Best budget wines to put in your basket right now
Vinalba Finca La 70 Malbec-Cabernet Sauvignon 2020, Patagonia, Argentina 14%
From relatively cool climate vineyards, a blend that impresses with its gorgeous red cherry fruit and rich seam of dark chocolate and wood spice from barrel ageing. It demands red meat – roast lamb or a rare steak. Available from Co-op (£9).
Pavillon La Tourelle Bordeaux Supérieur 2019, France 13.5%
It’s rare to find decent red bordeaux at this price, but this oak-aged blend of merlot, cabernet franc and cabernet sauvignon has a heart of cassis and red plums, a sprinkle of spice and enough structure for burgers (try our new venison burgers) or meatballs. Available from Majestic (£8.99, or £6.99 as part of a mixed six).
Morrisons Pinot Noir 2021, Central Valley, Chile 12%
Soft, ripe and with an inviting aroma of gently cooked blackberries, here’s an easy-going pinot for under a fiver. A decent party red – or open for veg-based coconut curries or spicy dal. Available from Morrisons (£4.79).
Waitrose Loved & Found Albarossa 2020, Piedmont, Italy 13%
Proving you don’t have to stick to big brands or obvious styles to find a bargain, here’s an unusual grape delivering a robust red with forest fruit and a peppery twist to match with hearty meat casseroles and braises. Available from Waitrose (£7.99).
Porcupine Ridge Chardonnay 2022, Western Cape, South Africa 13%
Punching way above its price point, a well-crafted Cape chardonnay with butterscotch and vanilla hints, plus plenty of juicy pineapple and fresh citrus peel. A joy with roast chicken or baked salmon steaks with a squeeze of lemon. Available from Tesco (£7.50).
EH Booth & Co Fiano 2021, Sicily, Italy 12.5%
A bright, sunny white, bursting with melon and lime and dashed with orange blossom water – spot on for welcoming in slightly lighter evenings as we look forward to spring. Best match: creamy pasta sauces. Available from Booths (£7).
Étoile de Timberlay Crémant de Bordeaux Rosé Brut NV, France 12%
Dry and delicate pink fizz with fresh strawberry and raspberry ripple flavours, buoyed by masses of teeny- tiny bubbles. Chill and pop open as an elegant aperitif (it’s fab with sushi, too). Available from Marks & Spencer (£10).
Paul Mas Auromon Chardonnay 2021, Limoux, France 13.5%
Well-balanced chardonnay, ripe but youthfully fresh, with a rounded texture and dab of butter. Just the partner for the wonderful salmon with bacon, sweetcorn and crushed potatoes. Available from Waitrose (£9.99).