It's funny how the supermarkets aren't pushing their wine promotions so much now. I guess research has told them that the time people are most likely to be seduced by special offers is the end of November/beginning of December. Maybe people stick to their usual shops by this stage in the proceedings. I know I do.
Anyway I thought it might be useful to round up a few last minute reds for those of you who haven't yet laid in your stocks. Slightly pricier than my usual recommendations but it is Christmas.
Tesco Finest Howcroft Cabernet Sauvignon £7.99
Not one of the Finest range currently on promotion but still decent value for a classic South Australian Cab (from the Limestone coast). Ideal for roast lamb
While you're there: Pick up the Ken Forrester Chenin Blanc on a 2 for £10 promotion and a bottle of Concha y Toro Otorio Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc (£5.99) one of the best value dessert wines around
Sainsbury's Taste the Difference Côtes du Rhône Villages 2009 £5.99
It's hard to go wrong with Côtes du Rhône, especially the 2009 vintage and from a producer as solid as Chapoutier. Good all-round drinking over the Xmas period
While you're there: You could pick up some of the 'House' wines I reviewed here or the good current offer on their own brand blanc de blancs champagne.
Marks and Spencer Cerro Syrah 2008 £7.99
Really delicious, rich, characterful red from one of my favourite Chilean wineries De Martino. Could handle the turkey or drink with roast beef or a steak.
While you're there: Pick up a bottle of the always reliable Secano Estate Pinot Noir for the same price. And the Las Falleras Red £4.29) would make good party drinking
Chateau du Gazin 2008 Canon-Fronsac (on offer at £7.49 at Waitrose or £7.11 online up to January 4th)
Good old-fashioned claret at a very decent price. Will keep elderly in-laws happy.
While you're there: The Château Calage La Méjanelle, a lush ripe biodynamic Languedoc red is also very good value at £7.99
Estampa Estate Carmenère Malbec 2009 Oddbins £7.19 if you buy a total of 6 bottles which need not all be this wine. Normally £8.99
Another delicious Chilean red which my tasting notes say tastes of pears in red wine. Would go with most of the Christmas suspects - turkey, ham, pork or the Boxing Day buffet.
While you're there: The same estate's Cabernet Sauvignon/Petit Verdot would also appeal if you're a Cabernet fan. As would the stunning Mayu Carmenère Reserva 2007 (£8.79 on the 25% off 6 offer) though it's not in all branches. And the Cava Torre Oria Brut (£7.19 on promotion) I recommended in my Guardian column on Saturday could easily pass for champagne.
If I don't post again before Christmas have a happy one!