Our wines of the week and how to get 25 per cent of a bottle of vino at Waitrose

Christine Austin gives us her wines of the week – and tells you how you can pick up some exciting and cheap bottles from Waitrose.

Wines of the Week:

Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc Cellar Selection 2022, 13%, Morrisons down from £13 to £11 until April 2: A definite step up in quality from the Private Bin label, this has juicy citrus and melon fruit with a crunchy, minerally finish.

Bird in Hand Sparkling 2022, Adelaide Hills, Australia, Booths down from £16 to £13 until April 9: Made from 100% Pinot Noir grapes, this is pale pink, with light strawberry fruit and a dry, crisp finish. Everyone loves this wine.

Waitrose has a 25% off deal on selected wines until Tuesday.Waitrose has a 25% off deal on selected wines until Tuesday.
Waitrose has a 25% off deal on selected wines until Tuesday.
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Famille Perrin Les Cardinaux 2021, Côtes du Rhône Villages, France, 14%, Co-op down from £11.50 to £10.50 until April 2: From one of the best producers in the Rhône, this has chunky warm, dark fruits with a dusting of spice and a rounded, full finish.

Louis Jadot Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2022, France, 13%, Sainsbury down from £20 to £18 until April 2: A quality Burgundy with rounded dark cherry and plum fruit, and just enough structure to cope with roast lamb.​

Waitrose 25% off

Several supermarkets have jumped on the 25% off bandwagon, but Waitrose still seems to have the biggest and best money-off deals. These offers come and go rapidly, so you only have until Tuesday, April 2 to get on the website or down to your local store to load up with 6 bottles of any mix of wine, including Champagne that costs between £5 and £100. The 25% is automatically deducted at the till.

This is an opportunity to try wines you have thought about but not tried yet. I would head for the crisp melon and peach flavours of Howard Park Chardonnay from Margaret River, normally £13.99, and the simply superb cherry and herb filled Querciabella Ardalico Chianti Classico, normally £19.99.

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This is also the time to stock up with champagne to take you through summer events. Waitrose Blanc de Noirs is made from 100% Pinot Noir grapes and has ripe, rounded flavours with definite toasty notes on the finish, normally £27.99. All prices will be 25% off until the deal ends on Tuesday evening.

Paper bottles at Aldi

With just 17% of the carbon footprint of a normal glass bottle and only 20% of the weight, Aldi now has two wines on the shelves, packed in paper bottles. The outer is made of recycled paperboard, and this keeps the bottle standing up straight.

It has a normal screw cap which is part of a food-grade pouch which holds the wine inside the paper outer. When you have finished the bottle you can take the bottle apart, recycling the paperboard in your normal paper and card recycling bin.

The pouch with its top has to go to a recycling point, which probably means a special journey to somewhere that will recycle them.

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Maybe as part of this eco initiative, Aldi stores should act as a recycling point for the insides of these splendid paper bottles. As for the wine inside – it is great. Cambalala Sauvignon Blanc 2023 from South Africa is crisp and fresh, while the Cambalala Shiraz is full of juicy red fruits. Both wines cost £7.99 a bottle.

Chinese Solution

A few years ago, huge increases in import duties charged by China on Australian wine wiped out the trade between these countries. It meant that Australia developed a sizable wine lake, and UK supermarkets took advantage with some terrific deals. Now trade talks between China and Australia are going well and the tariffs may soon be lifted, but it will still take a couple of years to clear all that stock. Enjoy low prices for Aussie wines while they are still on the shelves.

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