Nothing washes down a mince pie better on a cold day than a warm, spicy mulled wine.
We set out to test which supermarket stocks the best own-brand bottle.
Sainsburyâ€™s Mulled Wine, Taste the Difference, Â£5.50
Eleven per cent alcohol but tastes stronger due to a generous brandy kick to it. Rich-tasting and full-bodied tempranillo. Just the right balance of sweet and spiciness.
Waitrose, Mulled Wine, Â£4.99
This fruity number delights with subtle hints of orange and spices sneaking through.
Tesco, Mulled Wine, ABV 10%, Â£3.95
Cloyingly sweet with a lack of spice. Synthetically caramel aftertaste.
Lidl Christkindl Mulled Wine, ABV 8.5%, Â£4.99
An overpowering sweetness mutes any spice complexity, and the consolation prize boozy kick is too soft. Perfectly quaffable, but rival British retailers can take some schadenfreude.
M&S, Mulled Wine, ABV 12.5%, Â£4.50
The flavours in the mulled wine â€“ cinnamon, apple and cloves â€“ are lovely, but on the sweet side. Much improved with a slice of orange in it.
Aldi, Gluhwein, ABV 9%, Â£4.49
You would expect a safe bet in Aldiâ€™s mulled wine considering its German heritage but disappointingly it just doesnâ€™t deliver. Bland in taste with no real alcoholic kick or spices, itâ€™s unlikely to be the winter warmer you need this Christmas.
Co-op Mulled Wine, ABV 10%, Â£3.49
The warning signs were right there on the label – no wine or fruit, just â€œsugar syrup, alcohol, waterâ€. Itâ€™s UK bottled, suggesting that rather than being grown on sun-kissed Spanish slopes by a master vintner, the constituent parts were chucked into a plastic vat on an industrial estate.
Sainsbury’s nets the top spot with a spiced winter warmer that was full bodied and rich with complexity. Despite a promising-looking label the Co-Op’s offering was the most disappointing meaning the winners of our mince pie taste test bring up the rear.