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This week’s top tips and current promotions

Two great value supermarket finds plus Aldi's £4.99 Easter fizz promotion.

Below you will find details of two great value supermarket finds plus Easter offers at Co-op, Spar, Asda and Aldi.

2019 Taste the Difference South African Sauvignon Blanc (£6.25 – instead of £7 until 14 April – at Sainsbury’s and 12.5%):

South African Sauvignon can vary but this Fairtrade example from the Western Cape ticks all the right boxes.

Find it on Sainsbury’s site

It has the lively lemon acidity that makes the variety so popular and accompanies it with apple and melon fruit given depth by grassy grapefruit elements and hints of white peach.

2019 Isla Negra Merlot (£5 at Tesco and 12%):

Not often that we recommend branded wine on this site, but this guy from the Concha Y Toro stable illustrates how good straightforward, every day Chilean Merlot can be.

Find it here on Tesco’s site

Not the last word in sophistication but it still brings us sound, dependable red wine with soft cherry and red plum fruit, cinnamon and mint touches, good acidity but only minimal tannin.

This week’s promotions

At the Co-op (until 21 April):

  • Hereford Tempranillo (Down from £7 to £5)
  • Yali Wild Swan Sauvignon Blanc (Drops from £7.50 to £5.50)
  • Stonehaven Sauvignon Blanc (Drops £2 to £6)
  • Co-op Pioneer ‘Member’s ChoicePinot Grigio (Down to £6.50)

At Spar:

  • Regional Selection Bourgogne Chardonnay (Down from £9 to £7.50)
  • Regional Selection Ursa Maior Rioja Reserva (Down to £7.50)
  • Vine & Bloom Pinot Grigio, Merlot and Rosé vegan wines (all £5.50 down from £6.50)

At Asda (until 15 April)

  • Extra Special Barossa Shiraz (£6 in England and Northern Ireland, £5.43 in Scotland and Wales)
  • Extra Special Chilean Sauvignon Blanc (£6 in England and Northern Ireland, £5 in Scotland and Wales)
  • Extra Special Marques Del Norte Rioja Reserva (Down from £8.50 to £7)
  • Extra Special Sainte Cecile Cotes du Rhone Villages (Down from £7 to £6)
  • Extra Special Bordeaux Sauvignon Blanc (Drops to £6)
  • Extra Special New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc (Down to £6)

At Aldi:

  • San Floriano Prosecco DOC (Down to £4.99 for Easter)

See you again on Thursday when we allow our mouths to water over a handful of special occasion wines in our regular Sunday Best feature.

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141 Responses

  1. Thank you for this Brian, as ever. Would that I was going to risk a supermarket visit, that I’m not, the Morrison’s Malbec sounds like a winner to me at nought but a fiver. Currently I’m a Sainsbury’s preferential most vulnerable wrinkly so I get first dibs on delivery slots once every week. Indulging regularly in the Nina Roja at £5.50 but Wednesday sees us taking delivery of that very good cheap Fitou they have. Best for now ….Eddie

  2. Hi Eddie and good to hear from you as ever. I fear that conventional supermarket shopping may be a little way off yet but I guess that malbec will wait for you for a while. Be interested to hear how that Fitou works. The area does seem to be a bit of a rising star (with some excellent producers) but it is odd to have an appellation divided in two like that.

  3. Morning Brian, can’t let this opportunity pass without praising the Pacheco Organic Monastrell, I first tasted this back in July 2019 and at the time it was probably one of my bargains of the year and now at £6.99 incredible value, from in my opinion a underestimated region of Spain.
    Think it has a dash of Syrah in it as well, it’s a fairly dense muscular wine full of rich baked plums, berries and even a touch of violets. yes, it is robust with a weighty feel about it and it definitely delivers a punch but still very drinkable with or without food.
    Well done for highlighting it,

  4. Glad you like it too, Dave – especially given your expertise with Spanish wines. As you suggest, Jumilla has had its problems so it is good to see some of its wines getting their day in the sun.

  5. I have had the Grey Slate Dr. L Riesling from Waitrose. It is clean and crisp and shows finesse. Not sweet and has some citrus notes. Drinkable on its own or with fish or roast chicken. Good value at £9.99. A steal at the offer price of £7.49.

  6. By coincidence I bought a few of these over the weekend at Waitrose, Geisen, Grey Slate Riesling, Johann Wolf Pinot, Bird in the hand, Chapel Down and the excellent Leckford Estate. all great offers even better when I get another 25% off on top again as my wife is a Partner.

