The Chronicle

RAISE A GLASS

- WITH JANE CLARE Food · Alcoholic Drinks · Recreation · Wine · Italy · South Africa · Tesco · Spain

WELL hello fes­tive count­down. It doesn’t seem two min­utes since we were last here, you and me. Not much has hap­pened since we last met. Nope, it’s been an un­event­ful year.

Ah. If only that was true. What a strange year. And who knows what Christ­mas will look like? But yes, we will en­joy it no mat­ter what!

Here are my pick of fit­ting fes­tive wines I’ve tasted for your ben­e­fit.

To start, here’s a se­lec­tion of white wines un­der £10.

All of th­ese will be great with a clas­sic sal­mon starter, or a plump prawn cock­tail, spritzed with en­thu­si­as­tic squeezes of lemon.

My first is The So­ci­ety’s Hunter Val­ley Semil­lon 2020 (£8.95, The Wine So­ci­ety), right.

The Hunter Val­ley re­gion is home to fas­ci­nat­ing semil­lon wines which age won­der­fully. This young ver­sion is al­most wa­ter-white in colour, with a zing of lemon and lime fresh­ness which will keep you re­freshed through­out your meal. It’s a sub­tle de­light.

A quick hop to Italy now, cour­tesy of Lidl. A bot­tle of Gavi DOCG (£6.69, Lidl) of­ten finds its way into my shopping bas­ket as I head

to the check-outs. And why not, I say, as a DOCG wine is an in­di­ca­tor of a qual­ity wine re­gion, and this Gavi is a lovely dry Ital­ian white, crisp with lemon fresh­ness.

I loved nose-dip­ping into this next wine, to breathe in the aro­mas. Dour­the Ter­roirs d’Ex­cep­tion Ro­que­blanche Bordeaux Blanc (£9.49, Waitrose) is a de­light­ful sauvi­gnon blanc. Yes there’s lemon, yes there’s an airy flo­ral note, and yes there’s a de­light of sub­tle stone fruit. It’s a glass of class for un­der a ten­ner.

Talk­ing of sauvi­gnon blanc, if you like it, the Co-op’s Fair­trade Ir­re­sistible Sauvi­gnon Blanc is a smash at only £6. As it’s a Fair­trade wine, this par­tic­u­lar one helps fund af­ter-school clubs, in­clud­ing a karate club which is help­ing to take chil­dren away from

is­sues of drug abuse in South Africa. The wine hits the spot for lovers of Savvy B, with ap­ple notes, pears and a touch of trop­i­cal fruit.

I’ve taken to “dic­tat­ing” my wine notes. And here are the words I spoke into my phone, breath­lessly, about Tesco Finest Vinas del Rey Al­bar­iño 2019 (£8.50), be­low.

I said: “I so Iove al­bar­iño. This has apri­cots and honey­suckle and zesty lemon on the nose. In the mouth it has an awak­en­ing of acid­ity and cit­rus and grape­fruit. Its ab­so­lutely di­vine”.

This al­bar­iño, from Spain’s Rías Baixas re­gion, not far from the At­lantic coast, is so tasty with seafood and is in a 25% off deal, if buy­ing six wines or more, un­til Dec 1.

A wine to lift your palate af­ter a few days of feast­ing is def­i­nitely this one: Traboc­chetto Pecorino (£9.90, online at The Bot­tle Club). This wine is up­right and proud of its back­bone of acid­ity, its mouth­wa­ter­ing river of zest, which weaves in and out of lemon and lime and ripe white peach.

Like all my choices in this £10 and un­der se­lec­tion, this wine will greet seafood with open arms; or it can hap­pily be your lively com­pan­ion in a fes­tive Zoom quiz.

Next week... white wines over £10.

Find Jane on so­cial me­dia and online as One Foot in the Grapes. Email jane@one­footinthe­grapes.co.uk

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