fruit and the sherbet and pear drop acidity that enlivens it so brightly.

Syrah doing well further south

Morrisons Signature French SyrahAmong all the changes arising from Languedoc’s huge success re-inventing itself, the widespread adoption of syrah is a major accomplishment – often as a bright and fruity replacement for the tired workhorse grapes of yesteryear.

Enjoy then the herbal, lively and medium-bodied 2014 Signature French Syrah (two for £10 – or £5 a bottle in Scotland – instead of £7, until 22 November) with its firm red currant acidity and mild tannin that adroitly underpins the spicy cherry fruit and its accompanying chocolate backdrop.

Italian re-unification in a glass

Tesco Piccini MemoroApplying freedoms under revised Italian wine laws, Tuscany’s Piccini family source grapes from all corners of Italy to make their red and white Memoro blends – constituents can come from areas as far apart as Venice and Sicily.

Dark, rich and complex, the red Piccini Memoro (£6 – instead of £9 until 22 November ) has clearly defined, long, black cherry and raspberry fruit with soft tannins and gentle acidity and a textured nutty spiciness that seems to knit it all together nicely.


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