Last week it was white wines, this time Christine Austin picks her favourite bunch of reds for a tenner or less.

Chilled white wine is essential in warm weather, but have you thought of putting your red wines in the fridge?  There are some reds that positively thrive after an hour’s chilling, which brings out their fresh juicy flavours. And once the barbecue gets going, and food is on the table then pour small servings, top-up frequently and keep the bottles out of the sun.

Here are my top 20 red wines for summer drinking, all under £10.   Not all need chilling, but they should all be kept out of the sun.

Firetree Sicilian Nero d’Avola 2018, Italy, Aldi £4.99

Soft, robust, blackberry and dark plum fruit with a lift of red cherry keeping flavours fresh. Astonishing value.

Mellow and Fruity Red, Spain, Waitrose £4.99

Exactly as described on the label, this is one to have in stock to pour with any mid-week meal. Can be chilled.

Viña del Cura Rioja 2018, Spain, Tesco £5

Creamy, strawberry and raspberry fruit, with enough oak to give the right taste but not enough to drown out the fruit. A great red wine for any summer gathering.

Old Vine Garnacha 2018, Campo de Borja, Spain, Co-op £5.35

Brimming with juicy cherry and bramble fruit with an easy-drinking style, chill this wine for an hour and enjoy with pizzas, pasta and lamb chops.


Weather Station Malbec Shiraz 2018, South Africa, Marks and Spencer £7 down to £6 until 24 June

A first step on the ladder of Malbec intensity, this is full of juicy dark blueberry fruit, dusted with spice, and is a lighter, fruitier style of Malbec than most.  Great with sausages or meaty pasta dishes.

Calmel & Joseph Villa Blanche Piquepoul Noir 2018, Pays d’Herault, France, Waitrose £8.49 down to £6.49 until 9 July

Never heard of Piquepoul Noir?  That’s because it was regarded as a flavour-lightweight and almost went extinct. Now rescued by a handful of growers who coax it into producing this light, fresh-tasting red berry fruit-filled wine.  Chill it down for an hour in summer weather.

Number 9 Blend Australian GSM 2018, Aldi £6.99

A classic Aussie blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre, made by one of the leading producers in Australia, but sold fairly anonymously under the Aldi label.  Packed with chunky, dark plum fruit with just a twist of spice on the finish.

Beaujolais Villages 2018, France, Tesco £7

The regular Tesco Beaujolais at a fiver is a tremendous bargain and a perfectly good wine, but their Beaujolais Villages, selected from the best areas of the region is a significant step up in quality with dark cherry fruit and refreshing bright acidity. It loves an hour in the fridge, especially on a hot day.

Marqués de Alarcon Tempranillo Syrah 2017, Castilla la Mancha, Spain, Marks and Spencer £7

Spain’s key grape variety, Tempranillo gives this wine bramble and dark cherry fruit, then a substantial splash of Syrah adds an edge of cinnamon spice to the finish.  This does not need chilling, but don’t let it get too warm in sunshine and team it with meaty kebabs.

Costières de Nîmes 2017, France, Asda £7

Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre from the Southern Rhône, full of dark summer berry fruit, dusted with herbs and sunshine.  Perfect with meat and mushrooms.

Finest Faugères 2018, Occitanie, France, Tesco £9 

Definitely one to try from Southern France.  Robust and full of dark, chunky, black cherry fruit laced with herbs and spices.

Zalze Shiraz Mourvèdre Viogner 2017, South Africa, Morrisons £7.25

Consistently great value. Loaded with dark fruit, packed with chunky personality, it accompanies almost anything off the barbecue with style and pleasure.  Don’t chill it, but keep it in the shade.

Taste the Difference Langhorn Creek Cabernet Sauvignon 2017, Australia, Sainsbury £7.50

Pure cassis fruit with hints of mint on the finish give this wine an elegance that is far beyond its price point.  Plenty of flavour and just enough smooth, silky structure.  Perfect with steak.

Asado Club Malbec 2017, Argentina, Morrisons £7.75

Asado is the Argentinian word for barbecue, and the fun label demonstrates this perfectly.  Not serious, not heavy, this is the wine to have on tap at any summer foodie gathering.

Domaine des Ormes Saumur Rouge 2016, France, Co-op £8

The Loire is home to Cabernet Franc and there is something about the green pepper and ripe redcurrant flavours of this grape that make it perfect for chilling. This warm, tiny enclave of Saumur ripens the fruit perfectly and achieves the most delicate and precise flavours, like that first bite into a Scottish raspberry.

Taste the Difference Marzemino 2018, Italy, Sainsbury £8.50

This cherry-filled, light fresh red wine comes from the basalt hills around Isera in northeast Italy. Chill it down and enjoy with charcuterie and herby roast chicken.

Finest Marlborough Pinot Noir 2018, New Zealand, Tesco £9

One of the best New Zealand supermarket Pinots on the shelves, this is fragrant on the nose and has all the right cherry and strawberry fruit.  Easy to drink, but with enough structure and elegance to cope with a range of foods from salmon to roast lamb.

Bardolino 2018, Italy, Marks and Spencer £9

Made from a blend of Corvina and Rondinella grapes, both of which love being chilled for an hour or so and then being poured alongside simple pasta dishes or grilled tuna.


Saint Clair Gimblett Gravels Syrah, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand 2018, Waitrose down from £12.99 to £9.99 until 9 July

Snap up some of this gorgeous, black fruit filled wine edged with cinnamon spice and silky tannins. It is perfect to match with anything off the barbecue but if your summer dinning includes a tablecloth and a few ribs of roast beef then this will shine.


Cono Sur Reserva Especial Pinot Noir 2016, Chile, Morrisons £10, on offer at 3 for £20 until 18 June

Cono Sur has always produced good Pinot Noir and this reserva shows just how good it can be. With ripe, dark cherry fruit, oak perfectly in balance and an earthy character filling out the flavour this is perfect to match with any duck, mushroom or lamb dish.


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.

Let us know what you think