BIG list of best value Christmas drinks: Wine, spirits & more
Roll up! Roll up! It’s Penny’s guide to the best bargain booze for Christmas 2019. Whether you’re throwing a house party, serving up turkey and all the trimmings, or having a quiet tipple and a mince pie, there’s something delicious and not-too expensive here for you.
This guide includes some great wines priced between £4.50 and £15.00, port and other fortified wines, spirits and liqueurs to add to your supermarket basket. I’ve also included a section for award winning non-alcoholic drinks so you can include all your guests in the festivities.
[PG Tip: Want to choose a red wine to go with turkey? Traditional medium bodied favourites include Châteauneuf-du-pape, Côtes du Rhone villages and burgundy, or try a mature rioja or new world pinot noir.]
Red wines under £6.00
Easy drinkers for relaxed dining, and cost-effective party wines to buy in bulk.
- ASDA Extra Special Fairtrade Pinotage, £5.00 and in buy 6 get 25% off. IWSC silver medal 91/100, Decanter bronze. Rich medium bodied red with berry fruits, spice and silky tannins. Try with roast vegetables, mushroom dishes, pork or roast duck.
- Tesco Chianti 2017, £5.25. IWC Great Value Red under £8 (silver medal 91/100). A classic chianti with cherry and blueberry flavours and a long, silky finish. Pair with roast lamb, game, salami or crostini.
- Lidl Winemaker’s Selection Fairtrade Paarl Shiraz, £5.49 in store only. IWSC gold medal 95/100. Spicy and rich and juicy with black fruit, meaty flavours, savoury spices and fine oak. Serve with strong cheeses, spicy snacks such as chorizo, beef or lamb.
- Iceland Rabo De Galo, £5.95. Which? Magazine joint 4th place 74/100. A great bargain, oak aged with red fruits and spices. Try with pork or tomato based dishes.
- Lidl Winemaker’s Selection Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon, £5.99 in store only. Which Magazine joint 4th place. Easy drinking with blackberry and blackcurrant notes. Serve with turkey, goose or lamb.
- Aldi, Exquisite Collection Malbec, £5.99. Decanter silver medal 90/100, IWSC silver, IWC bronze. Medium bodied smooth red with ripe black fruit. Serve with grilled meats, pasta, spicy dishes, baked aubergines, and cheddar cheese.
Red wines £6.00 – £7.99
Plenty of special offers in this category right now, so it pays to shop around.
- ASDA Extra Special Barossa Shiraz, was £7.00 now £6.00. IWSC silver 91/100, Decanter bronze. Full bodied rich red with tar and barbecue notes, crushed pepper and dark fruits. Goes with casseroles, roast meats and spicy dishes.
- Morrisons The Best (Wm) Cabernet Sauvignon, RRP £7.25, now £6.00. Decanter silver 92/100. Crushed raspberry, plum and prune, liquorice and oak notes. Well made, with grippy tannins. Serve with cheddar, blue cheese, mushroom dishes, lamb or beef.
- Morrisons The Best Primitivo, was £7.50 now £6.50. IWSC silver 92/100. Smooth easy drinker with juicy blackberry, plum, creamy tannins a long balanced finish with wood spices. Serve with meats or pasta.
- Iron Horse Barossa Valley Shiraz at Aldi, £6.99. Decanter silver medal 91/100, IWC commended. Full and rich, with some smooth oak notes and jammy fruit flavours. Serve with beef.
- Tesco Finest Chianti Classico, was £8.00 now £7.00. IWSC silver 93/100 points. Well balanced medium bodied red with cherries, plums and spices, ripe tannins and long, intense finish. Pair with roast lamb, game, salami or crostini.
- Co-op Irresistible Organic Fairtrade Malbec, £7.50, buy online. Which? Magazine joint 2nd prize 77/100. Full bodied Chilean red with plum, cherry and jam notes. Goes with lamb, beef casserole or mushroom dishes.
Red wines £8.00 and over
Wines to serve at the Christmas dinner table, or with a cheese board.
- Morrisons The Best Uco Valley Malbec, was £10.00 now £8.00. IWSC silver medal 91/100. Flavourful full bodied red with blueberry and bramble fruit. Pair with roast beef or steak.
- Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Rioja Reserva, £9.00. Which? Magazine winner 78/100. Well-aged, spice, vanilla, cherry and black fruit notes notes, good body. Goes with lamb or turkey & trimmings.
- Co-op Zalze Fairtrade Cabernet Sauvignon, £9.00. Decanter silver 92/100. A rich wine with plenty of black berry fruit, backbone and complexity. Serve with cheddar, blue cheese, mushroom dishes, lamb or beef.
- Tesco Finest Barossa Shiraz, £10.00. IWSC silver 92/100. Plum, cherry and blackcurrant flavours, with vanilla and spicy black pepper. Serve with red meat.
- Co-op Marqués de Valido Rioja Gran Reserva, £11.00. Decanter silver 90/100. Ripe red and black fruit aromas and spicy oak notes. Serve with pork, lamb, pheasant or cheese.
- Asda Perdriel Centenario, RRP £13.00 now £11.00. Decanter gold medal 95/100. Floral and dark fruit aromatics, spices, coffee notes, savoury, juicy and vibrant. Blend of malbec, cabernet sauvignon and merlot aged 14 months in French oak barrels. Pair with roast lamb or beef, patés or spicy meats.
- Morrisons The Best Marques de Los Rios Rioja Gran Reserva, 2012, £12.00 reduced to £11.00. IWC Great Value Red between £8 and £12 (gold medal 95/100). Full bodied with spices, damson fruit, strawberry, vanilla and some tannin. Serve with lamb, or turkey and trimmings.
- ASDA Extra Special Barolo, RRP £16.75 now £15.00 and in buy 6 get 25% off. Decanter silver 92/100, IWC silver, Decanter bronze. Full bodied red wine with herbal notes and ripe cherry flavours. Try with venison, roast lamb and stews.
[PG Tip: Are you looking for a white wine to go with turkey? Pick a full bodied white such as an oaked chardonnay or white burgundy.]
White wines under £6.00
These will all work as party wines, for serving with nibbles or larger snacks.
- Morrisons Pinot Grigio, £4.50. IWSC silver medal 92/100. Pear, apple and grapefruit with a mineral finish. Serve with seafood, white fish or antipasti.
- Morrisons Chardonnay, £4.50. Decanter silver 92/100. Great value dry white with peach and citrus fruit and fresh acidity. Serve with creamy pasta, roast chicken or turkey.
- Asda The Wine Atlas Feteasca Regala, £5.25 and in buy 6 get 25% off. Decanter gold medal 95/100, IWSC bronze, IWC bronze. Romanian dry white, melon and citrus on the palate, uplifting acidity. Serve with Thai canapes or spicy stir fries. < PENNY’S PICK, bit of a bargain!
- Aldi Exquisite Collection Leyda Sauvignon Blanc, £5.49. Quality Drink Award, and IWC silver. Dry, crisp and refreshing, with grass, green apple and pineapple aromas, zesty acidity and creamy body. Serve with seabass, crab or shellfish.
White wines £6.00 – £7.99
- Asda Côtes du Rhône Vin Blanc, was £7.00, now £6.00 and in buy 6 get 25% off. Quality Drink Awards silver, IWC bronze, IWSC bronze. Apricot, peach and fresh floral notes. Try with roast chicken or fish.
- Lidl Winemaker’s Selection Clare Valley Riesling, £6.99 in store only. IWSC silver 92/100. Light and fresh with like and tropical notes. Try with fish dishes.
- Aldi Exquisite Collection Clare Valley Riesling 2017, £6.99, buy online or in store. IWC Great Value White under £8 (silver 92/100), IWSC silver 92/100. Lime, orange and floral notes with brisk acidity and a mineral finish. Drink with savoury snacks or light meals.
- Aldi Timestone South African White Rhône Blend, £6.99. IWSC silver 92/100. An elegant, balanced wine with peaches, apples and pears, refreshing acidity and a minerally finish. Try with lightly spicy food such as thai canapes, or a cheese board.
- Asda Saint-Chinian Grenache Blanc, was £8.00 now £7.00 and in buy six get 25% off. IWC silver, Quality Drink Award, IWSC bronze, Decanter bronze. Fresh, with notes of white peaches and citrus fruits. Pair with chicken or turkey.