  7. Thanks for the report Piers. Ernst Loosen doesn’t do much wrong but it is good to have a first hand (and detailed) confirmation of how good this wine is. … Best ….. Brian

  8. Sounds like the best of all worlds Dave. Hope the wine lives up to expectations ….. Brian

  9. Thank you as ever Brian.
    I am so envious of those who can access a Waitrose. We are badly served here in the north east of England. There are a couple north and south of me but miles and miles away. I don’t think they deliver under those circumstances otherwise I’d be in for a case of the Scansano!
    Maybe my daughter-in-law in Northampton would collect a few bottles for me and hold on to them until next time we visit the kids down there.
    Slainte ….

  10. Great to hear from you Eddie – as ever. I have spoken to the company about their Waitrose Cellar delivery service and they have provided this link to a list of post codes where they currently have delivery problems. If you are not on it, perhaps a call to them might help solve the “sangiovese deficiency” you mention. I do hope so ….. Best …… Brian

  11. I’m in for the Scansano as well, lovely wine at that price, with the weather picking up Sangiovese is the perfect red, I’d even chill it slightly (20 minutes or so in the fridge)
    Eddie, I can’t find it atm, tried a couple of Waitrose stores and no sign of it, may have to try the onlne route, shame to miss out.

  12. Hi Brian, Godello is probably my go to white Spanish grape in all its styles, including those that have a touch of oak which is probably my preference, been a fan for a while now , still don’t see a lot of it around which is a shame . This one sounds like it’s worth checking out, I’m assuming it’s got a little salinity about it as well, doesn’t sound like it has any oak. Perfect for this weather I’d say.
    Trip to Lidl me thinks, before it disappears, these Lidl wine tour parcels don’t seem to hang around long.
    Thanks, salud & drink well

  13. Hi Dave … I know that Godello is a favourite of yours so your enthusiasm for this one is no surprise. I considered it a particularly good example with, as you suggest, some brine influences too but I am not sure about oak; instinct says not.

  14. Taken your advice, bought the Godello for Mrs H and the Duoro for me, plus a Carinena and a Carles Priorat. Looking forward to trying them

  15. Good Man – Brownie points for Nick on the way I am guessing; that Godello is excellent. Be interested in your thoughts on the Priorat since I have not tried that recently. Personally, I put the Duoro ahead of the Carinena but do report back on what you think ….. Best….. Brian

  16. The Carinena was somewhat lacking in my expectation. Although cheap, there are better examples at the same price in other supermarkets (Asda).
    Trying the Duoro tonite and looking forward to it!

  17. Oooops! Not a Malbec then Brian, at Tesco, it’s a Merlot, yeah?
    I continue to enjoy what comes by email several times a week. Thank you ….
    Best as ever.

  18. Well spotted Eddie – my cock up, sorry. Too much time devoted to the content of the bottle and insufficient to the content of the email!

  19. Thanks for providing that useful additional information – and really good to hear from you. Like you, I struggle to find anyone selling Ocio here (beyond car boot sales) but will report back if any sources surface.

  20. Some nice wines there Brian.

    One also worth noting at Co-op is Babich New Zealand Rose 2019 at £9. Its lovely and at that price is easily a match for anything similar from The Provence at considerably more money!

  21. Thanks for the heads up on that Jonathon. Babich do not do much wrong so this should be well worth seeking out …. Brian

  22. Since lockdown started, I have been using, for general groceries, Morrisons’s Click & Collect service – which seems to have readily available slots and is very safely organised (unlike our local Waitrose!). I have been quite impressed with their “Morrisons The Best” range, especially as they are often on offer. Their Alsace Pinot Gris was particularly liked and their Soave decent. I have tasted better Finos, but their example at £4.85 is very acceptable and has been much enjoyed with patio lunches in the sun! I guess Head Wine Buyers come and go and Morrisons have a good one at the moment? Will try the Cono Sur Bicicleta Viognier.

  23. cono sur is usually acceptable. We are drinking a CS pino noir on special offer from Sainsbury’s & its slipping down nicely.

  24. Agree with you Richard on two points in particular – Morrisons are seriously underestimated and Mark Jarman is doing an excellent job. Personally I preferred Palo Cortado (£6.25) to the Fino but that may not be your style of sherry.

  25. HI Frances – and thank you for getting touch. You are spot on with that Cono Sur pinot noir – excellent fare at its current price

  26. The Bicicleta Viognier from Morrisons is *really* good, at that price… full of tropical fruit. Bought six, very pleased i did ..

  27. Hi Jerry … Thanks for getting in touch and I am glad that the viognier works for you. Like you, I was impressed by the depth and range of the fruit on display here which is much better than some of the blander entry point versions that miss the point about the variety – and the peachy viscous content that it needs to deliver.

  28. Just a comment about the Porto 6 Lisboa wine from Sainsbury’s . I think it is wonderful and tastes like a wine that would be double the price . Have just took delivery another six .
    Thanks for recommending it Brian .

