What We’re Drinking at Christmas

At The Oxford Wine Company we spend our days surrounded by thousands of delicious wines, spirits and beers. But which of them do we decide to drink at home? Take a look below for our team’s top picks for this Christmas.

Ted Sandbach, Owner and Chairman

Library Edition No.1 – Touraine Chenonceaux 2022£18.00 £16.20 – Vibrant crisp and refreshing. Somewhere between classic French and more exotic styles, this wine offers a whole lot more than similar Sauvignon-based Loire wines. Perfect with smoked salmon and what a way to start Christmas!

Native Vieilles Vignes Carignan, Languedoc 2021£12.00 £10.80 – A real crowd pleaser and very affordable. This wine, made from old Carignan vines, has been a huge success at OWC. Bursting with dark fruits it also has an attractive touch of sweetness with soft tannins. The perfect wine to satisfy the whole family as well as the pocket!

Domaine du Petit Clocher Anjou Villages Rouge 2021 £17.00 £15.30 – Made as a blend between Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc this is another Loire special.  Quite crisp with juicy red and black fruit notes as well as a touch of classic pencil lead that you might expect from a blend more often associated with Bordeaux.

Neil Gladding, Sales Director

Alain Geoffroy Chablis 2022£21.50 £19.35 – Always a crowd pleaser and tastes like Chablis used to taste.

Albert Bichot Horizon de Bichot Pinot Noir, Limoux 2021£16.50 £14.85 – Affordable Burgundy style Pinot Noir.

Château Haut Mouleyre Cadillac 2019£14.50 £13.05 – Very well balanced dessert wine, even the non-believers have a sip and end up drinking the whole lot.

John Shuckburgh, WSET Educator

Cascina delle Monache Gavi del Comune di Gavi 2022 £17.00 £15.30 – I love this wine for its layered texture of citrus and peach flavours. It makes a marvellous, refreshing aperitif that brings a burst of Italian sunshine in every glass!

Chateau de la Gardine Chateauneuf du Pape 2020 £40.00 £36.00 – Full bodied and densely packed with dark fruits and bottomless complexity this wonderful monster of a wine is just perfect for the cheeseboard.

Glenfarclas 15 Year Old, Distillery Bottled£80.00 £72.00 – Rich and intense this is a paragon of the sherried Speyside style of whisky. Warming, brooding and immensely long; one sip is bound to lead to another!

Manda Joyce, Wine Advisor

Bodegas Lustau 3 En Rama Fino de Jerez 2023£21.00 £18.90 – Beautifully pure and clean fino sherry, saline, mineral, yeasty. Keep in the fridge door for your more discriminating drop-in visitors, or to give you a lift when doing your Christmas duties.

Katz Brut, Domaine René Meyer 2023£22.00 £19.80 – Bubbly can divide the family, with some enjoying prosecco and others into vintage champagne. Serve something that all can enjoy with Katz Brut. Made using the same method as champagne, it has enough complexity to satisfy the serious wine-lover, but it’s also lovely and rich for those who prefer the riper end of fizz.

Hamilton Russell Vineyards Pinot Noir, Hemel-en-Aarde 2022£46.00 £41.40 – South African Pinot in the Burgundian style that knocks the spots off French competitors with a much higher price tag. Would grace any festive board.

Tom Brady, Shop Manager & Spirits Buyer

Torabhaig Allt Gleann Single Malt Scotch£60.00 £51.00 – A magical Island whisky that somehow manages to combine delicious smoky bonfire notes with delicate floral freshness. The perfect intro to peated Scotch.

Doorly’s 14 Year Old Rum, Barbados£83.00 £74.70 – The very best of the Foursquare flagship range and one of the tastiest rums Barbados has to offer. Maturation in a combination of ex-Bourbon and ex-Madeira wine casks adds an extra layer of tropical fruit to compliment the nuanced biscuity vanilla notes typical of this style.

Baron de Sigognac 10 Year Old, Bas Armagnac£55.00 £46.70 – A quintessential Bas Armagnac from one of the region’s top producers. The addition of Baco to the list of grape varieties used in this blend adds a rich, buttery character to compliment delicious cooked apple and pastry notes.

Aljoscha Wright, Buyer

Mas Martinet, Martinet Bru, Priorato 2020£32.00 £28.80 – It’s well known that my favourite grape variety is Garnacha. This wine is pressed form grapes grown in extreme conditions, resulting in a wine of extreme quality for extreme pleasure! 100% my wine of 2023.

Brampton Cabernet Sauvignon, Stellenbosch 2020£11.50 £10.35 – When you like drinking wine as much as I do, it helps to find one that doesn’t break that bank. Bang for buck the best red we stock.

