I love Christmas! Everything from silly jumpers to Christmas carols to mince pies with brandy butter – but one of the things I really enjoy is the Christmas Quiz Party that we host between Christmas and New Year for our friends and neighbours. My quizzes are famously tricky but at least the food and wine are good. So if you’re having a party, do the same as me and serve these Extra Special tasty wines – fantastic quality for a fiver.

Perfect wines for your Christmas party

Extra Special Pinot Grigio £5
Britain loves Pinot Grigio, and why not? When it’s good it’s appley and refreshing, and really good PG from the Trentino region of Northern Italy (where Extra Special comes from) is a cool and classy wine and the Ultimate Party White.

Extra Special Chardonnay £5
Did you know? Chardonnay is the new Chardonnay (or even Pinot Grigio). Seems we’re drinking more Chardy these days and that’s because the style has changed – no more toasty, oaky flavours (that make you think a block of wood has been dropped into the bottle), now Chardonnay is light and fresh, more single cream than crème brûlée. Love this French wine with mini Kievs or smoked salmon, dim sum or oriental style prawns – delicious!

Extra Special Old Vines Garnacha £5
A Spanish wonder which has won awards (two Silvers and a Bronze) and that I think is a stonking star for parties. It’s incredibly fruity and juicy and rich, a new best friend to mini steak pies or chilli beef.

Extra Special Nero d’Avola £5
If you haven’t discovered the wines of Sicily, just give this Silver Medal winning red a go – packed with sunshiney flavours and cherry fruit it’s made from a great local grape variety that makes a tasty match to the festive ham.

Visit the Asda Wine Shop.

Posted by Philippa on 20 December 2013

Don’t miss the deadline! Today is your last chance to order for free Christmas delivery from Asda’s Wine Shop. Or you can leave it a little later and choose to Click & Collect your wine for free from Asda stores until 5pm on 22 December.

Why not save time and pick one of our pre-mixed cases for fuss-free shopping? Here’s two cases that are perfect for Christmas and I’ve included food matches for each:

French Classic Mixed Case of Six Wines £55.58
A bottle from some of the classic regions.

French Classic Mixed Case

Smoked Salmon or Turkey White: Jean-Yves Devevey Rully Blanc 2009
Cheese or Beef Red: Chateau Bois Perthuis Bordeaux 2011
Turkey Red: Jean-Luc Colombo Cotes Du Rhone Bonne Roche 2010
Duck Red: Duboeuf Fleurie Flower Label 2011
Seafood White: Seguin Pouilly Fume 2011
Soft Cheeses White: Vincent Careme Vouvray Spring Sec 2012

Taste Discovery Mixed Case of Six Wines £45.14
Six wines and six countries – wine is such a great way to travel.

Taste Discovery Mixed Case

Boxing Day Buffet Red: Duboeuf Fleurie Flower Label 2011
Duck Red: Trivento Reserve Pinot Noir 2012
Turkey Red: Errazuriz Estate Merlot 2011
Seafood White: Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2012
Boxing Day Buffet White: Heartland Stickleback White 2011
Turkey White: Zalze Chenin Blanc 2012

Visit the Asda Wine Shop.

Posted by Philippa on 19 December 2013

I think it would be really unfair to the Christmas Pudding (and the mince pies and the trifle and the chocolate dessert, for that matter) to leave it out of this whole food matching thing. So here are some luscious lovelies to pair with puddings.

Sensational sweeties

Extra Special Moscatel 75cl £4.50
Sweet but light and tasting festively of oranges, this is the Muscat grape from Spain. Chill until it’s really cold and sip with Christmas pudding or chocolate gateau. Yum!

Ginestet Sauternes 50cl £9
The French drink Sauternes so cold it has slivers of ice in the glass, so be bold with the chilling. Perfect with puddings, but do you know what? This is completely amazing with blue cheese (especially Roquefort). Trust me – it’s a flavour combination that could change your life (or at least your cheese course).

