Wine expert Olly Smith shares his Christmas tips

05 October 2021, 08:22 AM
  • Which wines should you stock for the crucial Christmas season? TV presenter and wine expert Olly Smith has the answers
Wine expert Olly Smith shares his Christmas tips

If I were Christmas buyer for a fine food indie? I’d list white wine from Greece – the boutique production delivers wines of scrumptious and unique character. A firm favourite is Gerovassiliou Malagousia 2020, which tastes like peaches wreathed in jasmine. It’s the perfect pairing for anyone having shellfish this Christmas. I’d also build a big section devoted to modern Austrian wine for some of the most fascinating reds and pristine whites in Europe right now. And I’d go big on Australia; so hard to beat for diversity and creativity especially in natural winegrowing.

Sherry is still the biggest fine wine bargain on the wine map and I’d be hosting tastings with a few simple nibbles to rev up the palates of everyone possible. From bone dry Manzanillas to lush sweet Pedro Ximenez, it’s a champion wine style. And for mince pies, pop open a mighty Madeira! Those wines are beyond delicious and taste like liquid festive treats. Best of all, it’s a personal recommendation of something thrilling in a wine shop over an informal chat about wine. Whenever I buy a bottle in an indie wine shop I always seem to make a new friend!

For a beautiful festive fizz that’s world class as well as utterly scrumptious, I’ll be encouraging shoppers to treat themselves to the best English sparkler they can find. Aside from supporting our local economy and delving into the homegrown tales behind the wines, these bottles are sky high in quality right now – and the choice of top UK wineries is so extensive you can have some fun shopping around the counties.

Home Cocktail Bible by Olly Smith (Quadrille, £20) is published on 11th November.