Jim Barry Assyrtiko, Clare Valley 2021£27.50 £24.75 – I got hooked on Assyrtiko after a trip to Santorini where it’s widely planted. Due to climate change, more regions are experimenting with this drought resistant variety which offers searing acidity and salinity.

Tim Bradley, Trade Sales & WSET Educator

Département 44 Muscadet Sevre det Maine sur Lie 2020£16.00 £14.40 – Deliciously rounded, this fresh, lemony and minerally clean wine with a sprinkling of yeasty flavours is perfect as an aperitif or to go with richer dishes to refresh and excite the palate!

Greco DOP Janare Selezione, La Guardiense 2022 – £13.50 £12.15 – One of my favourites all year round – this has enough acidity to hold up the riper peach and lemon flavours letting the freshness shine through. Perfect as a party wine or gracing the festive table!

Keltern Chardonnay, Villa Maria 2020£35.50 £31.95 – My star white of 2023. I’m partial to Chardonnay however it’s made but this full-bodied example from Villa Maria has incredible focused flavours of melon, lemon curd and grilled nuts and a dash of vanilla and spice. Delicious!

Dom Smiley, Shop Manager

Delord Fine Armagnac£32.00 £28.80 – A balanced and fruity Armagnac perfect for chilly weather. A warming digestif that I enjoy by the fire every Christmas.

Esk Valley Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough 2022£16.00 £14.40 – Intensely fragrant and aromatic, with notes of citrus and tropical fruits that characterise an excellent example of a refreshing New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.

Hawkstone Premium Cotswold Lager£36.00 £32.40 for a case of 12 – This lager is crisp and thirst-quenching. Its citrus flavours and maltiness bring a complexity that makes it stand out from other lagers.

Charlie Reardon Smith, Trade Sales – Wales

Bodega del Rio Elorza Verum Chardonnay, Patagonia 2020£15.00 £13.50 – Best South American Chardonnay with stainless steel minerality, guava fruit and fresh lime zest overtones

Native Cuvée Cot Francais Malbec, Pays d’Oc 2021£11.50 £10.35 – With plum fig and leather notes, this is great with pigs in blankets

Katy Barker, Retail Marketing Manager

Dornier Moordenaarskloof Chenin Blanc, Stellenbosch 2021£19.50 £17.55 – Chenin Blanc is a great pairing for Christmas dinner, this one especially. The balance of rich citrus and stone fruits and the creamy texture, with touches of spice can hold up to the richness of a turkey roast.

Artelium Blanc de Blancs, Sussex 2015£52.00 £46.80 – This is one of my top wines this year and has been enjoyed on multiple occasions, with Christmas being added to the list. It’s an elegant, refined sparkling, with fresh pear and citrus balanced with a creamy finish.

Gonzalez Byass Matusalem 30 Year Old VORS Dolce Oloroso£28.50 £25.65 – You’ll catch me in the corner enjoying a glass of this with my Grandma! Packed with figs, prunes, orange peel, and Christmas spices, it’s incredible complex and worth every penny.

Mark Warde-Aldam, Shop Manager

Rathfinny Estate Classic Cuvée, Sussex 2018 £31.00 £27.90 – From our friends near the beautiful village of Alfriston on the south Sussex downs. The Champagne blend at it’s best. At an affordable price.

Campo Reale Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2018£41.00 £36.90 – This is a monster of a mouthful! Full of figs, spices, dried raisins and tobacco leaves – delightful!

Chateau Megyer Harslevelu, Tokaji 2014£16.00 £14.40 – The surprise star of a recent college tasting. A native grape variety to Hungary. Dry with luscious tropical honey flavours.

Min Yee Tseu, Corporate and University Account Manager

Charles Heidsieck Brut Réserve Champagne NV£60.00 £54.00 – With an impressive 50% of this Champagne coming from reserve wines, it’s deliciously rich and the ideal kind of brioche-y that makes it perfect for celebrating!

Kleine Zalze ‘Family Reserve’ Chenin Blanc 2021£26.50 £23.85 – This oak aged Chenin Blanc is an absolute must-try; it’s got all the acidity and flavours that you’d expect fom a Chenin but also this lovely creaminess on the palate that is just sensational.

Au Bon Climat Knox Alexander Pinot Noir, Santa Maria Valley 2019£58.00 £52.20 – I absolutely love Pinot Noir and this is a superb expression that has the perfect balance of fruit character and more complex earthy, savoury notes that keeps me wanting more!

