Christmas parties need quality fizz—

Today, the first door of your Advent calendar swings open and it’s officially OK to refer openly to Christmas – and that means parties. To slake the thirst of your festive throng, you need good value and good quality.

Fizz is mandatory and I’m finding consistency from Spanish Cava this year. Made from local grape varieties in the same way as Champagne, Cava is available for under a tenner – you can even find vintage bottles at this price.

Bulgaria is back and I’ve found a terrific Merlot from Tesco to quaff with party bites. And while Vermentino may not be the white grape that’s on the tip of your lips, make it so – it’s a zinger from the South of France that’s a perfect alternative to Sauvignon Blanc. As for where to buy, this week I’m picking two wines from the Co-op, whose range is currently excellent. Grab both.


LET’S GET THIS PARTY STARTED: Bulgarian Merlot 2018 (13.5%) £4.50 Tesco. Sleek and gluggable, good value party red.

SOUTHERN BELLE: Voyage au Sud Vermentino 2018 (12.5%) £5.99 Waitrose. An apple wreathed in sea spray! Vibrant refreshing white from France.

WHAT A CAVA-UP! Exquisite Collection Vintage Cava 2016 (11.5%) £6.49 Aldi. Great zing and richness to pair with party bites – stunning value.

HUNGARY LIKE THE WOLF: Is this it? Pinot Blanc 2018 (12%) £6.50 Co-op. Ace Hungarian thriller that’s peachy and mineral-pure.


Porta Seis Red 2018 (13.5%) £6.15 Co-op. Fruity, plump and juicy, this red Portuguese gem is utterly scrumptious.

This column was originally published in EVENT Magazine, Mail on Sunday, 1st December 2019