Most countries in the world produce a fortified wine: a wine that is strong, and often sweet, made by adding some brandy spirit to the wine. For many people Christmas is the one time of the year when they will buy such wines, so here is a round-up of three fortified wines from classic European centres of excellence for this style:
Whether your get-together this year is a few quiet drinks or a raucous 'Hooray! We survived that Mayan nonsense' affair, a few drinks on standby is a necessity. But if giving gifts means you've been mercilessly raiding your wallet and are beginning to resent that bothersome generous streak you seem to have acquired, then avoiding the top-shelf stuff is a necessity.