Emily Silva, Head of Retail and Marketing

Ernest Rapeneau Blanc de Blancs Champagne NV£33.00 £29.70 – It wouldn’t be Christmas without some bubbles, and the toasty richness of this delicious Blanc de Blancs hits the spot for me! Absolutely delicious and a real bargain at just £33

Williams and Humbert 20 Year Old Dos Cortados Palo Cortado£29.00 £26.10 – Sherry is another festive must-have, and this twenty year old Palo Cortado is pure luxury. It’s incredibly complex with layer upon layer of umami savouriness – just the thing for a cold evening in front of the fire.

Torre Zambra Villamagna Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2019 £29.00 £26.10 – In our house the Christmas Eve lasagne is an essential tradition, and what better to serve with it than this full-bodied red from Abruzzo? With a subtle herbal note it is fantastic with classic Italian cooking.

Nick Gorton, Shop Manager

Precious Day Crémant de Bordeaux £14.00 £12.60 – A great value alternative to champagne, this traditional method sparkling wine is a blend of Semillon and Merlot, and it’s acidity combined with the red berry notes that the Merlot brings makes it a great pairing for brie and cranberry.

Marchesi di Gresy Monferrato Rosso 2017£21.50 £19.35 – This Piemontese Merlot is a delicious alternative to Right-Bank Bordeaux. With plum and cherry aromas and an earthy, slightly savoury finish, this would be lovely with roast beef, or on its own in front of a fire!

Tiefenbrunner Anna Weissburgunder, Alto Adige 2021£25.50 £22.95 – Continuing with the theme of alternatives to the traditional, this oak-aged Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc) would be great to serve in place of white Burgundy. Ripe apple and hazelnut aromas and a rich, creamy finish mean this would pair beautifully with a roast turkey.

John Chapman, Managing Director

Guasti Barbera d’Asti Desideria 2021£14.50 £13.05 – This new addition to our range combines fruit, structure and a satisfying finish. This is a wine you can serve for those impromptu drinks soirees and stands up well to a full on seasonal roast. Great value.

Library Edition No.1 – Touraine Chenonceaux 2022£18.00 £16.20 – Our own selection Loire white. A bustling combination of zesty fruit and Sancerre charm. Perfect to drink at any occasion.

Bodegas Arrocal Joven Roble, Ribera del Duero 2022£16.00 £14.40 – Now we are talking, complex – stylish and sumptuous. A great all rounder and on my festive drinking list.

Thom Allinson, Buying & Logistics

Conker Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur £32.00 £28.80 – Two vital ingredients, caffeine & alcohol, to keep me full of Christmas cheer this festive period. Also who doesn’t love an Espresso Martini after dinner…?

Domaine Lequin Colin Back to the Roots Bourgogne Blanc 2020£32.50 £29.25 – Full and rich, with racy acidity and refreshing citrus fruit to balance it all out. A Bourgogne Blanc that punches well above its weight

La Cayetana Malbec, Ver Sacrum 2020£23.50 £21.15 – I was blown away by the purity of this wine at our recent wine fair in November. Minimal intervention wine making really lets the quality of the fruit shine, Class in a glass!

Rebecca Preece, Retail Operations Manager

Szepsy Estate Dry Tokaji Furmint 2018£33.50 £30.15 – The Szepsy Estate Tokaji is perfect to accompany any festive feast. Elegant and sophisticated, with aromas of green herbs, lime, yellow apple, the palate is full of orchard fruit, apricot and mineral notes with a long, vibrant and slightly savoury palate due to its masterfully integrated barrel aging. Mouthwateringly good on its own, or with anything, quite frankly! For those without a sweet tooth, pair with a Christmas cheeseboard for a royally delicious combo.

Val delle Rose ‘Samma’ Cabernet, Maremma Toscana DOC 2017£30.00 £27.00 – If you love Tuscan wine, or, adore Cabernet Franc, then Samma is the perfect Christmas treat! It will stand up to the richness of Christmas lunch with juicy, ripe red, and black, berry fruit, with an earthy, dried herb and savory elegance that is at simultaneously typical of Cab Franc and Tuscany. YUM!

Pentire Coastal Spritz£23.50 £21.15 – For those who know, think: Aperol and Campari had a dry, sophisticated baby. For those who don’t, imagine zesty blood orange, with a rosemary twist. Treat this alcohol free ‘spirit’ like gin: 50ml over ice, with a small tonic of your choice and a wedge of orange or lime. It will be what I turn to when the Christmas excess gets a little too much!

Tom Whitehouse, Trade Sales

Chianti Classico DOCG Primocolle, Villa Cerna£16.50 £14.85 – The current vintage is fresh and vibrant boasting notes of cooked strawberry, violets and hints of sweet spices. Great acidity and balance with a lingering finish. Superb value.