The wine for your table over the festive period may have been low down on the list of priorities but there is no reason to scrimp on quality when the purse strings are tight. iLikeOffers.co.uk has called upon three wine bloggers to offer up their expertise and help you buy an excellent tipple on a budget. Follow their advice and you’ll have change for a tenner.
First up is David Lowe, of bigpinots.com
, who warns against those tempting supermarket offers.
David says: ‘Supermarket offers are rarely that - you normally get what you pay for - so buy what you want to drink rather than because it's on offer.’
He suggests looking to Portugal, Chile and the lesser known regions of France for bargains: ‘I'd steer clear of anything from an 'impressive region' (think Bordeaux or Barolo), all wines made from Pinot Noir, and nearly all sparkling wines because, at that price, they are going to fall short of what they could deliver if you spent more.'
Simon Burnton, Guardian sports writer and wine blogger at cellarfella.com
, suggests avoiding supermarkets all together, instead opting for small, local merchants or taking out a membership with the Wine Society. At £40 it might seem steep, but by saving a couple of pounds on each bottle you’ll be making the money back in no time.
Simon says: ‘Being a co-operative, the Wine Society doesn't need to bother themselves with annoying trivialities like share dividends and can instead concentrate on keeping prices lower than their rivals. For example, the excellent and very prettily-labeled Blau, Montsant 2011 costs £8.95 from them, or £11.99 from Marks & Spencer, while the brilliant, zippy Hazidakis Assyrtiko 2012 costs £9.95 from them, or £11.99 from Waitrose.’
But if your only option is to head to the supermarket, all is not lost. Simon echoes David’s advice and suggests deliberately seeking out obscure wines from countries like Greece and Croatia, and avoiding the most popular bottles
'Remember that the best value (and the best wines) are often found in supermarket's own labels, the Tesco's finest's and Sainsbury's Taste the Differences of this world.'
He adds; ‘Head to Marks & Spencer, named Supermarket of the Year at the International Wine Challenge Awards in July and whose range is better at the moment than it's been in years.’
The wine bargain hunters amongst you may have noticed that iLikeOffers.co.uk currently has some fantastic offers available from various online merchants. Winehound.co.uk offers include £30 off for new customers before 31st December, and £10 off orders before the end of the year.
Roger England of Wine Hound has created a comprehensive list of the best red
wines available on the site for under £10. For red, Roger suggests opting for a versatile French Merlot (Duc de Chapelle Cabernet Merlot 2012, £7.45) or mellow Spanish Rioja (Azabache Rioja Crianza, £9.95) and for white, a light Italian Pinot Grigio (Pinot Grigio San Antonio 2012, £7.95) or a South African Chenin Blanc (Backsberg Chenin Blanc, £7.95), particularly good when paired with smoked salmon.
So next time you find yourself reaching into the bargain bin at your local supermarket think again - you can find good quality wine at a great price that's sure to make it a very merry Christmas!