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Penbuckle's in Hastings Old Town has a West and an East Sussex white sparkling to try

I was unusually organised and had even sorted out a discount for readers of the Resident Wine Guru column before I found out from the paper that their last edition of the year ran on the 15th!

Aaaaaaaaaaagh.

But who knows, if you quote the article-that-might-have-been to Jackie at Penbuckle’s she might give you the quid off anyway.

Have a very Merry Christmas!

So this is the last column before Christmas, and with festive fun in the air it’s only right and proper that we should talk about bubbles.

I know that given the economic state we’re in, it’s no mean feat getting the Christmas budget to balance; and supermarkets will have deals on that are not to be sniffed at. But I will be doing my best to support our independent traders where I can.

And we can all do that with confidence when choosing our Christmas bubbly, because we have award-winning sparkling wines being produced right here in Sussex.

I was in Penbuckles – the cheese shop on the High Street in Hastings Old Town – at the weekend, and they have some lovely local wines on offer.

There’s a West Sussex and an East Sussex white sparkling to try – the Bolney Bubbly 2009 (a blend of Muller-Thurgau and Chardonnay grapes; small bubbles, lots of green apple), and the Carr Taylor Brut, made just up the road in Westfield, and regularly on show at events such as the Seafood & Wine Festival.

In fact, as a result of a bit of negotiation between the retailer, the vineyard and myself, I am glad to announce that if you take your copy of The Resident into Penbuckles, then a pound discount on the Carr Taylor Brut will be yours – making it an easy rival for any of the lesser-known Champagnes you can buy for £15.95!

All that remains to be said is that I hope you have a Happy Christmas and peaceful 2012, and remember, if you’re stuck for a gift for a loved one who likes a glass or two but who’s tricky to buy for, the newly launched (Hastings-based) Essential Wine School does gift vouchers for their courses. Why not check them out at www.essentialwineschool.com

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By the time you are reading this we will be in December and on the countdown to Christmas.

If you are anything like me, schooled in the ration-book ways of dear departed grandparents, you will gradually be picking up treats for the holidays in the preceding weeks.

So it’s with a fond memory of Grandpa Perry that I’ve chosen a favourite red of his that will go very nicely with the Christmas turkey.

The appellations of Burgundy are famous for their cultivation of the Pinot Noir grape, and the wines pair with white meat dishes just brilliantly.

At Morrisons until 31 December there is a five quid discount on Maurice & Fils Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Beaune – a

£7.99 at Morrisons until 31 December

snip at £7.99. (I can’t work out if this is a clever joke, or the winemaker genuinely is France’s own Maurice-sons!)

A light, going-on-garnet colour, this 2009 vintage is young on the nose with fresh strawberry and cherry aromas.

Red plums on the palate, with a sherried tone every now and then, it has an earthy flavour, bringing to mind cold wintry woodland walks. The wine will complement (for my taste) the Christmas cake just as well as the turkey.

It’s an ideal choice for those of you who prefer a lighter but more complicated red.

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