  29. Hi Brian,
    I first tasted the Tesco Claret a few years ago and as you say it was ok for the price but you would often find it hidden away on the bottom shelf, not tried it for a while now, so will pick up a bottle again and give it a go.
    Waitrose do a reasonable Claret on their own blueprint label and they also do a ‘Good Ordinary Claret’. I remember when Berry Bros & Rudd’s ‘Good Ordinary Claret’ was all the rage and it was pretty decent at a reasonable price, checking it out now the price has climbed to around £11, obviously a success but a shame they couldn’t keep it a an Ordinary price, sign of the times!

  30. Agree that the Waitrose version is pretty sound. Obviously neither the Waitrose nor Tesco versions are complex and ultra sophisticated but both provide a reliable bottom rung to the ladder that eventually leads to the stars.

  31. Glad it works for you Jane. That guy does have a lot of friends – especially because, as you say, it is fantastic value for money. Thanks for getting in touch, do keep letting me know what you think – it is appreciated.

  32. Thanks Jim – I hadn’t caught up with that one and there is very little that the good doctor does wrong with riesling. Folk may need to scurry though, some of the Asda Rollbacks end tomorrow.

  33. Hi Brian
    Dave Cronin and myself regularly discuss important issues … like where can we get decent claret for not a lot of dosh!!!!! Anyway, not being a Tesco shopper very often these days when my wife said she needed some items from there I asked her to get me a couple of bottles of the claret you recommend here. Naturally it can not be expected that they will be anything other than acceptable drinking … for this money, but I’m quite happy to test the water! The thing is … she picked up two different capsule colours, black as well as the red in your pic. That red one is 2019 and the black …. 2018! Should be interesting to try them side by side.

  34. It was the 2018 that I based the recommendation on so I would be very interested to hear how you find the new vintage. You are right to “manage expectations” with your “acceptable drinking” yardstick but I thought it was a nicely crafted, (obviously) merlot dominated, example of everyday Bordeaux – but Ch Lafite need not start worrying yet!

  35. Hi again Brian
    I think the ”black capsule” 2018 has it by a short head! It’s a tad softer and a little more rounded. Is that bottle aging at work and will the 2019 gain that slight improvement in time too? I found both very acceptable, enjoyed its medium-body when so much red these days is leaning towards a fuller character, but not lacking in alcohol at 13% abv , ripe fruit and yes a hint of that typical Bordeaux leafyness, to my mind. Given that Tesco do a 25% off buy-6 every so often I’d be very happy to have a few of these at £3.75!!!

    1. Thanks ever so much for the update Eddie and I suspect (as you suggest) that age will round out the 2019 a bit – althought neither wine is designed for a long life. Last year was a drier year than normal so that may affect things. For a comprehensive review of the 2019 year take a look at this post on Jancis Robinson’s excellent website.

  36. Hi Brian,

    Can’t find the 2019 Riesling Feinherb anywhere on the Lidl website under either Wine Tour or their normal range. Any suggestions?

  37. Raised this with Lidl and, apparently, low stock is the reason they have taken it off the website – but it is still available in some (not all) local stores. Frustrating, but one of the perils of WIGOG parcels I am afraid.

    1. Happy to help (well, sort of help) but not sure how many branches will have stocks – so be prepared for disappointment.

  38. Hello Brian
    Following your recommendations I shopped recently at the Co op for two bottles, Shhh ..its Riesling and the Muriel Tempranillo when I located where they were said to be available and actually on the self, and both times I was charged a different price from that shown online, and indeed what you listed as being a current discount. This is a paragraph back to me in replying to my complaint about this …..


    So seemingly the stores in any particular area operate independently from the central advertising facility that becomes a nuisance because we inevitably have an in-store dispute about what should be being charged.

    I did phone to them as well and they credited my membership card with the difference for the Muriel being sold here as £7 down from £9 and not £6.50 down from £8.50, as was the on-line listing.

    The upside is that both wines were, at least, most agreeable.

    Best now


  39. seems the text didn’t copy and paste properly …trying again … …if it doesn’t work then the jist is basically don’t take the on-line website price as being gospel … it might not be the case

    ”’In regards to the prices of these products that we advertise online it is stated on each product that the prices may vary as shown and to check in store. We always recommend to check in store for the price of a product as it may differ from what is stated online.”’

  40. Sorry to hear about all those problems Eddie and I will ask the Co-op whether there are any work arounds that will help us.

  41. In my local Morrisons, the next wine along the shelf from the Montepulciano was Gerard Bertrand’s Rousillon red Les Aspres Reserve 2017. £10, and worth it, but buy 2 and get 1 free, a big reduction which makes it a real bargain imo. It is a lovely, rich red with garrigue-y aromas but do watch out as it is 14.5%!

  42. Really grateful to you for drawing attention to this Jerry. I have not tried the 2017 but the 2016 was outstanding – and well worth £10, but three for £20 is a snip….. Thanks again … Brian

  43. Got a bottle of the SA Pinotage straight off, Brian! When I opened it and first taste I thought oh no … here we go again! BUT … no …steady away and left it not 24 hours but 48! STUNNING for the money. As long as this vintage/bottling lasts it will be a go-to purchase at that cost and not just the money because it is a delicious, fruity, interesting drop to have. Thank you.

