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Portugal and Romania show their “value” credentials

Uncomplicated but impressive Romanian pinot noir and Portuguese alvarinho top the bill in today’s selections. Read on to see precisely why.

Given the volume of wine tasted to whittle things down to the final MidWeek Wines selections, I am often asked which countries offer the best value for money.

In truth, many (possibly most) countries can point to one or two well priced options.

I am thinking here of German riesling, reds from Southern Italy and examples aplenty from Languedoc.

Nevertheless, for value across the piece my top three choices would be Portugal, South Africa and Eastern Europe.

Today’s selections reinforce those choices by offering examples from two of them.

I hope they enthuse you as much as they do me.

In the time-honoured fashion, hyperlinks and pictures are included where possible to help you find the wines in a crowded display. 

Terrific with seafood

Once you cross from “green” Spain into Portugal, the albariño grape changes its name slightly and appears in more textured versions.

Here is an excellent example of how good the result can be.

With depth and a long finish, 2021 Taste the Difference Portuguese Alvarinho (£6.50 – instead of £7.50 until 20 September – at Sainsbury’s and 13% abv) has a centrepiece of lovely melon, peach and grapefruit flavours.

Those elements are attractively coupled with tangerine acidity and the slightly saline finish that makes this variety so good as a companion to seafood. 

Follows the blueprint well

Waitrose’s Blueprint range is designed to provide “outstanding, great-value examples of classic wines”.

That goal is certainly comfortably achieved by this kindly priced Romanian pinot noir.

Light in colour with typical pinot aromas, 2021 Blueprint Romanian Pinot Noir (£5.99 at Waitrose and 13.5% abv) features bright cherry, raspberry and blueberry flavours partnered by soft tannins and moderate acidity.

Nothing overly complicated here, just well-made red wine that responds to being slightly chilled and contains a trace of sweetness and a whiff of smokiness.

My next post (on Thursday) offers my thoughts on the current Morrisons promotions as well as Sunday Best and Friday Treat options – join me then.

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