The beginning of a new year is always an odd time in the wine market, the consumer becomes quite polarized. Many will be recovering from Christmas excesses and using January as a month of detox, others may be seeking comfort in big rich warming wines through the long dark nights! Here are a couple of recommendations covering both options.

Chablis 2005 Denis Race £5.99 per half France 

Perhaps not an obvious winter choice but it is very good wine. If you are shading down the detox route why not think less is more, this is a serious wine but coming in a half bottle, not excessive. It is 100% unoaked Chardonnay from a very good producer from a fantastic vintage. It has lovely, fresh fruit flavours with a dry balanced long finish. 

Mollydooker The Boxer 2006 £14.50 Australia 

This is a great big winter warmer, especially when backed up with 16% alcohol! It is a powerful, full-bodied spicy Shiraz. 2006 was a tricky vintage due to the savage drought conditions. Mollydooker is a highly sought after producer, always scoring high points for their wines. This wine drinks well now but do decant it and give it some air to get the full benefit.

Henry Butler

The Butlers Wine Cellar
247 Queens Park Road
Brighton BN2 9XJ
01273 698724
www.butlers-winecellar.co.uk