    1. It was re-assuring to be in the illustrious company of some names that head the list and full marks to Corking Wines for the painstaking task of assembling the list.

    1. Thanks Eddie – really appreciate your kind words and, of course, your readiness to add comments to the site which is a great help in providing more information to everyone.

  44. Like you, Eddie, I approached this with limited expectations and was very pleasantly surprised. It is amazing how many wines do improve dramatically with being left for a day or so. Driven, no dount, by the understandable need for income, I guess a lot of wine gets released too early.

  45. Thanks, Paul, and really good to hear from you. However, the message about “onward and upward” does not seem to have reached our mutual football team yet!

  46. Much appreciated and, as I said to the other Nigel, it is gratifying not only that the site works for you but that you have taken the trouble to say so; many thanks.

  47. Well done Brian, well deserved. See they highly rated your prosecco article. Never read it myself as i live with Prosecco-pedia!!!! So following this will we be seeing an Amazon documentary in due course??

  48. Thanks Chris. Does your domestic prosecco guru have any thoughts on the rosé prosecco which is expected to hit the streets in January now the Italian authorities have given the project the nod. No Amazon documentary is prospect as there are no plans to ditch the current management structure in favour of someone “special”

  49. Worth mentioning that buying 6 or more from Sainsburys currently gets a further 25% discount? Stock up now for Xmas!

  50. Yes good point Chris. I didn’t know about this one – which ends on 29 September – but Sainsbury’s have promised to alert MidWeek Wines to future “25% Off deals”. Thanks for pointing it out.

  51. Hello Brian
    I was awaiting with interest your take on the new Lidl Wine Tour. I got the Seguret last week and the Macon Rouge. As much as I enjoyed the Les Aumoniers Cotes du Rhone and as you say it was impressive, further north up the Rhone got my better attention! The Collin-Bourisset Macon I thought was splendid! Vis a vis that reply I sent re your survey and me trying to find cheap Burgundy I feel at £7.99 I might have scored well in this respect with this current Lidl offering. I presume it to be the Gamay Noir grape rather than Pinot but nevertheless the characteristics were so enjoyable. I bought the Collin-Bourisset Julianas a couple of years ago in Lidl-France … €5.95 … and see the latest vintage is also part of the current Wine Tour here at home. I hope they keep stocks up over the next few weeks. I want the St Monts now and the Minervois too, now you have flagged them up. Best as ever. Eddie

  52. Glad you liked that Rhone but I have yet to try the red Macon but the white is superb for the price. Pleased to see the Minervois on your shopping list. I thought was absolutely typical and great value with change (OK only a penny) from £6.

  53. Hi Brian, I was passing Lidl and thought I’d give the Expression de Saint Mont a try. Really pleased, not too dry and good fruit, especially at the price point. I’ve not picked up wine from Lidl before before and was pleasantly surprised by this and a Pinot I grabbed. Thank you.

  54. Glad to hear you enjoyed it Nigel. I thought it was a great example of what South West France does well. I find it is always worth dropping into Lidl especially when a Wine Tour has just started.

  55. Bought the Minervois. Disappointed; there is an underlying metallic taste, I detected very little fruitiness and none of the flavours that you suggest are there. Thought it might be better after getting some air to it, but sadly, not. Don’t know if I have picked up a bad bottle, but to me this is a rather rough country wine, that I might expect to pay a couple of euros for, at most. Will stick to the Rhone for my reds although quite fond of Languedoc whites.

  56. Sorry to hear that you were disappointed – especially if I gave you a bum steer. As you say, it may be bottle variation or it may be that our respective taste buds react differently. Other tasters have shared my enthusiasm for this wine but, on the other hand, Richard Bamfield’s view seemed more in line with yours. Be interested to hear what others think and – as you suggest – Rhone reds are usually good options. Thanks for getting in touch, though, it is important to know what subscribers discover when they try wines I recommend.

  57. Hi Brian, I remember first tasting this Marques Del Norte Rioja a few years back when their was a big promotion, claiming it was the best Supermarket Rioja on the market, winning lots of plaudits from respected experts (think it was the 2009 vintage) and I must say I agreed. I’ve not tasted the recent vintages but it’s a well made modern style Rioja, more about the fruit and not overly tannic. The ones I’ve tasted did have some bright acidity and brambly fruit but I found this smoothed out even more if decanted for a while, which I recommend. For £7 it’s well worth a try !

