Last-minute budget treats—

Olly Smith writes for Event, Mail on Sunday - 22nd Dec 2019

The big day is nearly upon us and there’s still time to nab treats without blowing the budget. I’m a big fan of south-west France for reliable co-operative wine producers such as Plaimont Producteurs – try its zesty white ‘La Petite Plume’ 2018 from Sainsbury’s for £8, with just 9% alcohol.

You can find decent vintage Cava for under a tenner, and for a few sheets more there’s good Champagne at Aldi. For a huge fruity white, my pick from Majestic was described by Rick Stein as ‘Soave on steroids’ when I poured him a glass. Thanks to air-drying the grapes you get maximum tastiness.

But to stretch your pennies further, buy sherry. My wine of the week is aged for up to 12 years in a solera system of American oak. Serve it chilled with Christmas pud and roar with glee because you’ve just won booze bingo.


MISTLETOE AND (RED) WINE: Cellier des Dauphins Reserve 2018 (13.5%) £9.59 Platinum award-winning red for under a tenner? Sensational!

WHITE CHRISTMAS: Pasqua Passimento Bianco 2018 (13%) £9.99* Majestic. Air-drying grapes intensifies this peach of a bargain. *Mix Six price

SHERRY XMAS EVERYBODY: No 1 Solera Jerezana Rich Cream (20%) £11.99 Waitrose. Intense as a mince pie powered by Elon Musk’s mind.

THE FIZZ NOEL: Veuve Monsigny Rosé  (12.5%) £16.99 Aldi. Gold medal winning quality for this real deal fizz. Wade in deep.


Irresistible PX Sherry (17%) £6 Co-Op. Liquid Christmas pudding, chill to pair with dessert on 25th and rejoice!

This column was originally published in EVENT Magazine, Mail on Sunday, 22nd December 2019