With more than a nod to austerity, Christine Austin chooses her 20 best-value wines for the summer

As austerity becomes a way of life it is tempting to cut down on expensive items such as wine but while the sun shines and there is fun to be had just by lighting the barbecue and inviting a few friends round, then it is well worth hunting out the bargains. Even though the pound has fallen against the currencies of most wine-producing nations, we are a significant player in the international wine market so there are always people willing to shave their margins and sell us good value wines. Here are my top twenty bargains for the summer.

 

White Wines

Tokaji Furmint 2016, Dereszla, Hungary, Lidl £5.99

Part of the new range of wines that has just arrived at Lidl. As always, these parcels are limited so that when it is gone, it is gone and may not be repeated. Try a few of the new range and if you like them, stock up.

This is a delicious dry wine with notes of honeysuckle and apricots with a broad rounded palate that goes well with chicken and pork.

The Best Fiano 2016, Italy, Morrisons £6

Fiano is a grape that almost disappeared and was brought back into mainstream grape-growing only a few years ago. It has a creamy rounded texture with touches of herbs, backed by lemon and light peachy notes. Enjoy with herb-baked fish.

Le Fleuve Bleu Blanc 2016, Languedoc, France, Marks and Spencer £6

Mainly Grenache Blanc this has rounded peachy fruit with a honeysuckle and light spicy note. It is the perfect wine to pour with cold roasted chicken, creamy pasta dishes or cedar plank salmon.

Dourthe La Grande Cuvée Sauvignon 2016, Bordeaux, France, Waitrose, £9.49 down to £6.99 until 8 August

Every fridge deserves to have some Sauvignon Blanc in stock ready for the top to be twisted off as soon as the sun shines.   This is packed with grassy, grapefruit and minerally flavours and is perfect with salads, fish and goat’s cheese.

 

Irresistible Viognier 2016, Languedoc, France, Paul Mas, Co-op £7.49

There are some Viogniers that end up too ripe and heavy, but not this one. Light, fresh with apricot fruit and a crisp, clean finish, it goes really well with any spice-edged salad.

 

 

Rosé

 

Taste the Difference Fronton Negrette Rosé 2016, France, 12.5%, Sainsbury, down from £7 to £6 until 9 August

Slightly deeper in colour than fashionable Provence rosé wines, this has a touch more flavour too. Spice-dusted and strawberry-scented this is delicious alongside a plate of grilled fish.

Mirabeau Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016, France, Waitrose down from £9.99 to £7.49 until 8 August

Pale in colour with the taste of wild strawberries and freshly picked raspberries, this is a stylish rosé for summer drinking.

Viñalba Malbec Rosé 2016, Argentina, Morrisons £8.50

A fruit-filled rosé with notes of strawberry, raspberry and backed by a twist of mandarin-orange zest to keep the flavours fresh. Keep in the fridge to be ready when the sun shines.

Marques de Alarcón Rosado 2016, Castilla, Spain, Marks and Spencer £8.50

Full of juicy, strawberry-edged fruit with a touch more weight and concentration than many rosé wines. Big enough to pour at a barbecue without the flavours being swamped.

Haut Vol Rosé 2016, Vin de France, Majestic £8.99

Stylishly packaged and delicately pink, this is the wine to have on the table at any summer party. Strawberry fruit and a fresh, citrus finish make this a food friendly wine.

Reds

Dornfelder 2016, Pfalz, Germany, Lidl £4.99

If you have never tried the juicy, plum and lightly spiced flavours of the Dornfelder grape then head to Lidl and pick up a few bottles while this parcel is still in store. Great with sausages and steak straight off the barbecue, it is a terrific bargain.

Porcupine Ridge Syrah 2015, Swartland, South Africa, Waitrose down from £7.99 to £5.99 until 8 August

Robust, full of bramble and black cherry fruit, and layered with spice and black pepper, this is a bargain, even at its full price. Stock up for the long haul. This is great with summer and winter foods.

The Best Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2015, Italy, Morrisons £6

Full of chunky plummy fruit with a twist of herbs that will go down with anything from beef kebabs to a steak.

Cono Sur Bicicleta Pinot Noir 2016, Sainsbury, down from £7 to £6 until 9 August

A great value Pinot that has become even better value on offer. Chill it down slightly and enjoy this smooth-tasting, red cherry and plum filled wine. Great with roasted salmon, chicken and lamb kebabs.

 

Le Mont Verdoyant Beaujolais Villages 2016, France, Co-op £6.99

Beaujolais has moved on since the dark and dreadful days of Nouveau so maybe it is time to experience the bright, juicy, cherry and redcurrant filled flavours of proper Beaujolais. This comes from the best villages in the region. Chill it slightly before pouring.

 

 

Sparkling

Crémant d’Alsace Brut, France, Lidl £7.99

Another short-term bargain at Lidl that balances the fresh floral notes of Riesling with a zesty, citrus finish. Dry but not aggressively so, this is a family crowd-pleaser.

Codorníu Rosado Cava Brut, Spain, Sainsbury down from £10 to £7 until 9 August

Full of strawberry fruit and a delightful pale pink in colour this is terrific as an aperitif but also goes well with food, from salmon and prawns to a bowl of strawberries.

The Best Vintage Cava Brut, Spain, Morrisons £7

A real step up in quality from many supermarket cavas, this has light lemon freshness, and a spice-sprinkled peachy note that makes it big enough to enjoy with meaty canapés.

Definition Prosecco Brut, Valdobbiadene, Italy, Majestic £12.99

Soft, creamy bubbles with a light floral twist. Perfect for any summer gathering.

Prosecco Conegliano Magnum, Taste the Difference, Italy, Sainsbury down from £19 to £16 until 9 August

If you are having a summer party, there is nothing more impressive than pouring wine from a magnum. It adds excitement and is actually easier to handle than 2 standard bottles. This is pale, frothy and with light floral, citrusy notes. A perfect summer garden party wine.

 

About The Author

Christine Austin

Christine is a wine writer, broadcaster and a wine judge for several international wine competitions. She has a technical background and spent five years as a buyer for a major supermarket before moving to wine writing.She writes for The Yorkshire Post Magazine and organises the York Festival of Food and Drink. She has won both the Lanson and the Roederer prizes for wine writing.

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