  58. Hello Brian. I had the Bruce Jack SB back in September on a double-dip deal that came to me at £4.50 a bottle! What’s not to like about that for such an enjoyable bottle of real quality. I tried the Bruce Jack Malbec you recommended too, that was fine, and the Chenin Blanc that was ok! But the SB really took all my attention. I just missed out at Sainsbury’s, going back in while their 25% buy-6 was on again, but sure, I think there will be another before Xmas and some more of the BJ-SB will be in my trolley. Cheers …

  59. I agree that this is modern Rioja – and a great example of it too. As you say, snapping it up at £7 a bottle is a shrewd move.

  60. I was impressed too. Bruce Jack has been around a while but has only emerged recently under his own brand. His wines seem to be priced to sit just below Supermarket premium versions yet rivals them for quality. I believe Tesco has his chenin as a Bag in Box wine for Christmas.

  61. Thanks Adrian …. Glad I am not the only sweet wine enthusiast. It is such a cruelly neglected genre – some folk seem to have a knee jerk response that “If it is sweet, I will look gauche if I say I like it”.

  62. Sainsburys are offering 25% off for six or more, (can be mixed) which together with the reductions above makes for some cracking prices … 6 of the white Rioja for £29.25, for example! And 6 Pinotage for £27..

  63. Thanks for pointing that out Jerry – obviously some good deals to be had there. We shall have a round up of offers in the usual slot on Monday …. Best … Brian

  64. Brian,
    The latest LIDL wine tasting selection is simply sensational!

    Word is getting around and the shelves are being depleted.

    Thank you and Richard Bampfield for making my life during lockdown so much better!

  65. Fuller details on the Lidl Wine Tour in Monday’s post Richard but, for your benefit, hoover up the new furmint – you will love it ….. Brian

  66. Happy new year, Brian!
    I used to find co-op recommendations frustrating, as the shops in Suffolk rarely stock the wines. However a search for co-op wines will lead to a site where you can find stockists of a given wine. In the case of the Chilean Pinot Noir, the nearest stockist is a Colchester store 16 miles away. Very useful.
    Quality of Muscadet seems very good these days. I found the Aldi sur lie example at £5.99 brilliant value.
    Always look forward to your recommendations.

  67. Think the search function on the Co op website is excellent, my local hasn’t got a great selection so I find myself using it quite a bit to find certain wines.
    By the way, the Chilean Pinot is excellent.

  68. Hi Brian
    Good to hear about the Chilean Pinot that Dave endorses too, and the fact there is yet another decent Muscadet with this Calvet offering at Sainsbury’s, that will on a 25% off buy-6 offer, if we ever get another one soon, come in at £4.50 … that seems to me astonishing. As Mr Wyndham says the Aldi Muscadet sur Lie is brilliant value… I love it. And nice that these wines that I have a particular fondness for are so readily available for not a lot of money.
    Best now … Eddie.

  69. Hi Again Richard – good to hear from you as always. I will pass on those comemnts to the Co-op as theya re keen to make this online information fscility work. As you say, it is great to see a Muscadet revival – a combination, I suspect, of climate change and more winemakers going out to see what happens elsewhere.

  70. Thanks for the endorsement about the Co-op pinot. While it will never rival superstar Burgundies, it it terrific value for the price and a great illustration of what the variety does well.

  71. Yes, Prices generally are on the rise so a little respite like these well priced Muscadets are welcome indeed. I am pressing supermarkets even harder for details of 25% off when they are about to begin so I can include references to them with the Top Tips

  72. Hello Brian
    Thought I would chip in with my two pence worth regarding the Coop Casablanca Valley Pinot Noir. I remember drinking this wine 3/4 years ago and it was an excellent bottle of red then so thanks for the reminder. We opened a bottle tonight and were not disappointed, full of fruit with a nice balance of tannin and acidity, extremely drinkable and moreish. Our local Coop only had 2 bottles of the 2019 vintage the rest being 2020. Do you have any thoughts on this vintage? I also enjoyed your recommendation of Aldi’s Estevez Chilean Pinot Noir, a great buy at the price.
    Regards Ron

  73. Yes always pleased to hear thoughts on wines recommended – and glad that 2019 vintage Co-op pinot and the Aldi version hit the spot for you. Modestly priced pinot noir is really elusive. I have not tried the 2020 vintage from the Co-op yet and have had only one report from a subscriber so will be pleased to hear your verdict.

  74. Hi again Brian
    Have now had both of these and can report … wow! … that Muscadet for the money especially is a tremendous find. Just stuck another bottle on my Sainsbury’s order this week. And the Pinot Noir too was deliciously up-front fruity with our early haggis supper yesterday evening! Not quite the best food pairing I would suggest, just wanted to try it, so just a small glass saving the rest in the fridge for today/tomorrow. My Co op just 350m away had it at £7. There was more on the shelf but can I ask Brian, would you choose the £9.99 NZ-PN at Aldi as the better of these two offerings??
    Best as ever … Eddie.