- Waitrose Cowrie Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2018, £7.49. IWC Great Value Champion White 2019 (overall winner), IWC Great Value White under £8 (silver medal 93/100), Decanter Bronze. Complex, vegetal notes and passion fruit, creamy texture and bright finish. Try with fish, chicken or lamb. Also at Ocado.
- Sainsbury’s Stellenrust Chenin Blanc, was £8.50, now £7.50 and in buy 6 get 25% off. Decanter silver 91/100. Zesty pineapple, pear and white peach with a refreshing lime acidity. Serve with seafood, smoked salmon, goat cheese or chicken.
White wines over £8.00
Looking for something special for the big day? These might fit the bill.
- Tesco Finest Vire Clesse Chardonnay, £12.00. IWSC silver medal 92/100. Mineral, lean and focused with floral note, citrus blossom, fresh apples, creaminess and a hint of toasted almonds. Goes with poultry, seafood and soft cheese.
- Morrisons The Best Sancerre, was £13.00 now £12.00. Decanter silver 91/100. Crisp fruity wine with stone fruit notes. Serve with white fish or chicken.
- Morrisons The Best Chablis 1er Cru, RRP £15.00, sold out at Morrisons but still available at Amazon Pantry for £14.24 (low stock). The only supermarket wine to win a Decanter Platinum medal 97/100. Notes of fresh almonds, honeyed florals, lemon zest and a lick of cream, succulent, fresh and rounded. Pair with seafood, fish, roast chicken and turkey.
I prefer to make my own from scratch, but these are definitely good if you’re in a hurry.
- Morrisons Mulled Wine, £3.75 for 75cl. Good Housekeeping winner, 88/100. The cheapest and also the tastiest. < BEST VALUE
- Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Mulled Wine, £6.00 for 75cl, reduced to £5.00. Good Housekeeping 2nd prize, 85/100.
- M&S Red Mulled Wine, £4.00 for 75cl, in store only. Good Housekeeping 3rd prize, 84/100.
PORT, SHERRY & DESSERT WINE
In the market for some great value award-winning fortified wines? These are some of the best around.
- Cockburn’s Special Reserve Port, RRP £12.00 currently £8.00 at Ocado and Tesco. Decanter silver medal 93/100. Earthy spicy and herbal aromas, sweet red berry fruit, warm and appealing.
- Morrisons The Best LBV Port, RRP £11.00, now £10.00. Decanter silver 93/100. Ripe berry fruit with intensity, depth and a long finish.
- Morrisons The Best 10 Year Old Tawny Port, Was £12.00 now £10.00. Decanter silver 91/100. Smooth and mellow, with toasted nuts, dried fruits and toffee.
Sherry (dry and sweet)
Drinks & nibbles, or something sweet with dessert? The choice is yours.
- Waitrose Palo Cortado sherry, £11.99 for 75cl. IWC Great Value Champion Fortified 2019, IWC Great Value Fortified between £8 and £12 (gold medal 96/100). Salty and savoury notes of yeast, brioche and roasted cashew.
- Marks & Spencer Very Rare Palo Cortado, NV, £9.00 for 37.5cl, in store only, low stock. IWC Great Value Fortified between £8 and £12 (gold medal 95/100). Dried fruits, orange peel, and a long nutty finish.
- Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference 12-year-old Pedro Ximénez sherry, £8.00 for 50cl. Olive Magazine gold award winner. Sweet and rich, goes with anything chocolatey, mince pies and Christmas pudding.
- Tesco Finest Dessert Semillon 2015, £6.00 for 37.5cl. IWC Great Value Champion Sweet 2019, IWC Great Value Sweet under £8 (silver medal 93/100). Botrytis nose, honeyed sweetness, fresh acidity and a generous finish.
- Aldi De Bortoli Muscat Liqueur Sumptuously Rich Pudding Wine, £8.99 for 37.5cl. IWSC silver 91/100. Very complex and balanced, with sweet creaminess, raisins, caramel and nutty finish. You could serve this with Christmas pudding.
Stock up your drinks cabinet with a few of these bargains…
Brandy & cognac
- Aldi XO 5 Year Old Brandy, £13.99. IWSC silver 93/100. Rich and complex flavour, delicate fruits, vanilla, toffee and nuts, smooth finish.
