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The Festive Wine List

There are 354 Masters of Wine in the world. Of those, only 117 are women. Anne McHale is one. After ten years at the venerable Berry Bros & Rudd, she's set up as an independent wine consultant, educator and presenter. Suffice to say, any wine list she draws up will be a hit. 

We caught up with Anne to ask her expert advice on which wines to buy this festive season...


So, what should we be looking for in a bottle of wine?

"When choosing a party wine it is safer to cater for the tastes of the majority,” advises Anne. Her “benchmark” price for a bottle of wine is “around the £10 mark. "That’s when I feel I’m really getting something worth drinking, which reflects its origin and has an interesting story behind it”.

If you’re serving food with wine, she encourages thinking outside the box: “The key rule is to match the richness of the wine with the richness of the dish – you don’t want one or other to dominate.” If you want to look like a wine pro, channel your inner sommelier - or just follow Anne's informed palate...

"Try Verdejo instead of Sauvignon Blanc, red Rhône instead of New World Malbec or Shiraz, Beaujolais instead of Pinot Noir. If you love drinking Châteauneuf-du-Pape but don’t always want to play the price, then experiment other reds like Gigondas or Vacqueyras – they’re from neighbouring towns and taste similar, but don’t have the famous name so are less expensive. Likewise if you love Sancerre, look out for neighbouring wines Menetou-Salon or Reuilly.”


1. Domaine du Grapillon d’Or Gigondas

2. Bollinger Special Cuvee NV Champagne

3. Catena Malbec

4. El Quintanal Verdejo 2014

5. Graham’s 10-Year-Old Tawny Port

6. Henriques & Henriques Verdelho 15-Year-Old Madeira



For more wine tips, follow Anne on Twitter @annemchale and Instagram @annemchalewine or read our full interview with Anne here

Tags: drinkwinewine listalcoholbeverage
Posted on 07th December 2016 by Hush

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