  75. Thanks, Brian. The Castellore looks interesting.

    Have you any inside info on the possible impact of the trade agreement on price and availability of wine in the UK. It doesn’t look good, based on reports.

  76. Hi Eddie – good to hear from you as ever and glad that both of those wines worked for you. Pinot noir is very much down to personal taste but I like the extra density that Chile is currently achieving and so that would probobly just edge it towards the Co-op version. Thare is not much in it though …… Best … Brian

  77. Hi Carl – thanks for getting in touch and that Italian wine is certainly well worth a look. As for prices and availability, I am as much in the dark as anyone else but I will gladly share my instincts. Currency issues will, I feel, keep pushing up the price of wine from the EU but UK wine imports are sufficiently important to Europe that a way will be found around any initial availability problems – but probably not quite yet. If you want my hunch (and it is no more than that), then Chile is a promising “value for money” option not least becasue we already have a trade agreement with them.

  78. Thanks for your reply, Brian. I’m so glad I stocked up in the last couple of months of 2020, especially European wine. It will keep me going for a while, hopefully until things settle down.

    I guess New World wine will be the way forward!

  79. I had a bottle of the 2020 Co-op Pinot last week and it was excellent – bright fruit, all round good character. I was surprised that the ’20s were here already but very tasty!

  80. Good piece of forward planning – well done. Be interesting to see whether the “Pacific” trade group we have now applied to join will affect Australian or New Zealand wine or, assuming that country revives its interest in it, bottles from the United States. Too early to be sure of anything much yet though.

  81. Ah, Good! I was waiting for a comment on that new vintage versions as I have yet to try it. Thanks for being a pioneer and I am glad to hear that it continues to excite; reds sometimes take a few months to get into their stride.

  82. Just got hold of the Castellore and very impressed. It’s a gift at £4.99. Enjoyed the lingering non-tannic finish and the almost strawberry flavour. And this is midwinter- I could imagine this wine slightly chilled on its own on a summer evening. Thanks for the recommendation.

  83. Glad it worked for a fan of Italian wine like you. As you imply, the controlled tannin was one of the things that impressed me ….. Brian

  84. Never been a huge fan of most Aussie Shiraz I’ve tried but often enjoyed French Syrah. Think a bottle of the Argentine masterpiece might be slipped into the weekly shop tomorrow!

  85. Hi Brian,
    So glad you mentioned the Andrew Peace Shiraz – had you recommended it before? We bought a bottle last summer and enjoyed it so much that we went straight back to the Co-op and got half a dozen more. What struck us was the smoothness: it satisfies my taste as someone who likes a flavoured red but also met my good lady’s palate who prefers a non-tannic and fruitier wine. It is areal snip for the price.

  86. Well spotted Tim – I did indeed recommend the previous vintage in the press in June last year. As you say, great value wine and ideal as undemanding straight forward red wine for informal drinking.

  87. Saw this recommended elsewhere and tried it but found it underwhelming and a bit “muddy” thus not that enjoyable. Not to be repeated.

  88. Hi Brian, If i’m not mistaken I think the Viña del Cura was originally Viña Mara a few years ago, so it’s been around a while I’ve actually still got a Viña Mara 2004 and 2007 Rioja (Reserva, Gran Reserva) i bought from Tesco, think it was around 2015. Not tried the white yet but backed by Baron de Ley can’t see it letting anyone down.

  89. Hi Peter and thank you for the report back. Certainly the example I had was sound enough but perhaps anyone else who had a duff bottle can add a comment about their experience.

  90. Your Baron de Ley point influenced my thinking too but, as you know, viura can be variable. Happily I found this one to be tasty and great value …

  91. Hello Bran
    I’ve been into Asda personally, since being vaccinated, a couple of times in recent weeks that involved getting my hands on the Bodacious Tejo as well as taking advantage of th e highly rated Feteasca white being dpwn to 2 bottles for £9! Given this offer on the Portuguese red at £5.50 I must go back for more now. That is such good value for a very decent bottle. Thank you as ever.

  92. Hi Brian, Not my ‘go to store’ for wine but I’ve bought the Rabo de Galo many times, can’t fault it for the price, they also do a reasonable Spanish red the ‘Marques del Bravo’ from Utiel -Requena (blend of Tempranillo & Bobal) for around the same price, it’s ok for a mid weeker if lacking a little depth, earthy and smokey, pretty tannic but softened a little in the glass., worth a try.

