Instead of a docile wine column about a last-minute dash to the supermarket for Christmas wine, here are my last-minute Christmas wine choices from independent merchants. We've had an excellent run-up to Christmas, our delivery deadline has passed, I'm now on holiday till 27th December and, frankly, there are still people in the trade smiling their way through some frightful weather, opening bottles for tasting, generally in cheerful spirit and selling some cracking wine.
So in proper Christmas spirit, here's a list of some of our favourite wine available from independent wine merchants up and down the country and open till Christmas.
Don't get caught amid the trolly-rage of festive supermarkets over the next couple of days. Pop into one of these shops and get a warm welcome, good advice and great bottles. Merry Christmas.
Cien y Pico 'En Vaso' Bobal 2011, Corks of Cotham, BS6 6JX
Tandem Syrah du Maroc 2010, £13.50, Yapp Brothers, BA12 6DY
Jamsheed Pepe Le Pinot 2012, £16.99, Market Row Wines, SW9 8LD
Moric Blaufrankisch 2011, £21.00, Park + Bridge, W3 6AX
Lammershoek Chenin Blanc 2010, £12.76, Vinoteca, EC1M 4AA / W1F 9SH / W1H 5BD / W4 2HD
Greywacke Pinot Gris 2011, £18.99, Carruthers & Kent, NE3 4AY
Meonhill Reserve Brut NV, £32.00, The Wine Pantry, SE1 9AA
Sticky / Fortified
Dobogo Mylitta Tokaji 2008, £23.25, The Good Wine Shop, W4 1SY / TW9 3QD
Barbeito Boal 10 Years Old Madeira, £29.00, Haslemere Cellar, GU27 2AB
Please check prices and availability with the merchant direct as I can't accept responsibility for these being up to date or in stock!