Flavours are full on for the festive holidays

Renato Ratti Barbera D'Asti, Italy
Renato Ratti Barbera D'Asti, Italy

Over the holidays, you have time to savour wine with all that rich food.

Domaine Chaume Arnaud, La Cadene Blanc 2011, Cotes du Rhone Villages, France (£16.75, www.bbr.com).

The price of greatness can sometimes be less than you think, especially with little nuggets like this brilliant blend of viognier, marsanne and roussanne. Uplifting from the very first sip, it’s fragrant and full with sumptuous peach, quince and passion fruit flavours and, while it’s slightly unctuous, the fruit is lightened by a delicious freshness and purity on the finish.

Oldenburg Vineyards Chenin Blanc 2012, South Africa (£16.99, www.sawinesonline.co.uk)

A bright white from a boutique winery that bridges the gap between a chardonnay and a sauvignon blanc, it’s full-bodied and punchy with tropical fruits, melon and baked apple aromas with a touch of oaky vanilla, but with ample acidity.

Laroche La Collegiale Chablis 2012, France (£15.99, or £11.99 when you buy two, Majestic)

A Burgundy blonde from a highly respected producer, this elegant chablis offers pronounced mineral pleasure from the famous limestone soil that surrounds the banks of the River Serein. With no oak influence, this is a fresh and fruity chardonnay with crisp acidity on the finish and a wine with real presence.

La Rioja Alta, Vina Arana Reserva 2005, Spain (£21.95, www.bbr.com)

A tempranillo temptress from a leading bodegas renowned for its quality, the wine opens with a heady air of sweet ripe cherries, cedar and tobacco, with bold flavours of black forest fruits and sandalwood on the finish.

If you’re gunning for a seriously good red to serve with goose, then a smooth barbera from Piedmont is a good bet. Rich and powerful with dark berries, plums, cassis and a distant note of herbs and a slight tartness on the long finish, it can go the full distance and is a champion with a cheeseboard.