Moncucco Moscato d’Asti 50cl £7.97
Fun, fresh, grapey and delicious. Trifle? Fruit desserts? Sorted.

Visit the Asda Wine Shop.

Posted by Philippa on 18 December 2013

No pressure, everyone, but we all seem to think that Christmas lunch is a really important occasion and getting the wine right counts – we want something special and it has to please everyone. So to de-stress the situation and let you get on with the cracker-pulling, mince pie munching, ho-ho-ho-ing fun, here are my recommendations for awesome reds!

Awesome reds for Christmas lunch

Brilliant Bargain Turkey Red

Extra Special Barbera d’Asti £5
What more can I say about this fabulously smooth, wonderfully fruity Italian red that is just so perfect with turkey? As Brucey would say, Extra Special Barbera you are my new favourite!

Perfect Pinot Noirs for Duck or Goose

Extra Special New Zealand Pinot Noir £9.50
Silky smooth, supple and sexy – Wither Hills winery has done us proud.

Cono Sur 20 Barrels Pinot Noir £16.97
This is seriously good – gorgeous chocolate flavours and a velvety smooth revelation. Love it with duck, goose, lamb or even pork. And a posh choice for turkey, too. How good is that?

Best for Beef

Casillero del Diablo Cabernet Sauvignon £5
What a star! Rich, blackcurranty, just enough tannin, fantastic quality and awesome value. If you like Bordeaux but crave something fruitier here is the wine for you.

Christmas Claret

Chateau Gazin Roquencourt Bordeaux 2009 £25
For the committed Bordeaux buddies amongst you, there is nothing to compare to a really, really fine claret at Christmas and this wine is truly stunning. Here’s a bit of background: this is a classic Cabernet based red from Pessac Leognan in the Graves region (the same appellation as First Growth Chateau Haut-Brion) and from the fabulous 2009 vintage. Fruit, spice, balance… sensational!

Visit the Asda Wine Shop.

Posted by Philippa on 17 December 2013
Philippa's Wine Blog

Some families launch straight into the main course and others fancy something fishy first – we’re definitely a ‘starters’ kind of family, so here are some white wines which go great with first courses, but would be just as tasty with chicken, pasta and the roast turkey!

White wines to go with Christmas lunch

Cracking Chardonnay: De Bortoli Family Selection Chardonnay £5
Family owned and quality obsessed, De Bortoli is a great Australian producer and I just love the fresh cream flavours of this Chardonnay. If you think Aussie Chardy is all about forests of oak in the bottle, think again as this wine is all about peachy flavours and crisp acidity. Brilliant match to lots of different starters, salads, pasta and fish. Oh, and turkey too!

Stunning Sauvie: Marlborough Sun £7
Seriously good Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc that doesn’t take itself too seriously (just check out the label!). Tastes of asparagus but isn’t too out there and pungent. Properly poised and a really lovely style. Goes great with grilled goat’s cheese, seafood and just as a refreshing on its own.

Incredibly Smooth White: Extra Special Gavi £6
How can a wine be smooth and fresh at the same time? By being a really great Gavi and tasting amazingly of mandarins and limes – sort of a lemon meringue pie in a glass. Dry and lively and brilliantly food-friendly. Partner with seafood, fish or smoked salmon.

Iconic New Zealand: Cloudy Bay £19.75
Here it is, probably the most famous New Zealand Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc and the wine which really launched the country as a major player. Find out what all the rave reviews are about and treat yourself to a bottle. Perfect with all fishy starters.

Sheer Indulgence: Domaine Sylvain Loichet Pernand Vergelesses Blanc £17.95
Fabulous example of white Burgundy, the classic home of Chardonnay, aged in French oak barriques which gives the wine a gorgeously nutty, spicy flavour. Fruit balanced perfectly by acidity with a wonderful richness, this is the ultimate smoked salmon experience.

Visit the Asda Wine Shop.

Posted in Philippa's Wine Blog on 16 December 2013