Spirits looks likely to be one of the main battlegrounds, with several chains running national press ads to publicise deals, with 70cl prices going as low as £11.
Champagne is another focus area, with Tesco this week offering André Carpentier NV in a half-price deal at £12.49.
Hubert Marie Champagne in Morrisons was also offered at half price at £14.49, while Asda’s best fizz deal was Louvel Fontaine Rosé Brut with a £12.75 saving at £17.
Premium ale looks like being dragged into price battles this year with a Tesco three-cases-for-£21 deal on beer and cider multipacks featuring brands including Spitfire, Hobgoblin and Old Speckled Hen as well as the usual suspects in big brand lagers.
Buyers say that cheap deals on Champagne and other fizz paid off last year, making them a shoe-in for promo- tional deals in the festive season ahead.
Tracy Ford, Asda BWS category director, said: “Through our continued efforts to drive everyday low prices for our shoppers, our Champagne and sparkling wine category bucked the declining market trend in 2012, with growth of 9.2% ahead of the market.
“We know that it’s still tough for our customers so bringing down the cost of Christmas continues to be a real focus for us this year.”
The Co-operative Group wine buyer Ben Cahill said the chain saw a 22% rise in Champagne and sparkling wine sales last year, driven by own-brand Prosecco and Les Pionniers Champagne.
He added: “We are launching a pre- mium own-brand wine range under our Truly Irresistible banner, and Christmas will see the first big promotional deals across this range.
“We have a selection of fantastic wines at great value prices.”