Whether it is Spanish Albariño or New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, there are plenty of bargains to be found in supermarket aisles, writes Christine Austin

When you subtract the cost of excise duty (£2.23), VAT, transport, packaging and margins from people along the production process, it might come as a surprise that a £10 bottle of wine contains only £3.46 worth of liquid.  However little that is, it is a huge step up from the £5 bottle that contains just 34p worth of wine.  Considering that, for that grand sum of 34p, someone has to look after the vines all year, grow grapes, pick them, turn them into wine and then bottle them, it is clear that a £5 bottle of wine is unlikely to provide you with high quality drinking.

Shared between two people your £5 bottle of wine provides 17p worth of wine each.  What else is there on your dinner table that costs so little?

So now is the time to stretch up the price scale, to get more for your money, in both taste and value. With £5 as an absolute bottom limit and £10 at the top, and an eye on the supermarket offers, here are the white wines that are good value this week.

Booths is still in the midst of its 25% off deal when you buy 3 bottles of any of the wines included in their limited selection.  This is the kind of offer to look for since the wines are still being sold at their regular price, they just go down on a bulk buy.  Rather than take the saving, it is always worth trying new wines and trading up to get better flavours and so head for the crisp, savoury, mineral-shot flavours of Ailalá-Ailalelo Treixadura 2017 from Ribeiro in north west Spain.  Normally £13 this comes down to £9.75 on the deal.  Pronounce the grape Treixadura like ‘treasure-dura’ and enjoy this fresh-tasting wine with grilled fish and salads.  While you are in Booths, pick up a couple of bottles of Errazuriz Aconcagua Sauvignon Blanc 2017, normally £13, down to £9.75 on the deal.  This comes from the cool, coastal part of Chile where sea breezes and cold nights keep the zesty flavours in the grapes. Buy a few bottles to see you through springtime.  This offer at Booths continues until 12 March.

It is always worth wandering through the Waitrose range of wines, either in the shop or on the website. They often discount a chunk of their range, with the added benefit that you can buy a single bottle although it is always a good idea to stock up with more.  The delicious, apricot-scented flavours of Tres Mares Albariño from the cool Val do Salnes in Rías Baixas in Spain are down from £9.99 to £7.99.  This is a real spring-into-summer wine, perfect with salads and seafood.

I am also enjoying a return to Muscadet, since the region has endured poor harvests for a few years. Fief Guérin Muscadet Sur Lie 2017 is down from £8.49 to £7.49 and it has all the fresh, yeasty character that makes this a terrific wine to pour alongside fish – even fish and chips.  It also works well with sushi.  These Waitrose offers last through until 19 March.

If you enjoy Sauvignon Blanc and want to try one with a lower-than-usual alcohol content then The Doctor’s Sauvignon Blanc 2018 from New Zealand is one to go for.  It contains just 9.5% alcohol, compared with a usual Kiwi Sauvignon at around 13%, and this has been achieved by careful viticulture, early harvesting and controlled fermentation.  There have been no clever chemical tricks played on this wine. It means you can enjoy the gooseberry-fresh, lively flavours with a lower level of alcohol.This isn’t on offer but it is still great value at £8.99 from Waitrose.

Compared with many supermarkets, the Marks and Spencer range is somewhat limited but each wine has earned its place for its unique flavours and quality. M&S starts a new set of offers on Tuesday 5 March and I find it is always worth getting there in the first few days of any offers to make sure there is still some stock left.  The elegant, exotic, passion fruit and lemon flavours of Arneis grape from top producer Giacomo Aschieri in Piedmont, Italy are down from £13.50 to £8.99, and this goes perfectly with a mushroom risotto or grilled vitello.  Stocks of this wine are unlikely to last until the end of the offer on 1 April. If you miss the Arneis, look for Val de Loire Sauvignon Blanc, down £1 from £7 to £6.  It is crisp and zesty and perfect for sunny spring days.

Aldi has an even smaller range but value is locked into the whole philosophy of this discount chain.  They don’t bother to take part in the usual monthly up-and-down price offers, preferring to find a wine and put it on the shelves at a constant price. With massive buying power and a habit of buying from well-established producers they manage to get some seriously good flavours into their wines at great-value prices. Aldi’s Exquisite Clare Valley Riesling 2017 (£6.99) from Australia has all the right lime, crunchy apple and steely freshness that makes it go so well with fish and Thai-spiced dishes.

At the same price, Gavi di Gavi 2017 is made from the Cortese grape and shows light aromatic melon fruit with a bite of peach skin and lemon. Perfect to sip in spring sunshine.





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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