Which Christmas wines are the experts opening?

We all deserve to celebrate this Christmas with a bottle of something special. We asked ten wine experts, shop owners, restauranteurs and sommeliers to name the festive wines they're lining up for the big day

Words by Louella Berryman

christmas wine

The festive period has truly arrived and with it, plenty of occasions to crack open a bottle of something special. Raising a glass with loved ones feels like something we all need this Christmas. With this in mind, we asked ten wine experts to pluck out one wine that’s set to impress guests.

We’ve gathered recommendations from sommeliers, restaurant and shop owners and IWSC judges for wines to pour out and share on the big day. In our list you’ll find the perfect New World Burgundy to pair with your turkey, luxurious fizz and even an extra-special bottle of Madeira for cheese and mince pies.

christmas wines
Set your Christmas table with a Pinot Noir perfectly-paired with the turkey centrepiece

Whether you’re planning a small soirée or a big family bash, these top wines are fit for the season and are to be enjoyed with plenty of festive cheer.

10 festive wines to crack open this Christmas

Blanc d'Assemblage, Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir

Champagne Chavost, Blanc d’Assemblage 2017

‘Christmas is all about friends and family, catching up with people and socialising. What better to drink than sparkling? It’s the perfect ice breaker for people you’ve not seen for a while and is the universal drink to kick off celebrations.

‘While Champagne might not be your first thought when it comes to natural wine, Chavost is doing everything right and it shows. The Blanc d’Assemblage has the perfect balance of body and red-fruit aroma from the Pinot, and heaps of lactic, buttery notes from the Chardonnay. All are fermented in stainless steel without the use of added sulphites.’


Felton Road, Bannockburn Pinot Noir 2021

‘The answer to your Christmas dinner pairing prayers is New World Burgundy. This particular Pinot Noir was one of the first to rival Burgundy in Grand Cru status (thanks to Jancis Robinson… ). It’s full of unbeatable Central Otago flavour, poised fruit, silky texture and soft seductive tannins. It’s honestly unbeatable and a quarter of the price of your usual red Burgundy.

d oliveiras malvazia 2000

D’Oliveiras Colheita Malvazia 2000

  • £107, The Whisky Exchange
  • Alistair Cooper MW, IWSC judge, wine educator, consultant and writer

‘I am partial to a mince pie or two, and one of my highlights is also the cheeseboard, at which I am often found grazing over the Christmas period. A wine that goes with both options (and is one of my favourite wines of all time) is Madeira. This Christmas I will be opening the beautiful d’Oliveiras Colheita Malvazia 2000. The nutty, toffee- and clove-infused aromas just scream ‘Christmas’ for me. The sweetness and acidity of the wine is the perfect foil for salty cheese and sweet mince pies, cleansing your palate and leaving an extraordinarily long finish with dried fruits and walnut richness. I can’t wait to dig in.’

La Cese, Collecapretta

Collecapretta, La Cese 2019

‘This wine is a perfect post-dinner tipple and has been a staple in the shop at Peckham Cellars all autumn. It has a concentrated, deep, dark cherry core that jumps out the glass and a floral lick that adds a delicate, flirtatious touch. The old oak and expert low-intervention winemaking bring just the right amount of spice and earth into the mix. The line between classic and natural is straddled so comfortably that Le Cese can be enjoyed with your nan or with friends (once nan falls asleep…).’

Le Petit Beaufort Brut Natur Vin Effervescent, Burgundy

Domaine Alice et Quentin Beaufort, Le Petit Beaufort Brut 2017

‘My go-to fizz at any occasion, but a real winner at Christmas. Sourced from the very northern part of Burgundy, this delicious, slightly rose-tinted Pinot Noir and Pinot Blanc blend from maverick winemakers Alice and Quentin Beaufort, drinks just as great on its own as it does with the full Christmas spread.’

christmas wine daylight upon magic chardonnay 2020 gutter and stars

Daylight Upon Magic Chardonnay, Gutter & Stars 2020

  • £27, Gutter & Stars
  • Roger Jones, retired Michelin Star Chef, wine writer and IWSC judge

‘I will be treating my family to a very special English still wine: Daylight Upon Magic Chardonnay 2020 from Gutter & Stars. This profound Chablis-like Chardonnay has the precision to go with the Pembroke lobster we will have as a starter. Made by Chris Wilson, with grapes sourced from the Missing Gate Vineyard in Essex’s sun-kissed Crouch Valley from young vines planted in 2018, this is an exceptional wine.’

Parparoussis, Nemea Reserve 2013

Parparoussis, Nemea Reserve 2013

‘Parparoussis is second to none in his artisanal winemaking approach. His top cuvée Nemea Reserve is released after five years and only in great vintages (with an average of just three years in a decade). This bottle displays a sublime expression of cherries and figs and plenty of perfume with wild mountain flower aromas. It has a fine-textured palate with silky tannins, enhanced by underlying mineral freshness, with a long complex finish. Enjoy with Christmas duck with cranberry sauce, or Vacherin Mont d’Or cheese layered with sweet chutney.’

christmas wine jean marc sélèque solessence

Jean-Marc Sélèque, Solessence, Extra Brut NV

  • £36, Bubbleshop
  • Sandia Chang, sommelier and owner of Bubbleshop, London

‘Jean Marc is a rising star in the world of grower Champagnes, and this wine would be my top pick for Christmas. It’s the perfect Champagne to pair with festive food because it has just enough ripe fruit and is balanced with acidity – it’s like fresh snowdrops. It’s also a great wine to share with friends because it’s approachable yet surprising.’

Dopff au Moulin, Gewurztraminer Grand Cru Brand de Turckheim 2018

Dopff au Moulin, Gewurztraminer Grand Cru Brand de Turckheim 2018

‘This fine example of Alsace excellence displays exuberance and an intense combination of lychee, rose petal ginger, and roasted pineapple. The palate is off dry with great balance and juiciness, making it a great pairing for lean meats like roast turkey or perhaps roast ham or sausages. Its complexity can also stand up to richer meats like duck, or perhaps spiced dishes for an alternative Christmas dinner table.’

hattingley valley still pinot noir 2020

Hattingley Valley Pinot Noir 2020

‘This year, I will be sharing a very special red wine of which only 2000 bottles were made. Hattingley’s first ever still Pinot Noir is a perfect, turkey-with-all-the-trimmings wine. Light enough to keep you from falling asleep by the cheese course, it’s an elegant, beautifully balanced Pinot with notes of blackcurrant and cherry spice. Made in such a tricky year for the world, but with all that glorious lockdown sunshine, it feels fitting to choose this while toasting to better times.’