Christmas Corkers!

Party Red

Olly’s wine pairing: Burdizzo Chianti Riserva 2019 (12.5%) £7 Asda

The real deal for a red punching above its price, with aromas and flavours ranging from cherry blossom to tea. A terrific party red to go with nibbles.

Best with Turkey

Olly’s wine pairing: Definition Zinfandel Lodi 2019 (14%), £7.99 Mix Six Majestic

Lush and fruity, this full throttle red can handle the bird as well as all the trimmings, from stuffing to cranberry sauce. Pour yourself a big glass and relax!

Ravishing Red

Olly’s wine pairing: Finest Valle de Colchagua Merlot 2020 (14.5%) £8 Tesco

Bargain alert! This bold, spicy red with darker fruit than a pastille down a coal mine is a terrific winter warmer and your number one candidate for pouring with beef dishes across the festive period.

Ravishing Red

Olly’s wine pairing: Les Hauts de Saint Martin Saint Chinian 2020 (13.5%), £9 Co-op

Splendid lavish scented red with muscles. It reminds me of a good Châteauneuf-du-Pape without the hefty price tag. Colossal value for money this Christmas and incredible with a roast.

Ravishing Red

Olly’s wine pairing: Lisboa Bonita 2020 (13.5%) £10 M&S

Your inside tip for good value thanks to lesser-known grape varieties such as Caladoc, Castelão and Touriga Franca, which are blended to create a brilliantly balanced red from vineyards around sunny Lisbon. Spicy, fulsome and sleek.

Dessert Wine

Olly’s wine pairing: Brown Brothers Orange Muscat and Flora 2022 (8%, 37.5cl) £8.50 Tesco

Imagine a sweet tangerine dipped in sherbet and you’re close to this syrupy wine’s tangy fruitiness. I love it when it’s served over ice, but try it on its own in small glasses for a sweet treat this Christmas.

With Christmas Pudding

Olly’s wine pairing: The Best Pedro Ximenez (17%, 37.5cl) £6.50 Morrisons

Serve this sticky, sweet wine nice and cold with your Christmas pudding. This sherry is an echo of sweet, sumptuous dried fruit in liquid form, and a wine that instantly spreads good cheer!


Olly’s wine pairing: Taylor’s First Estate Reserve Port (20%) £8.50 (on offer until 01/01), Asda

Gorgeous, sweet, luscious port like this is a must for Christmas with your Stilton – or try pouring it alongside a few squares of dark chocolate. Deep, rich and spicy, it’s like mulled wine’s fruity cousin.


Olly’s wine pairing: Taste the Difference Spiced Ginger Biscuit Flavour Irish Cream Liqueur (15%, 700ml) £9 (on offer until 31/12) Sainsbury’s

Gorgeous for a festive tipple, this is a lovely lavish treat, with generous creaminess and all the sweetness you could wish for.

Formidable Fizz

Olly’s wine pairing: Specially Selected Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Extra Dry DOCG (11%) £7.99 Aldi

The key words on the label here are ‘Extra Dry’, which actually mean that this prosecco feels a little fruitier and sweeter than one which says ‘Brut’. It’s also DOCG, which means it’s top quality prosecco. All that for under ten quid? Wonderful!

Formidable Fizz

Olly’s wine pairing: Taste the Difference Pignoletto Vino Spumante Brut NV (11%) £9 Sainsbury’s

I can’t resist the cascade this bubbly brings. A lovely alternative to prosecco from Italy, this Pignoletto is brisk, pristine and great fun froth for a party.

Formidable Fizz

Olly’s wine pairing: Specially Selected Crémant de Bordeaux Rosé (12.5%) £9.49 Aldi

A terrific crowd-pleaser reminding me of strawberries, with a faint haze of icing sugar. A jolly pink bubbly of decent quality for under ten quid.

Formidable Fizz

Olly’s wine pairing: Sweet Asti Spumante DOCG 2021 (7%) £5.75 Tesco

This is frothy, exuberant Italian fun that has a similar fragrance to elderflower, with a bit of exotic lychee sherbet to it. Serve chilled from the fridge in white wine glasses. A treat with desserts this Christmas – even Christmas pud!

Formidable Fizz

Olly’s wine pairing: Étoile de Timberlay Crémant de Bordeaux Brut NV (12%) £10 M&S

Top notch bubbly – with fruity vitality and lavish satin bubbles – that reminds me of fizz costing twice the price.

Wondrous Whites

Olly’s wine pairing: Soave Classico 2021 (12.5%) £7.99 Waitrose

This white has the flair of a pineapple and satsuma dancing the tango, from vines between 60 and 70 years old grown in volcanic Italian soil. Solid quality for the right price.

Wondrous Whites

Olly’s wine pairing: Ferdinand Mayr Exklusiv Grüner Veltliner 2021 (12.5%) £8.25 The Wine Society 

What a stunner! Immense vitality, a tangerine dream of a wine with zesty freshness and the pristine appeal of a gleaming, frosty Alp. If you’re a dry-white wine fan, give this Austrian Grüner a go!

Wondrous Whites

Olly’s wine pairing: Paul Mas Clairette du Languedoc 2021, 12.5%, £8.50 Co-op

Packed with nerve and verve, this has a great, fleshy style wrapped up with a bright citrus attack and a saline finish. A real belter for Christmas prawns or other festive shellfish dishes.

Wondrous Whites

Olly’s wine pairing: Finest Viña del Rey Albariño 2021 (12.5%) £9.50 Tesco

A fruity and bright dazzler from north-western Spain. Breezy and fresh as a day at the beach, it’s lavishly light and refreshing, just what you want with shellfish this Christmas.


Olly’s wine pairing: L’Escarpe Coteaux d’Aix Rosé 2017 (13%) £7 (on offer until 25/12) Morrisons

This is a classy southern French rosé to pair with shellfish or sip as an aperitif this Christmas season. The bottle looks the part and the blend inside lives up to the mark – it’s crisp, fulsome and delectable. A little bit of pink magic from Morrisons.

Ale & Hearty

Olly’s wine pairing: Two Tribes Dream Factory Pale Ale (4.4%, 330ml) £1.76 (on offer until 01/01) Waitrose. 

Hoppy bright beer that has a beautiful balance of tropical-citrus flavours. Made in London, this pale ale is the very definition of modern brewing in all its magnificence.

Low Alcohol Beer

Olly’s wine pairing: Estrella Galicia 0.0% £9.60 (per case of 12 x 330ml) Majestic

I buy this and drink it midweek. It tastes superrefreshing, and served cold from the fridge it always hits the spot.

Bargains for just over £10

Olly’s wine pairing: Tokaji Aszu 5 Puttonyos 2014 (9.5%) £12.99 Lidl

This orangey sweet Hungarian gem is spot on to serve fridgecold with your Stilton this Christmas. The sweet contrasts beautifully with the saltiness of the cheese and it’s one of life’s greatest pleasures!

Bargains for just over £10

Olly’s wine pairing: Champagne Carpentier Brut (12.5%) £13.99 Lidl

What a delicious wine! Terrific round almond richness is the key to matching across the range of Christmas flavours, and this is the best champagne I’ve tasted all year for under £15.

This article was originally published in the Mail on Sunday on Sunday 18th December 2022.

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