- Waitrose & Partners No.1 Cognac VSOP, £24.50 for 70cl. ISC double gold medal. Rich and smooth, with flavours of caramelised fruit and sweet vanilla.
- Waitrose & Partners No.1 Armagnac VSOP, £23.00 for 70cl. ISC gold medal. Nicely rounded, smooth and fruity.
- Aldi Topaz Blue Premium Gin, £13.99. Spirits Business Gin Masters (premium category) gold medal, ISC Silver. Small batch London Dry gin with earthy, spicy, fruit driven, full bodied taste. Best served in a gin and tonic.
- Lidl Hortus Artisan London Dry Gin, £15.99 for 70cl, in store only. Spirits Business Gin Masters (London dry category) gold medal, IWSC silver 91/100, ISC silver. Fresh citrus and green herbaceous notes, resin, orris, juniper and coriander.
- Aldi Harrison Gin, £15.99 for 70cl. Spirits Business Gin Masters (standard category) gold medal, ISC bronze. Crisp and smooth with zesty botanicals, floral aromas well balanced with juniper and refreshing cucumber. This one for people who like Hendrick’s.
- ASDA Extra Special Triple Distilled Premium Gin, £16.00 for 70cl. ISC silver medal. Orris, coriander, lemon, orange, angelica and juniper.
- Aldi Greyson’s Seville Orange & Persian Lime Gin, £15.99 for 70cl. Spirits Business Gin Masters (flavoured gin category) master award (top of category), IWSC bronze. Bright, fresh and zesty with a juniper kick. They also have a Spiced Plum & Clementine Gin that’s very festive and was my personal favourite of their gin offerings for Christmas 2019.
- Lidl Hortus Artisan Oriental Spiced Gin, £15.99 for 70cl, in store only. Spirits Business Gin Masters (flavoured gin category) gold medal. Black pepper, cardamom, cloves, and orange peel.
- Asda Extra Special spiced cranberry and clementine gin, £18.00 for 70cl, on offer for £15.00. Olive Magazine silver award winner. Good with Indian tonic water or added to sparkling wine. < PENNY’S PICK
- Lidl Liberté White Rum, £9.99 in store only. Spirits Business Rum Masters (standard rum) silver medal, ISC silver medal. Good for the price and great in cocktails such as daiquiris, rum punch and mojitos.
- Aldi Sea Dog Premium Spiced Rum, £14.99 for 70cl. Spirits Business Rum Masters (spiced category) gold medal, ISC bronze, IWSC bronze. Black spiced rum with notes of sweet vanilla, warming spices, coffee and lime.
- Aldi Crossbones Premium Dark Rum, £14.99 for 70cl. New for Christmas 2019, this is a full bodied dark rum with hints of treacle, baking spices and smoky oak notes. Sip slowly over ice. < PENNY’S PICK
There are some rum liqueurs coming up later too, after we’re done looking at the spirits.
- Lidl Queen Margot 8 Year Blended Scotch Whisky, £12.99 for 70cl, in store only. World Whiskies Awards ‘Best Blended Scotch Whisky under 12 years old’ winner and International Spirits Challenge gold winner, this bargain bottle actually beat Johnnie Walker Black Label.
- Aldi Highland Black Scotch Whisky, was £13.49 now £12.99. IWSC silver 92/100. 8 year old blended whisky. Refined and sophisticated finish, sweet citrus fruits with vanilla and cinnamon.
- Aldi Hogwash Blended Malt Whisky, £14.99 for 70cl. Spirits Business Scotch Whisky Masters (blended category) gold medal. Notes of orange, spice and flowers with cinnamon, toffee apple and baked apple.
- Lidl Ben Bracken Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky, £17.49 for 70cl, in store only. Spirits Business Scotch Whisky Masters (Islay category) gold medal, IWSC gold medal 95/100, ISC silver. Complex, aromatic, sweet and smoky, with a bit of a savoury and sour edge to balance it.
- Tesco Finest Highland Single Malt Whiskey, £25.00 for 70cl. IWSC silver medal 92/100. Aged for 12 years in oak casks giving notes of citrus fruits, plums, crushed almonds and hint of chocolate.
