The woman & home Christmas taste tests are an annual event where our expert Test Kitchen taste test hundreds of food and drink products to find the best of the best in everything festive.
The 2021 winners have now been announced and our pick of the best Christmas food has been revealed for the upcoming festive season.
This year, like last year, the competition was tough, with numerous outstanding contenders for every category. Our expert panel of judges whittled down the entries to the creme de la creme of Christmas buys.
Discover the results from the 2020 taste tests below.
In true Christmas tradition, a golden, succulent turkey, cooked to perfection surrounded by your favourite accompaniments is just the best. Taking centre stage of your festive spread, it will provide you with a special meal on a special day. So, of course, you want to make sure that you buy the best! Whether you are feeding a crowd (lockdown rules permitting) or having a mini Christmas feast for two, here’s our pick of the best turkeys on the market.
£36 to £58 | Tesco (opens in new tab) On sale from 14th December
This has to be the ultimate bird - golden skin, moist meat, heavenly flavour and enough for Christmas day plus the boxing day sandwiches. Perfect.
Waitrose Free Range Bronze Turkey Crown with Thighs, 2.97kg (serves 12) (opens in new tab)
£65.00 | Waitrose (opens in new tab). Available to pre-order now for delivery between 20 Dec - 24 Dec (top right)
The best of both worlds, made simple. A turkey crown, blanketed in bacon and filled with a sage and onion stuffing, which is served alongside 6 hour slow roasted turkey thighs. All the meat of a traditional turkey without the hassle.
Turkey Paupiettes, 460g (serves 2) (opens in new tab)
£8 | Booths. (opens in new tab) Available to pre-order now for delivery from 22nd December
If you are planning a more modest Christmas this year then we recommend you get these scrumptious and low maintenance Turkey Paupiettes - turkey breast filled with a sage and onion stuffing and wrapped in crisp streaky bacon.
Best vegan Christmas mains
Serve up the finest, festive, plant-based feast with these carefully selected vegan mains.
Specially Selected Vegan Wreath, 550g
£3.99, Aldi. Available in store from 21st December
An elegant vegan centrepiece. Chestnut mushrooms, butternut squash and dried fruit are cloaked in golden puff pastry and decorated with Christmas stars.
GRO Roots En Croute, 412g (serves 2) (opens in new tab)
£4 | Co-op (opens in new tab). Available from 9 December in selected Co-op stores nationwide
Planning a more modest Christmas day? You will love these zesty root vegetable en croutes, packed with flavour plus a rich and flakey pastry casing.
Artisan Grains Cashew & Cranberry Nut Roast Mix 200g (opens in new tab)
£2.79 | Ocado (opens in new tab)
It is the traditional meat-free Christmas main for a reason and this cashew and cranberry nut roast is a particularly delicious option.
Deluxe Curried Cauliflower and Kale Tartlets 220g (serves 2)
£1.69 | Lidl. In-stores now
If you want to add a little bit of spice to your festivities you should try these curried cauliflower and kale tartlets.
Best vegetarian Christmas mains
We’ve got your vegetarian Christmas sorted with our picks of the best free meat-free mains on the market.
Sainsbury's Wensleydale Yuletide Log, Taste the Difference 570g (opens in new tab)
£6.00 | Sainsbury’s (opens in new tab)
This stunning yule log definitely has the wow factor. Intricate butter enriched puff pastry encloses a delightful Wensleydale, potato and cranberry filing.
Deluxe Festive Pastry Showstopper Feta, Tomato & Pesto Pastry Lattice Wreath, 800g
£6.99 | Lidl, in-stores now
We adored this show stopping wreath which contains the perfect blend of salty feta, sweet tomatoes and smooth pesto.
£4 |Ocado (opens in new tab)
There is nothing not to love about this pie: from the crisp pastry topped with cheddar, to the honey roast parsnips to the creamy leek filling. We would be happy to serve this next to our perfect roasties.
Vegetable Parcels, 400g (serve 2)
£1.79, Aldi. Available in store now
Do you only have a couple of vegetarian diners at your table? Then we recommend these lovely chickpea and squash filled pastry parcels.
Best Christmas Party Food
Even when celebrating in a smaller group it's fun to have an array of party food. This year we have seen trends emerge for grazing platters and spicy flavours. Delight your guests with these splendid nibbles.
Extra Special Sicilian Giarraffa Olives with Lemon, 150g (opens in new tab)
£2.20 | Asda (opens in new tab)
These special green Giarraffa olives are not overly brined giving them the perfect balance of salt enhancing their great fruity flavour. The perfect nibble for when you're feeling peckish!
Wensleydale Creamery Seasonal Truckles, 200g (opens in new tab)
£3.00 | Wensleydale Creamery (opens in new tab)
Top marks to the Wensleydale Creamery for their impressive variety of flavoured Wensleydale. Who would have thought that Orange & Champagne or Stem Ginger would be such a scrumptious treat in cheese.
