As the weather switches from winter to summer and back again in just a few days, it is time to buy a few wines that can cope with all occasions. With an eye on the budget and the great offers on the supermarket shelves, it should be possible to drink well for under £10 a bottle. Here are my 20 best buys.
Passerina 2020, Abruzzo, Italy, Marks & Spencer down from £7.50 to £6 until April 18: Passerina is a grape that was almost lost to history but now it is being replanted and in the Abruzzo sunshine it makes a wine full of fresh peachy fruit with a steak of herbs. Perfect with a salad lunch.
Laurent Miquel Nocturnes Viognier 2020, Pays ‘d’Oc, France, Waitrose £9.99, down to £6.99 until April 19: Grapes are picked at night to retain all the aromatic flavours, this has the scent of freshly cut melon, with peach and apricot notes and crunchy freshness along the palate.
Bruce Jack Sauvignon Blanc 2021, South Africa, Asda, £7: Zippy-fresh with lemongrass, green apple and hints of peach fruit. Perfect as a thirst-quencher at the end of a long working day. The full range of Bruce Jack wines is scattered across the major supermarkets and all of them hit the mark for flavour and value.
Tempus Quartz Chardonnay 2020, South Australia, Morrisons down from £9 to £7.00 until April 5: A blend of Limestone Coast, Barossa and Adelaide Hills fruit gives a fresh, zesty style of Chardonnay, with absolutely no oak and a crunchy, minerally finish.
Baron Amarillo Rías Baixas Albariño 2020, Spain, Aldi, £7.49: As the sunshine quota rises so does the need for Albariño. Apricot aromas with peach and lime zest adding interest.
Taste the Difference Gavi, Italy, Sainsbury, down from £9 to £7.50 until April 26: Light and lemony with green, leafy flavours and a twist of herbs. Team alongside the first salads of the season.
Champteloup Sauvignon Blanc 2020, Touraine, Waitrose down from £10.69 to £7.99 until April 19: France was making good Sauvignon Blanc long before New Zealand thought of it, and this is a bright, cool-climate style of Sauvignon which comes from the good-value end of the Loire. With fresh gooseberry fruit and a whiff of crushed nettles this has balance and weight.
The Ned Pinot Grigio 2021, Marlborough, New Zealand, Sainsbury, down from £10 to £8 until April 26: If you are used to fairly bland Pinot Grigio then this one may be a surprise. New Zealand has taken Pinot Grigio grape under its wing and is making it with more aroma, peach and melon fruit with a thread of freshness that is good to team with fish.
Maris Vermentino 2019, Pays d’Oc, Vin Biologique, Booths £10.75 down to £8.75 until April 12: No apologies for mentioning this wine again, it really is worth a try. Pure and elegant with light floral notes, lime zest and the scent of wild herbs, this organic wine comes from one of the most ecological wineries in France.
Planeta l’Amistanza Fiano Grecanico 2020, Sicily, Tesco down from £10 to £9 until April 18, Clubcard holders only: L’Amistanza means ‘friendship’ in old Italian which means it is the perfect wine to open when friends come round. It has pink grapefruit and pineapple fruit with herbs and spice on the finish. If you haven’t tried this wine yet, then you should.
Taparoo Shiraz 2020, Australia, £3.99 Tesco: Not on offer, but at this price, it is a permanent great deal. I have no idea how Tesco manages to put this easy-drinking, plums and blackberry- filled wine on the shelves for so little money.
Domaine Mandeville Pinot Noir 2020, Languedoc-Roussillon, France, Marks and Spencer down from £9 to £6 until 18 April: This soft, supple, juicy cherry and raspberry-filled wine scored top marks at the latest M&S tastings and so I am surprised that it is on such a great offer. But whatever the reason, swing by your local store and stock up. At this price it will do very well with a mid-week chicken sandwich supper, but it won’t be out of place alongside the Saturday night grilled duck.
Finest Primitivo Terre di Chieti 2019, Abruzzo, Italy, Tesco £7 down to £6 until April 18, Clubcard holders only: Dark plum and forest fruits with a sprinkle of spice and soft tannins. Perfect for the last casseroles of the season.
The Botham All-Rounder Cabernet Sauvignon 2020, Booths down from £8 to £6 until April 12: Full of ripe blackberry fruit with a touch of earthy spice, try this alongside the first barbecue of the season.
Les Tuguets Madiran 2019, France, Tesco down from £7 to £6 until April 18, Clubcard holders only: Bold chunky dark red fruits, tightly laced into firm, supple tannins with liquorice and chocolate on the finish. Team with grilled sausages.
Extra Special Douro 2019, Portugal, Asda £6.50: Deep in colour with ripe damson plum, blackberry and liquorice flavours and a rich, chewy texture that will tame a steak.
Norton Colleción Malbec 2021, Mendoza, Argentina, Waitrose down from £10.49 to £6.99 until April 19: Stock up with this wine to go with the many barbecues that will be happening this summer. Inky dark plum and mulberry fruit layered with spiced
black pepper. Delicious with steak and sausages.
Specially Selected Sparkling
Shiraz, South Australia, £7.49 Aldi:
Red fizz? Totally unexpected but
delicious. Full of dark cherries and redcurrants with a sprinkle of herbs this goes well with sausages straight from the grill.
CVNE Rioja Crianza 2018, Sainsbury down from £9 to £8 until April 26: A youthful style of Rioja full of cherry and red berry fruit, a hint of vanilla and cocoa on the finish. Consistently good and it will drink well through summer.
The Best Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2020, Australia, Morrisons, down from £10 to £8 until April 5: If you find yourself in Morrisons in the next few days, snap up this cassis and black cherry filled wine, layered with pepper and chocolate.