  93. Good to see the Iceland red highlighted.It really is a very decent Portuguese wine at a good price.

  94. Hello Brian
    I always shop Iceland for its readily available supply of decent frozen seafood at competitive prices. Holidaying regularly in Portugal these last several years there is a quasi-Iceland outlet near Albufeira where I discovered the Rabo de Galo originally. Along with Porta6 and Sainsbury’s Lisboa it provides for the cheapest of these, this style, and my shelf always accommodates several bottles, has even throughout the pandemic. I bought several at a time on delivered orders because there was an inconsistency in supply, one minute they had it, the next unavailable. Get it while I could. Maybe we shouldn’t expect too much from Iceland as a high-street wine provider where the Rabo’ is something of an anomaly and be grateful it is there at the money, sometimes £5.50, and take it when we go in, for whatever other groceries we choose from that shop. My disappointment was that at this time last year Decanter flagged-up a rather interesting Rioja at Iceland, a bottle amongst few, ever, where that magazine and store are concerned, as their ”High Street red choice not to be missed” . £7.45 would buy you Burgo Viejo Crianza 2017. and on investigation it was ”on the list” and reduced to £6.45 as well. Unbelievable I thought! But did it last more than a week or so? Iceland deliberately removed most of its wine offerings at this point. They probably thought that wine was the last thing of any importance in supplying the necessities during COVID. Availability of anything interesting but the ‘Galo was over, and that Rioja gone. Now in-store when they have put more choice back on the shelves there is none of this Burgo Viejo. Knowing your ”connections” with the retailers maybe you could find out where this ”absolute bargain” according to Decanter, has gone. I’d really like to get my hands on some to try. Meanwhile back to the ‘Galo
    Best as ever … Eddie.

  95. As you say, Paul, a more than decent drop and it is nice to feature a different supplier ….. Best ….. Brian

  96. Good to hear from you Eddie as always and thank you for your thoughts on this wine. As you know, I have asked Iceland’s PR folk about that Rioja and will report back to you.

  97. Hello Brian, I just read your recommendation of the Portuguese red wine at Iceland less than £6 from Casa Santos Lima. I recently tried another of their wines called LAB which is sold by Waitrose and it was far too sweet and jammy for me. I can’t imagine anyone recommending that one unless they want an alternative to Coca Cola or Red Bull!
    I think the Shiraz in the final blend is what tips it over the edge. Does the Rabo do Galo have any Shiraz in it?

  98. Hi Geoffrey and thanks for getting in touch – always nice to hear from people reading the site. The varieties in that wine are Castelão, Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo anywhere else) and Trincadeira. As you imply, residual sugar levels are going up in some red wines – the success of Apothic is probably part of the reason. Equally though chefs are also finding that a bit of extra sweetness works well with certain of their dishes so that may be a factor too. I don’t know the exact RS on that Iceland red but my taste buds tell me it was nothing to speak of – so I hope it works for you … Best …. Brian

  99. Morning Brian
    Yes, on checking just now the Sainsbury’s 25% off buy 6 is up-and-running from today until next Sunday. The Bruce Jack Pinotage-Malbec that comes in at 2 for £10 at Asda will be £4.50 at Sainsbury’s. But more than that their Beef Steak Club Malbec that I believe has had an honourable mention here recently, will be down from full-price £7 to £4.50. And I think you flagged-up the Calvet Muscadet too? It will be £4.49! I rather enjoy this latter bottle but if happy to spend a bit more money there are two other Muscadets at Sainsbury’s that are worth a punt. Cheers for now …

  100. Thanks Eddie – that is really helpful stuff and much appreciated. I have modified the web post to include a link to the Sainsbury’s offer.

  101. Love that Rioja Brian !, It stands out amongst a lot of mediocre supermarket offerings, for £7 great value (good even at full price) , do you know is this from the Baron de Ley stable ,Muriel or Eguia ( a little confusing). As you say lots bright fruit and acidity but still with that trade mark unmistakable Rioja flavour. As a side, I think you’ve highlighted the Marques de los Rios Rioja Blanco (also from Morrisons) as well in the past (now that is excellent)

  102. Quite right Steve – my apologies. A combination of fat finger and addled Bank Holiday brain! Content duly amended – to 2016 – with many thanks for pointing the error …. Best …. Brian

  103. Agree about the white rioja and I believe that the reserva is from Muriel …. Thanks for sharing your thoughts – always really helpful….. Brian

  104. Hello Brian. We are at last able to get south at the end of the month to family in Northampton so I’ll have a Waitrose to go to at last, and will indeed have some of the Botham bottle, at that money! Going back to a time when the Tesco Wine Community still existed, 8-9 years ago, and I was using that store a lot capitalising on Clubcard deals and reductions, I picked-up a short-lived, 24 half-bottle case,at £1.99 a bottle, of a Giesen SB offering! A pal of mine who had a very good pub/menu/wine list as long ago as 1990 had plied me regularly with Cloudy Bay when I went to visit him. That was quite new back then and I felt rather fortunate to have the chance to try wine regularly held-up by the colour supplements as the one-to-have. But years later when I took a punt on those Giesen half bottles it fair took my breath away with the distinctive quality of the stuff. The abiding memory was the flintiness and sharpness that the smoother CB-SB didn’t give no matter the CB is still a favourite but almost unaffordable to me these days. But this Giesen all these years later at this money at Morrisons does seem to make great sense where southern hemisphere SBs are concerned. Cheers for now. Eddie.

