Christine Austin has gone in search of some of the best white wines you can buy for a tenner or less - and she's come across some corkers.

The last couple of months have been busy with the supermarket tasting season when many of the big names on the High Street pull corks and twist screwcaps off their new wines and vintages to show them off to the assembled press.

Bearing in mind that £10 is about the top price for many wine purchases, I have now compiled my list of the best buys under a tenner.  For this money I am looking for great flavours, fresh tastes and good value. This week I shall look at my top twenty white wines – with fizz, rosé and reds to follow in subsequent weeks.

White wines

Extra Special Rueda 2018, Castilla y Leon, Spain, Asda £6

Asda is starting to turn its wine range around and this silver-medal winning wine shows exactly what can be done at a great value price. Packed with zippy, fresh citrus flavours, it has good depth with fennel, anise and white floral notes.

Puzzle Tree Chardonnay Viognier 2018, Chile, Marks and Spencer £6

20% Viognier really lifts this Chardonnay with bright apricot fruit and crisp pink grapefruit freshness.

Orange Wine 2018, Romania, Asda £6

Orange wine is a trend that has been a bit slow to catch on, but now drinkers are starting to appreciate the complexity of wine made with a long skin-contact time. Made from Feteasca Alba, Chardonnay, Jammu Mare and Sauvignon Blanc grapes, it has notes of quince, pear and vanilla with a rounded, food-friendly structure.  If you haven’t tried an orange wine then start with this one.

Finest Côtes de Gascogne Blanc 2018, France, Tesco £6.50

A real step up from the Tesco regular Cotes de Gascogne, this is packed full of lively, refreshing, citrus freshness.

Finest Pecorino 2018, Abruzzo, Italy, Tesco £7

Snap this up on offer at just £6 until 17 June, it has bright citrus fruit edged with herbs.  A great summer wine.

Finest Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2018, New Zealand, £8

Every fridge needs a stock of Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc to be brought out when the sun shines.  Thirst quenching, bright and uncomplicated, with gooseberry and pineapple fruit, this is currently down to £7 until 16 June.  Stock up and you will have wine to pour whenever the neighbours pop round.

Markus Huber Grüner Veltliner 2018, Traisental, Austria, Waitrose £10.79

This goes down to £7.99 on 12 June and it well worth a try. Grüner is a refreshing, rounded, citrus and white pepper style of grape.  Fabulously food-friendly it will accompany fuller dishes, such as Asian-spiced dishes and deep-fried fish.

Taste the Difference Muscadet de Sèvre et Maine 2018, Sainsbury £8

Muscadet is back in fashion with its saline, yeasty character enhanced by aging on lees for around 6 months to add depth and complexity. Oysters, grilled fish and prawns are perfect with Muscadet.

Finest Viñas del Rey Albariño 2018, Rías Baixas, Spain, Tesco £8.50

Down to just £7 until 17 June, this has light floral aromas, with peach, tangerine and apricot flavours backed by crisp acidity and is perfect for summer sunshine drinking.

Bourgogne Chardonnay 2017, France, Marks and Spencer £9

This wine is another permanent price reduction at M&S, providing elegant peach and citrus notes with hints of creaminess and a long finish.  Perfect alongside roast chicken or risotto.

Santa Julia High Altitude Chardonnay 2018, Sainsbury £9

Grown high in the Andes where nights are cold and flavours stay fresh, this has peach and ripe pear notes with a rounded gentle texture and no oak clouding the palate.

Finest SR 2017, South Australia, Tesco £9

A flavoursome mix of Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Roussanne and Marsanne providing fresh-tasting lime and pink grapefruit flavours backed by peachy apricot notes.  Good with roast chicken.

Blueprint English Dry White Wine 2018, Waitrose £9.49

Made with almost 50% Bacchus grape which is fast becoming England’s signature grape in still wines. It is full of lively, fresh nettle and hedgerow aromas with zippy citrus flavours.

Cascina Valentino Arneis 2018, Piedmont, Italy, Asda £9.50

Arneis has pear, nectarine and spice notes with notes of fennel and herbs on the finish.  Rounded and stylish, it goes well with a herby salad.

Taste the Difference Vouvray 2018, France, Sainsbury £9.50

Pure Chenin Blanc grown on limestone and fermentation stopped with just an edge of remaining sweetness, producing a lemon and honey character.  Delicious with pork.

Domaine Begude Organic Terroir 11300 Chardonnay, Haute Vallée de l’Aude 2018, Waitrose £9.99

From a fabulous estate on a windy hillside in Limoux, this doesn’t qualify for the Limoux designation because the producer refuses to over-oak his wine, and so it carries its postcode, not the region.  It is a rounded, elegant style of Chardonnay, with crisp, linear freshness.

O’Leary Walker Polish Hill Organic Riesling, 2016, Clare Valley, Australia, Waitrose £12.99

Scheduled to drop in price to £9.99 on 12 June, this is a bright, lime-fresh, zesty wine with layers of nectarine, apricot and even a touch of honey.  Bone dry it is a sensational partner for any dish with coriander and lemongrass in the ingredients.

Craft 3 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2018, New Zealand, Marks and Spencer £10

This is part of the new initiative at M&S to adopt ‘reliable pricing’ so that customers can buy with confidence that prices won’t go up and down on a regular basis.  So this wine used to retail at £11 and is now at a steady £10.  It is one of the best supermarket Sauvignons around, with crunchy gooseberry-popping flavours and layers of nettles, passionfruit and citrus.  Good enough for Sunday lunch, alongside a side of salmon.

Taste the Difference Royal Tokaji Dry Furmint 2017, Sainsbury, £10

This is an extraordinary wine.  Normally associated with Tokaji’s fabulous sweet wines this region now makes fabulous dry wines with notes of honeysuckle, peach and herbs, shot through with lip-smacking citrus and a streak of minerally freshness.  Team it with fish, chicken and pork.

Tbilvino Qvevris 2016, Georgia, Marks and Spencer £10

Old-style winemaking in a clay amphora, buried in the ground, this tastes more like an amontillado sherry than wine, but it is delightfully savoury and long in flavour.



About The Author

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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