Six wines for the Christmas table

Matthew Jukes tips his favourite festive tipples to see you through Christmas.


2000 Lustau, Vintage Sherry,Jerez, Spain (£20, 50cl bottle, Marks & Spencer)

After 19 years in barrel, and not subjected to any form of solera system or blending, this wine is bottled, unfiltered and unfined, with 185g/L residual sugar and it is absolutely stunning. I wrote "heroic", "awesome" and "staggering class" in my notes when I tasted this beauty, and I cannot recommend it enough. If you are remotely serious about sherry this is sure to be one of your greatest experiences this Christmas.


2003 Brauneberger Juffer Sonnenuhr,Riesling Sptlese, Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt, Mosel, Germany (£24.95, Yapp Brothers, 01747-860423,

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This is another unmissable treat. Fourteen years old, liquid heaven and no trace of maturity in the glass, just absolute poise and perfection. With elegant grapiness balanced by crystalline acidity, this is officially a "sweet" wine, but I would drink it as a devastating aperitif. You will floor your guests with your unparalleled generosity and lan. Von Kesselstatt is an iconic estate and this is one of their many effortlessly classy rieslings.


2014 Hautes-Ctes de BeauneSous Eguisons, Domaine Jean-Nol Gagnard, Burgundy, France (£25, Berry Bros. & Rudd, 0800-280 2440,

Made from a parcel of vines situated under a cliff, "sous guisons", in St-Aubin, this wine sums up winemaker Caroline Lestim's consummate skill and thrilling touch, and it is half the price of her beloved Chassagne-Montrachets! The other vital point is that it is from the wondrous 2014 vintage, underpinned by lip-smacking acidity, unlike the leaden-footed 2015s which are being pushed hard in the market and which you ought to avoid!


2015 Stile di Campriano, Tuscany,Italy (£18.20, reduced to £16.15 each by the case, Haynes, Hanson & Clark, 020-7584 7927,

My "lighter" red looks like it might be a Super-Tuscan given its name, and in a way it is, but in fact it is simply a renamed Chianti Riserva. Winemaker Rannucio Neri decided that it should wear the IGT Toscana badge in order to give him more freedom from the regulators' often constricting wine rules. Made from 100% sangiovese, this is a glorious and silky Tuscan red which belies its lowly price. I raise my glass to Neri because one sip was all that was needed for me to fall for this mesmerising wine.


NV Pfeiffer, Rutherglen Muscat,Victoria, Australia (£16, 50cl bottle,; £15.99,

One of my 100 Best Australian Wines of 2017/18, there is nothing like this flavour on the planet. Rutherglen is a historic town and wine region in north-eastern Victoria and the liqueur Muscats and Topaques made here are legendary. Pfeiffer's wine has spent four years in barrels picking up its amber hue and caramel and rose-petal flavour. Like the perfumed crunchy top of a crme brle in vinous form, this is the wine for mince pies and Christmas pud and it is a total and utter bargain. Do not miss out on this phenomenal wine.


My pick for the festive season

2012 Quinta da Romaneira, Reserva,Douro, Portugal (£41.95, reduced to £37.95 each by the case, Lea & Sandeman, 020-7244 0522,

Crash, bang, wallop, this is my mighty red for the festive season and it is a barnstormer. Drinking beautifully, with stunning depth of fruit, the Douro is coming of age as a great red wine region and this is one of the finest wines ever made in the valley. It will tower over you as you sink your teeth into its flanks, such is the majesty and unfettered wildness in this leviathan of a wine.

Matthew Jukes

Matthew Jukes has worked in the UK wine business for well over three decades and during this time has written 14 wine books.  

Matthew regularly lectures, judges, speaks at wine conferences and runs masterclass tastings for both corporate and private clients all over the world. Matthew is also the creator of his ground-breaking initiative, the One Day Wine School, an indulgent day of tasting and learning first performed in 2006.

He has been the MoneyWeek wine correspondent since 2006 and has written a weekly column for the Daily Mail’s Weekend Magazine since 1999. His four highly-acclaimed, annual wine reports – the Burgundy En Primeur Report, the Bordeaux En Primeur Report, the Piemonte Report and the 100 Best Australian Wines – are published on his website,

Matthew is one of the world’s leading experts on Australian wine and, with Brisbane-based wine writer Tyson Stelzer, runs an annual competition in Australia to find ‘The Great Australian Red’.  He was made Honorary Australian of the Year in the UK at the 2012 Australia Day Foundation Gala dinner. 

Matthew is a winner of the International Wine and Spirit Competition's Communicator of the Year Trophy.  His thoughts, recommendations and tastings notes are followed very closely by the wine world at large.