Christmas is the perfect time of year to eat, drink and be merry, and many people like to do that with their favourite fortified wine in their hand.

Love fortified wines

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Eater defines fortified wine as a wine that has a distilled spirit added to it to increase its alcohol content. From fruity, citrus flavours to rich and decadent dessert wines, there is a lot of scope to choose from in the fortified wine sector. Some can be enjoyed on their own, and others blend well into mixers and cocktails. But which ones should be on your wine rack this Christmas?

Finos Tres Palmas Sherry

Sherry is a tipple that is synonymous with Christmas, and this variety has everything you need for a zesty after-dinner aperitif. The Tres Palmas element of the drink has been aged for 10 years and offers deep mineral notes with a hint of sweetness. The Finos part provides that famous citrus zing which makes this an easy drink to enjoy solo or to mix up in a fruit cocktail.

Harvey’s 30-Year-Old Sherry

Another sherry but a richer, heavier one with a higher alcohol content thanks to its age and the Pedro Ximinez grapes that is is crafted from. With undertones of fig, plum and sultana, this is a fabulous Yuletide beverage that is typically enjoyed over ice – and in moderation!

Ramon Pinto Tawny Port

Port is a well-known Christmas tipple, and this twenty-year-old variety is perfect for those cold evenings. Aged in oak, Tawny originated from Portugal and has a rich and diverse flavour that combines fruity aromas with cinnamon and caramel. A great ingredient to be added into creamy wintry cocktails.

Fonseca 2011 Vintage Port

Online wine merchants in Northern Ireland such as will know that vintage port isn’t the cheapest option for those Christmas gatherings but there is something truly special about this variety. Blended with cassis, violet and dark fruits, the depth of flavour is apt to leave a lasting impression. Just make sure you remember to decant the drink to remove the sediment before you pour.

Barbeito Verdelho 10-Year-Old Reserva Madeira

This light Madeira combines honey, caramel and wild flowers and tastes as beautiful as it sounds. Although it is good for cooking (particularly in duck dishes), this brand is too good to waste.