Extra Special Gran Antipasto, 120g (opens in new tab)
£3.00 | Asda (opens in new tab)
This generous selection contains three delicious Italian cured meats. They all have great flavours and the salami is satisfyingly chunky. Wrap around a chunk of cheese and secure with a cocktail stick for an easy party bite, or serve as an accompaniment to the latest party food trend, a grazing platter.
Best Christmas crisps and nibbles
We are on board in a big way with the truffle flavoured crisp trend. They are the perfect bougie nibble to accompany a glass of bubbles, but have you tried the latest fancy thing? Move over truffle, caviar is in town!
Waitrose Black Truffle Hand Cooked Crisps, 150g (opens in new tab)
£1.33 | Waitrose (opens in new tab)
These had a more authentic mild truffle flavour than others we tasted meaning that the lovely potato flavour could shine through too. But it was the good crispy crunch that won us over!
Best Christmas sweet treats
This was a highly contested category this year, our panel tried so many greats. But these six blew us away.
Taste the Difference Holly Wreath Christmas Cake, 900g (opens in new tab)
£11.00 | Sainsbury’s (opens in new tab)
Not just a pretty cake, this classic Christmas fruitcake is rich, moist and full of flavour.
Specially Selected Luxury All Over Iced Cake, 1kg (opens in new tab)
£6.99 | Aldi (opens in new tab)
Chic, simple but effective design with a subtle shimmer that would look lovely on any Christmas table. Good even layers of icing and marzipan with lovely rich, spiced fruit cake. Doesn't taste overly boozy so a good option for the whole family.
Waitrose Trio of Christmas Cakes (opens in new tab)
£35.00 | Waitrose (opens in new tab)
A charming trio of cakes to please all tastes. One is a chocolate cake, another plain sponge and the third is a perfectly spiced Christmas cake with the ideal balance of icing to marzipan. The cute characters are sure to be a hit with the kids.
Best Christmas pudding
The proof is in the pudding, you will not be disappointed with these. All excellent choices for the finale to the festive feast.
Specially Selected 30 Month Matured Christmas Pudding, 907g (opens in new tab)
£9.99 | Aldi (opens in new tab)
Rich and boozy with a generous quantity of fruits and nuts. Perfect served with a greedy helping of cream but custard would be just as good.
The classic Italian Christmas bread is becoming increasingly popular. We love it as a breakfast bread, but it's also a fantastic dessert and great with a cuppa. Contemplate using any leftover pannetone in trifle or tiramisu.
Waitrose Apricot and Peach Bellini Panettone, 750g (opens in new tab)
£6.66 | Waitrose (opens in new tab)
Two of our favourite Italian things, Peach Bellini and Panettone, rolled into one. Great taste and texture. Toast it or toast with it!
Crosta & Mollica Apricot Panettone, 500g (opens in new tab)
£11| Ocado (opens in new tab)
The chic retro packaging won us over on first sight, but it's what's on the inside that counts. So under the vibrant packaging, we were delighted to discover a light, fluffy panettone bestrewn with a generous amount of sweet candied apricot.
The perfect festive treat. These are guaranteed to convert even the mince pie scrooges out there.
The Authentic Bread Company mini mince pies, 12 (opens in new tab)
£6.45 | Able & Cole (opens in new tab)
We can't resist these little cuties from Able & Cole. They are ideal balanced on a saucer enjoyed with a cup of tea or as a sweet party canapé. A real allrounder: great mincemeat filling and delicious light pastry.
The Best Blackforest Crumble Topped Mince Pies, 6 pack (opens in new tab)
£2.00 | Morrisons
Chocolate and mincemeat is a heavenly combination, as these pies demonstrate handsomely. The perfect gateway pie, for those who are as yet unconvinced by the power of rich festive bakes.
Best ready-made Christmas starters
Because frankly, Christmas is already busy enough, save yourself the hassle of rustling up another course with these gorgeous ready to go beauties!
Irresistible Scottish Smoked Loch Trout with Whisky & Honey, 100g (opens in new tab)
£4.00 | Co-op (opens in new tab)
Why not mix it up and try smoked trout for something a little different this year. We loved the sweet honey and subtle whisky flavour of this one from Co-op.
Tesco Finest Four Coquille St Jacques, 520g, Serves 4 (opens in new tab)
£12.00 | Tesco (opens in new tab)
Sumptuously creamy with a subtle chilli kick. Not only do these taste amazing, but they also look incredibly impressive on the plate.
Best smoked salmon
It's a Christmas classic, great as a luxury starter or for fancy canapes. However, you plan on serving it, this lot gets our vote.
Tesco Finest Smoked Scottish Salmon With Malt Whisky, 100g (opens in new tab)
£4.80 | Tesco (opens in new tab)
If you are a whisky fan then this is the salmon for you. Nice chunky slices mean this would look excellent on canapes.
Iceland Luxury Frozen Smoked Salmon, 300g (opens in new tab)
A very generous portion ideal for a buffet platter. We were pleased by the lovely thick slices that would work beautifully with a sauce. Don't be put off by the fact this is frozen. Because of the increased demand at Christmas, much of the supermarket smoked salmon has been frozen and defrosted before it reaches the shelf.
