These bargain reds offer the best quality for the best value—

Value is in the eye of the beholder. Growing up, my parents used to send me to the cheapest barber around. For years I looked like a medieval simpleton with a helmet of straw. Thankfully with wine, I know the shortcuts to some wonderful bargain reds.

For ages, Chile owned great value – and still has good options. But the Iberian Peninsula is perhaps even more exciting. Spain is on an upward curve with adventurous wine-making and growing confidence in lesser-known regions such as Navarra, where my Co-Op pick comes from this week.

Over in Portugal you can find huge quality. But great vintages also offer opportunity: 2017 marked the third cracking year in a row for France’s Rhône, there’s a reliable seam of 2017 Côtes du Rhône Villages to dig out, and 2018 Beaujolais is being hailed as legendary.

OLLY’S PICK OF THE BUNCH

GET YOUR BEAUJO WORKING: Beaujolais Villages 2018 (13%) £5.99 Aldi. Stick it in the fridge and refresh with this light red gem.

WAY ON DAO: Torre de Ferro Dão Reserva 2016 (13.5%) £6.99 Lidl. Sleek and robust, this is prime Portugal for a snip.

LIVING DAVIDA LOCA: Davida 2018 (14%) £8 Co-op. Vivid pure red, inky and precious as an autograph from Bacchus himself.

VOODOO CHILE: Taste the Difference Maipo Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 (14%) £9 Sainsbury’s. Rich, fruity red is a reminder that Chile is still champion value.

WINE OF THE WEEK

Palais St Vigni Côtes du Rhône Villages 2017 (13.5%) £8 Tesco. Great juicy red with spicy depth and pedigree above its price.

This column was originally published in EVENT Magazine, Mail on Sunday, 14th July 2019

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