The best bottles on UK shelves for under ten quid:—
With many of us experiencing uncertainty and pressure on household bills, this week’s column is dedicated to finding you the best bottles on UK shelves for under ten quid.
The lockdown has brought lives to a standstill and, with booze sales buoyant, it’s clear that raising a glass or two has brightened some of our days along the way. Inevitably belts will be tightened and there are ways you can stretch your budget by selecting an unusual grape variety (Romanian Feteasca Regala is delicious: buy Asda’s Wine Atlas for £5.25), a wine that’s out of fashion (fabulous French Muscadet such as Waitrose Grandlieu Le Fief Guérin for £8.49) or overlooked and underrated bottles such as Portuguese red blends.
Own-label wines at supermarkets are mostly a safe bet, and I would also urge you to support your local independent wine shops. Set your local indie a budget, brief them on the wines you usually enjoy and let them deliver the goods.
They’ll want your custom and to build a long-term relationship with you, which makes it the perfect time to put their expertise to the test. As for buying online, delivery times are a little longer but if you plan ahead there are still superb wines available for under ten quid from Majestic and The Wine Society nationwide – remember to branch out to other strong online winemongers such as Yapp, Lea & Sandeman, Adnams, Corney & Barrow, Haynes Hanson & Clark and Tanners.
And to keep your choices as wide as possible, I’m launching a daily Value Vino section on my website for the duration of lockdown. It’s entirely free and you can find it on the homepage at ollysmith.com with a brand new recommendation every single day.
I’ll continue to find you the best value vino to make sure all of our glasses stay at least half full.
OLLY’S PICK OF THE BUNCH
REASONABLE RED: Malbec Comté Tolosan 2018 (12.5%) £5 Tesco. Scented and spicy vibrant red – the kind of wine you’d pour from a carafe on holiday and love to the Moon and back.
LOW-PRICE PICPOUL: Domaines Paul Mas AOC Picpoul de Pinet 2018 (12.5%) £8.99 Co-op. Breezy as windsurfing citrus seas on a sail of lemon peel. The ultimate lockdown refresher.
REAL STEAL ROSE: Domaine Coudougno Rosé 2018 (13%) £5.99 Lidl. An attractive and smart label for this perfectly crisp rosé with a subtle spicy thrill.
BARGAIN BUBBLES: La Vita Prosecco NV (11%) £7 M&S. Bubbles without breaking the bank, this prime Prosecco is fruity and great value vino.
WINE OF THE WEEK: Porta Seis Lisboa Red 2018 (13.5%) £7.50 Sainsbury’s. An excellent ambassador for sumptuous Portguese red
blends. Perfection paired with sausages.