- Aldi Tamova Vodka, £9.99 for 70cl. Spirits Business Vodka Masters (premium category) gold medal, ISC silver medal. Triple distilled, smooth drink.
- Asda (standard) triple distilled vodka, £10.50 for 70cl. ISC double gold medal. French vodka make from molasses with clean crisp finish.
- Co-op Imperial Vodka, £12.50 for 70cl. ISC silver medal. Triple distilled grain spirit.
- Lidl Ignis French Grain Vodka, £13.99 for 70cl in store only. ISC trophy category winner. Premium French quality, soft but well-rounded, leading to a long, slightly spicy finish.
- Aldi Specially Selected Irish Cream Liqueur, was £6.99 for 70cl now £5.99, in stores only. Spirits Business Liqueur Masters (Irish cream liqueur category) gold medal. Made with Irish whiskey. < BEST VALUE
- Tesco Finest Salted Caramel Cream Liqueur, was £12.00 now £10.00 for 70cl. IWSC silver medal, 92/100. Hints of caramel & sea salt in rich double cream with Irish single malt whiskey.
- Aldi Ballycastle Strawberry & Cream Liqueur, £9.99 for 70cl. Spirits Business Liqueur Masters (cream liqueur category) gold medal. Creamy and very, very sweet.
- Lidl Cherry Brandy, £6.99 for 50cl in store only. IWSC gold medal, 95/100. Fruity black cherry with a heavy texture and a tart note.
- Tesco Coconut Rum Liqueur, £8.00 for 70cl. IWSC silver medal 92/100. Intense flavours of coconut milk and flesh, with sweet rum.
- Aldi The Infusionist Passionfruit Gin Liqueur, £9.99 for 50cl. ISC silver, Spirits Business silver. Fruity, rich and medium sweet.
- Aldi The Infusionist Fig, Honey & Cinnamon Rum Liqueur, £9.99 for 50cl. Spirits Business Liqueur Masters (own brand category) master medal / outright winner. Fruity, spicy, sweet and very Christmassy.
- Aldi The Infusionist Caramel & Hazelnut Rum Liqueur, £9.99 for 50cl. Spirits Business Liqueur Masters (own brand category) gold medal. A caramel-heavy after dinner drink or something to add to a grown-up latte.
- Asda Extra Special Grapefruit and Elderflower Gin Liqueur, £10.00 for 50cl. ISC silver. Refreshing light floral and fruity gin.
- Lidl Hortus Pomegranate & Rose Gin Liqueur & Hortus Gingerbread Gin Liqueur, £11.99 each in store only. Both won Spirits Business Liqueur Masters (own brand category) gold medal.
- Lidl Hortus Pink Grapefruit & Elderflower Gin Liqueur & Lidl Hortus Scottish Raspberry Gin Liqueur, £11.99 each in store only. Both won Spirits Business Liqueur Masters (fruit category) silver medal.
It’s been a good year for affordable non-alcoholic drinks, with Asda in particular winning several awards.
- Sainsbury’s Alcohol Free Sparkling Wine, £2.75 for 75cl, Olive Magazine gold award winner. A reliable soft drink to raise a toast with.
- Asda Extra Special Blood Orange and Rosemary Tonic Water and their Extra Special Pink Grapefruit & Peach Tonic Water, was £1.20 for 500ml now £1.00, each won a Quality Food Award.
- Asda Extra Special Lemonade with Sicilian Lemon, was £1.20 for 500ml now £1.00, won a Quality Food Award.
- Asda Extra Special Rhubarb Soda with a Hint of Cardamom and Asda Extra Special Soda Water with a Hint of Sicilian Lemon, was £1.20 for 500ml, now £1.00 each won a Quality Food Award. < PENNY’S PICK.
If you’ve enjoyed reading this bargain beverages article then let me know on social media or in the comments below.
Other Christmas 2019 food & drink guides you might like:
- BIG list of best value Christmas drinks: Champagne, prosecco, cava & other sparkling wines
- BIG list of best value Christmas food: Smoked salmon, party food, turkey & alternatives
- BIG list of best value Christmas food: Christmas puddings, showstopper desserts & sweets
- BIG list of best value Christmas food: Mince pies, Christmas cake & alternatives