The Wine Drinker’s Guide to Christmas

There’s nothing better than spending time with family and friends during the festive season and unwinding or celebrating with a glass of your favourite tipple in hand. With some wine sales increasing as much as 76% over the last five years, it’s not surprising that Christmas is one of the busiest times of the year for wine makers and the retailers that sell their produce.

If, like millions across the country, you’re hosting a get together this Christmas, chances are you’ve already started organising and deciding what to make sure you’ve got stocked in your cupboards or wine cooler, ahead of your visit from family and friends. If you haven’t though, don’t fret! There’s still plenty of time to hit the shops to pick up some bottles and perhaps even make your guests a cool festive treat.

Best Buys

With so much choice available, it can sometimes be hard to decide which wines might be perfect for your guests. Blossom Hill and Echo Falls are two of the best value ranges out there, with a great selection of white, rose and red wines for every palate. You can find both brands in all major supermarkets, with prices starting at around £5.25 a bottle.

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For those who don’t drink, are underage or are the designated drivers over the festive period, there’s also an impressive selection of non-alcoholic wines available. One of the most popular is elderflower, as it has a fresh and fruity taste and is perfect for those who still want to raise a wine glass and join in any toasts or speeches.

Get Fancy with the Festive Fizz

If you want to really impress your guests, why not serve them prosecco and strawberry lollies? Not only do they offer an alternative to the usual glass of wine, but they’re also really refreshing – perfect for those evenings when you’re feeling frazzled after a long day – and take just 15 minutes to make. Here’s what you’ll need, together with a step-by-step guide.

Ingredients:

400g ripe strawberries with the stalks removed

2 tablespoons of caster sugar

2 teaspoons of elderflower cordial

2 teaspoons of lemon juice

200ml chilled prosecco

First, whizz the strawberries in a food processor together with the caster sugar, cordial and lemon juice. Once thoroughly blended, pass through a sieve into a jug, then stir in the prosecco.

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Pour the mix into ice lolly moulds, making sure to leave ½ cm gap to allow for expansion as the lollies set.

Place the lollies in the freezer for one hour until each is solid enough to support a lolly stick. Carefully push a stick about ¾ of the way into each mould and then freeze for a further six to eight hours, until the lollies are solid.

When serving, pull each lolly out of its mould by the stick. Serve straight away or with a bowl/napkin to catch any drips.

No matter which type of wine you enjoy this festive period, you and your guests are sure to find one you like, so fill up your glasses, enjoy the company you’re with and have a fantastic Christmas!

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