'Tis the Season to be 'jolly'...
There is a whole WORLD of wine out there, and I know I'm not the only one who adopts that rather 'glazed over' look after 20 minutes of weighing up the 'deals' on offer in the wine aisle..
So, to save you time, money, and bad choices, here are the TOP TIPS I've acquired from those 'in the know' (which I have tried and tested, just to make sure..)
- Sainsbury's 'Taste The Difference' range of wines are reliably brilliant. They are very often single estate, from interesting but less well known regions, and offer fantastic value for money for truly delicious wines.
- White; Look out for Chilean wine from Casablanca Valley - it's the new NZ Marlborough for Sauvignon Blanc. It complements pretty much anything. The region also has fantastic Pinot Noir.
- Red; Southern Italian Reds (Nero D'Avola for instance) or Spanish Garnacha or Tempranillo are cheerful, easy drinking reds, around the £7 mark. If there's a NZ Pinot Noir on offer for the same price, especially from Central Otago region, then even better.
FOR CHRISTMAS TURKEY
- RED - go for a Pinot Noir, or if you want be glitzy, a Chateauneuf-du-Pape (though honestly, a Gigondas of the same price will be better value and more delicious)
- WHITE - A Viogner or a Pouilly Fume will be divine and delicate - if you want a little more in the way of 'guts' then an Australian Semillon should hit the spot.
OTHER NEED-TO-KNOW TIPS
- More than half of the value of a £5 bottle of wine is tax.. SO, If you spend £7 on a bottle of wine rather than £5, you are getting more than double the amount of 'wine value' - probably the best £2 you can spend! If you spend £10 and it doubles again and then you're really on to something..
- The 'New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc' is a saturated market these days.. If nothing else, check the back to see if it was 'Imported and bottled in Guildford (for instance)' - if so, it's not worth the 'half price' offer it claims..
- If you like full bodied, gutsy and fabulous red wines, then Argentinian Malbec from the Mendoza region, Australian Shiraz from the Barossa region and Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon from the Colchagua region should float your boat..
- Spanish wines from other regions than 'Rioja' are often very good and just as delicious, for less ££, Try Monastrell or Mencia (grapes) from Eastern and Northern regions, respectively. Or Southern Italian reds from Puglia (like Primitivo or Malvasia) deliver a similar hit.