It was really quite exciting, waving my card to pay for goods and carrying them away, instead of ordering on the net and waiting days for them to arrive.
The only downside was parking. It seems that while we have all been hiding away, the number of spaces has diminished and the parking charges have gone up. By the time I had done my shopping and sat outside a coffee shop with a friend I haven’t seen in ages, I had rung up £7 in parking charges.
Now I enjoy a trip to the high street like anyone else, but I wondered what else I could have spent that £7 on. Instead of breathing in car fumes with my coffee and browsing (but not touching) the goods in a shop, I could have bought any one of the following bargain bottles and sat in my garden with my friend. I don’t remember having dilemmas like this before.
Maybe it is Lockdown Syndrome?
Extra Special South African Chardonnay 2020, Asda, £5.50: An outstanding Chardonnay that scoops up just a little more peachy sunshine than many others, with enough structure to take on a roast chicken.
Zalze Bush Vine Chenin Blanc, South Africa, Waitrose, down from £8.99 to £5.99 until June 1: Zesty lemon and lime flavours with a twist of guava make this a great partner for fish.
Bruce Jack Sauvignon Blanc 2020, South Africa, Sainsbury’s, down from £7 to £6 until May 25: Bruce Jack has made exceptional wines wherever he has worked, and now with his own name on the bottle the quality shines out. This has zippy citrus fruit with a clean, minerally bite.
Tuna Club Verdejo Sauvignon Blanc 2019, Spain, Booths, down from £8.75 to £6.56 until June 1: Crisp and full of citrus flavours topped with a sprinkle of herbs, which makes it perfect to pour alongside grilled sea bass.
Beronia Rueda Verdejo 2019, Spain, Waitrose, down from £8.99 to £6.69 until June 1: Crisp and zesty like a Sauvignon Blanc, with melon fruit and hints of fennel mid-palate. Perfect with grilled white fish and prawns.
Assyrtiko 2020, Aspri Petra, Greece, Aldi online, £6.99: No apologies for mentioning this wine again because it is fabulous. Assyrtiko is a rare grape full of zesty aromatic lemon flavours.
The Best Gavi di Gavi 2020, Italy, Morrisons, down from £9.75 to £7 until June 1: These longer days deserve some lighter flavours. Fresh lime and ripe pear notes make this a match with creamy chicken and grilled fish.
Rigal Vin Orange 2019, south-west France, Morrisons, down from £10 to £7 until June 1: Orange wine is not made from oranges; the “orange” describes the way it was made. Gros Manseng grapes are macerated for six weeks, giving soft, savoury flavours with apricots, nuts and a layer of ginger-spice.
Burra Brook Rosé 2020, Australia, Marks & Spencer, down from £7 to £5 until Monday: Deep in colour and packed with enough raspberry fruit to withstand a splash of soda.
Trivento Malbec Rosé 2020, Chile, Tesco (Clubcard only), down from £8 to £6 until Monday: Pale in colour but full of strawberry and raspberry fruit with a fresh citrus finish.
La Vieille Ferme Rosé 2020, Rhône, France, Waitrose, down from £8.79 to £6.49 until June 1: From the Perrin family who have established themselves as one of the most reliable producers in the Rhône. Made from a blend of Cinsault, Grenache and Syrah, this is a light, easy wine with raspberry fruit and a dry, clean finish.
The Botham All-Rounder Cabernet Sauvignon 2020, Booths, down from £8 to £6 until June 1: Full of ripe blackberry fruit with a touch of earthy spice, bring this out to pour alongside the first barbecue of the season.
Criolla Grande 2020, Buenas Vides, Argentina, Aldi, £5.99: Congratulations to Aldi buyers for finding this juicy, cherry and redcurrant wine that goes perfectly with a midweek pasta or pizza. Criolla is widely planted in Argentina, but very little makes it over here. Try it.
Interlude Pinot Noir 2019, South East Australia, Co-op, down from £7 to £6 until May 18: Australia isn’t well known for its Pinot Noir but this one manages to show its bright, fresh cherry fruit with just a touch of food-friendly backbone. Perfect with lamb, and when the weather is warmer, just pop it in the fridge for an hour.
Irresistible Rioja Crianza 2017, Spain, Co-op, down from £7 to £6 until May 18: Lightish in style with cherry and raspberry fruit and a smooth, supple finish. Try it with a midweek pizza.
The Best Cahors Malbec 2018, France, Morrisons, down from £8 to £6 until June 1: We have all got so used to Argentinian Malbec that it is easy to forget that this grape started out in France. Here it makes wines with deep damson and mulberry fruit, laced with liquorice notes with a steak-friendly finish.
Aglianico del Vulture 2017, Aldi, £6.99: From the dark, rich soils of Monte Vulture in Basilicata in southern Italy, the Aglianico grape produces dark, firm, structured wines with plum and bilberry fruit. Pair it with a serious sausage and the combination is fabulous.
Extra Special Bordeaux Supérieur 2019, France, Asda, £7: This is the regular price and it really does offer flavour for money. Mainly Cabernet Sauvignon, it has plum and cherry fruit with just a hint of herbs.
Mad Fish Shiraz 2018, Western Australia Tesco (Clubcard only), down from £9 to £7 until Monday: Rush to fill your trolley with this plush, cherry and plum-filled wine while the offer is still on. It goes well with barbecues but won’t let you down if you end up seated around the dining table.
Taste the Difference Pignoletto Spumante Brut, Sainsbury’s, down from £9 to £6.75 until May 25: Move over Prosecco, Pignoletto is a different style of Italian fizz – less sweet, and with fresh, tangy, apple and peach fruit flavours. Perfect as an aperitif.