  105. Glad you found Giesen to be a cut above the average sauvignon at its price point; that is certainly my view. Although not a cheap option, as an alternative to Cloudy Bay try Greywacke. It is made by Kevin Judd who was a main man in the intial set up of Cloudy Bay and has lost none of his skills.

  106. We bought the Ian Botham in Home Bargains a couple of weeks ago for £4.99. They may still have stock if you don’t have a Waitrose nearby. A big, enjoyable wine.

  107. Thanks Martin – that is a really helpful addition to the supplier options. Glad you like the wine too …. Best …. Brian

  108. Can’t disagree with the Spanish choice Brian, for the price (I got mine on a 2 for £10 deal) it’s great value. Lots of mouth watering acidity, some grainy tannins, smokey with an honest earthiness about it but still surprisingly fruity. Both Eddie and myself have discussed this wine in the past and for under £6 ( for a midweek tipple) what’s not to like.

  109. Good morning from me Brian! I’m not sure I can take credit here more than Dave should have it, him being more ”up” on Spanish offerings than I am and I think he identified the Iceland Bobal to me just a minute before I got there, after our mutual appreciation of the Rabo de Gala, that is fairly special for the money. I shop at Iceland a lot for frozen seafood and never fail to put a bottle of the Portuguese in my trolley. But suddenly Bobal cuvees were on our lips in more ways than one with several different bottles from other supermarkets prevalent. For me it started with the Asda Wine Atlas Series at least 3 years ago now, maybe longer. To get the Marques’ at two for £10 was a very decent deal and always worth having them on the shelf as a midweek go to.

  110. Good Morning Brian, have you had time yet to look at the new Lidl “Summer Wine Tour”, (in stores from this Thursday, 20 May). I counted 24 wines, that are listed in their current Weekly flyer, which is available from their stores.

    Included are bottles from Spain (5), Portugal (4), Italy (4), France (3), Germany (3), New Zealand (1), Australia (1), Chile (1), South Africa (1), and UK (1). Prices range from £5-50 to £8-00, with one English Fizz coming in at £15.

    Would be interesting to hear your views on some of these, personally from Spain they have a Godello and an Albarino, both at £8, that interest me, I appreciate Albarino can be picked up practically everywhere these days, but Godello appears to be somewhat harder to find. If it’s not an unfair question, what is your overall opinion on the quality of these “Tours”, compared to what is available at other supermarkets, they certainly seem, on average to be a few pounds cheaper than similar products at other outlets.

  111. Hi Steve …. Sorry about the delay in responding, I have been “off watch” for a few days but am now back in harness. Yours is a good question about the Lidl Tour and it will be the subject of the main post next Thursday. I have sampled around half of the range but they do not (yet) include either of the the whites you mention. That said, Godello has featured in these promotions before and has always been excellent – well worth a try in my opinion. The German pinot blanc I have tried – and it is excellent.
    You also ask about the overall quality of these “Tours”. In my view almost all of the wines are, at least, sound and, more often than not, excellent. Admittedly, those at the lower price points can be patchy but still, by and large, do represent good value for money – in my opinion ….. Best ….. Brian

  112. Thanks Dave. I believe that the multi-buy deal runs for a little while yet but have not mentioned it as those arrangements are not permitted in some parts of the UK. I understand that I also owe you a vote of thanks for highlighting this wine as well as the mention of Eddie in the post itself. I am grateful to you both.

  113. I have added my appreciation to Dave in my reply to his comment. As you imply, Bobal is seriously underestimated and can offer sound, enjoyable wine at really good prices – despite attempts in some areas to have its vines replaced by tempranillo. Another victory then for that Wine Atlas range.

  114. Is it really the 2018 Soave vintage to look for? -I have tended to believe that with cheap simple whites the most recent vintage is the one to go for.

  115. Quite right Derek and thanks for pointing out the typo. It is indeed the 2020 vintage that won the award – and it is that vintage that is in stores and available online. Website duly amended with apologies for any confusion caused.

  116. Hi Brian … the Muriel you mention above at the Co op with a whole £2 discount, I had well over a year ago now and thoroughly enjoyed it especially at the discounted price too, back then. But I remember going in the store and looking high and low for the bottle on the shelf (too many Co ops around here at least are hopeless as to the way they stock their shelves with no apparent system operating!) . Then I realised … it was in a box and not as obvious as you might imagine. But I certainly enjoyed discovering it eventually. Best now … Eddie.

  117. Thanks Eddie …. The sample I tried was not in a box so, perhaps, things have moved on. In parts of the country with lots of local Co-op shops, the full national wine range does not always appear on the shelves but, as you say, this one is well worth seeking out.

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