Heston from Waitrose Citrus Gin Smoked Salmon, 100g
£6.99 | Waitrose (opens in new tab)
We loved the distinctive citrus flavour and the gold finish that makes this salmon instantly more special and will add decadence to your Christmas breakfast or canapé in a matter of seconds. Good firm texture, fairly heavy on the smokiness.
Best cranberry sauce and Christmas condiments
It's Christmas, pull out all the stops. These tasty sauces will elevate your meal.
Potts Cranberry Sauce With Wild Cranberries & Honey, 250ml (opens in new tab)
£2.75 | Ocado (opens in new tab)
As you would expect this sauce goes fantastically well with turkey and goose. It also has a lovely honey sweetness making it an excellent addition to a festive cheeseboard.
Rosebud Preserves Ampleforth Beer Fruit Chutney, 198g (opens in new tab)
£3.95 | rosebudpreserves.co.uk (opens in new tab)
A rich and fruity chutney with a hint of spice pepped up with beer from Ampleforth Abbey. Serve with the classic British cheeses, Wensleydale, Farmhouse Cheddar or Stilton.
Scarlett and Mustard Cranberry Sauce, 600g, jar with spoon & tag
£7.95 | scarlettandmustard.co.uk* (opens in new tab)
This bright red sauce could pass as homemade. It contains whole cranberries and would be the perfect accompaniment to your festive feast. *Exclusive offer: Get 15% off any orders with code W&H15
Best Christmas desserts
Drop it all! These elegant desserts are designed to impress. But they taste as good as they look.
Specially Selected Chocolate and Salted Caramel Layered Bar, 350g (opens in new tab)
£5.99|Aldi (opens in new tab)
Another elegant dessert, perfect around Christmas. We enjoyed the rich chocolate flavour.
Best Christmas food gifts
Best food stocking fillers
We adore these cute tasty gifts, perfect as a little thank you to give to those who have helped you this year.
Tesco Finest Sticky Toffee Pudding Filled Cookies tin, 200g (opens in new tab)
£4.00 | Tesco (opens in new tab)
These moreish biscuits would make for a lovely gift, they come in a fun reusable tin. It’s almost impossible to just have one, with a gooey caramel centre these didn’t hang around long!
Best Food hampers
Really spoil them this year with these fabulously indulgent hampers.
Bah Humbug! Hamper (opens in new tab)
£85.00 | Dukeshill (opens in new tab)
Good enough for the queen! These hampers have a royal warrant, and we can vouch for her majesty having impeccable taste as every single thing in it was wonderful, especially the cooked hams and salmon.
Best food advent calendar
No longer just for the kiddies. Advent calendars are a lovely way to spoil yourself or your loved ones in the runup to the big day!
OffBlak 24 Days of Tea Calendar, 24 x 60g Tea Pyramid Sachets (opens in new tab)
£19.99 | Holland & Barrett (opens in new tab)
Packed with refreshing natural herbal and fruity teas, it's the ultimate gift for a loved one who is cutting back on the booze.
The best Christmas drinks
Christmas is a fantastic time to discover new drinks and indulge in some old favourites. At this time of year, there are many opportunities to raise a glass and toast good tidings. We have included a range of spectacular non-alcoholic options too for those avoiding the alcohol.
Wine to pair with Christmas dinner
Don't let your dinner down! If you're finding it hard to choose between them, any of these bottles could take pride of place at your festive feast.
Touraine Sauvignon Blanc Domaine des Corbillières, 2019, 75cl (opens in new tab)
£12.99 (opens in new tab)
An excellent Sauvignon Blanc. It has it all: it's rich, crisp, fruity, toasty. We would happily drink this with the starter through to the main and beyond.
Non-alcoholic Christmas drinks
There are now so many amazing No and Low options out there that's it's tricky to know which to pick! These are all great choices.
Lyre’s Amaretti, 70cl (opens in new tab)
£23.50 | Lyre's (opens in new tab)
Has the much-loved sweetness of the popular almond liqueur. We enjoyed it with tonic but it could also make a good addition to cocktails where you want a sweet almond flavour but less alcohol in the mix.
Double Dutch Cranberry & Ginger Tonic Water, 4 x 200ml (opens in new tab)
£3.19 | Ocado (opens in new tab)
With a fresh and natural flavour, this tonic is equally lovely with or without a shot of booze.
Real Royal Flush 750ml 6 Pack Kombucha, 6 x 750ml (opens in new tab)
£48.00 | Realkombucha.co.uk (opens in new tab)
Kombucha is a great alternative to boozy bubbles that won’t leave the non-drinkers feeling left out. Notes of rhubarb were very prominent. REAL is best stored cool, so pop in the fridge before serving in a Champagne flute for optimum taste. Savour and Enjoy!
Best Christmas spirits
These festive spirits would all make magnificent gifts. We are enchanted with the M&S Light up Gin Globe, it's bound to be a sell-out this year. Our panel also discovered some surprising drinks this year, including our latest addiction: Figgy Pudding Gin!