This 2013 Winemakers’ Selection Chenin Blanc Chardonnay is a particularly effective blend of two grape varieties South Africa does well.
The chenin provides the freshness, green apple acidity and gentle banana flavours, which are supplemented by ripe and textured peach influences and a suggestion of allspice, which come from the chardonnay.
And at £5.99 from Sainsbury’s, it is not going to break the bank at an already expensive time of year.
If you’re looking for a decent red, 2012 Signature Montepulciano D’Abruzzo is worth considering.
Juicy and full plum flavours abound here to mingle harmoniously with the mocha and black pepper background and lively raspberry acidity.
Any substantial beef dishes over Christmas will benefit nicely from this rich Italian favourite. The tannin neutralises any slight fattiness in the meat, but leaves the bright and spicy fruit undimmed. Costs £6.99 from Morrisons.
Fish dishes often form an important part of the Christmas feast, but seldom do you find wine as versatile as this to go with it.
2012 Secano Estate Sauvignon Blanc neatly superimposes vibrant lime and sherbet primary flavours onto the wine’s unusually substantial gooseberry and orange depth.
The lime goes well with shellfish, yet the whole package is full enough for, say, salmon.
Until January 1, Marks & Spencer is offering 2012 Secano Estate Sauvignon Blanc for £5.99 a bottle, instead of £8.99.
z Brian Elliott is wine correspondent for Scotland on Sunday and lives at Auchencrow in the Borders.