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Top tipples to try over Christmas

By Richard at Great Grog

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There are some fantastic wines to enjoy over the festive period.
There are some fantastic wines to enjoy over the festive period.

If memory serves me, and sadly these days it often doesn’t, it is now 20 years since Great Grog came into being.

There have been some perceptible shifts in drinking habits over the course of this last year.

However, I think that the shifts have been smaller than in previous years.

I think that wine has been hit hard over the course of the last few years with the rise of craft gin and beer.

There is no getting away from the fact that gin has often replaced wine as the alcoholic drink of choice on a night out, and often at home too.

There is something appealing about a sharp, lemony and yet slightly sweet aromatic drink as a thirst slaker.

Wine is such a diverse subject and so complex that it can be its own worst enemy sometimes.

When I first started learning about wine I always got Muscat and Muscadet muddled up, and who wouldn’t?

The panic over Christmas arrangements has started in our household.

I’m going to try to stay out of all the arrangements for fear of fall-outs.

All I’m going to concentrate on is what wine I’m going to be recommending for the end of 2019 to my lovely customers.

So, here are some general helper points!


Try Cremant from France as opposed to Prosecco.

Cremant is more like Champagne in style, however, it is about half the price.

They make Cremant in Alsace, Burgundy and in the south in places like Limoux. The Cremant from Limoux is brilliant and has the added heritage of being the oldest sparkling wine in the world.


Try some Torrontes or Viognier from South America. Both are packed with flavour.

Retry old favourites like Soave from Italy or Muscadet from France.

I also love Macon from Burgundy or to slurp some Esporao wines from Portugal.


I’ve always had a soft spot for Côte du Rhône from France. Alternatively drink some Grenache/Garnacha from Spain which is similar, if not a little fruitier and less spicy.


People give up rosé for winter. Why?! Try a pale Côte du Rhône rosé, it is so delicious I have to keep on drinking it even when the snow is piling up!

Richard Meadows worked with a national wine chain for 10 years before setting up his own company in 1999. Richard now employs 15 people and sells all over the UK via mail order and the internet as Great Grog.

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