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Top Tips that hit the value jackpot

The latest Top Tips dash from South America to Europe in search of great value choices.

Welcome back to my Top Tips post where I smoke out wines that, to me, currently represent exceptional value for money.

A helping hand is particularly important during inflationary times when good value can be especially elusive.

Inflation can be double edged. When prices do not go up that can be because quality has come down.

Here though are two well-made wines at surprisingly modest prices that really do offer good value among those often confusing “wine aisle mazes”.

Pictures and hyperlinks are provided where possible to help guide you towards the specific wine being discussed.

Another inexpensive Tesco option

Today, we again rummage through Tesco’s under £5 range to find another good value option.

This time our prize is a white from the massive wine producing area around Venezie in north-eastern Italy.

Alpine influences there give its wines a freshness that can be much rarer further south and that is especially relevant with pinot grigio.

Scented and very light, that region’s 2021 Caparelli Pinot Grigio (£4.50 at Tesco) brings us bright but simple red apple and peach flavours agreeably enlivened by grapefruit acidity.

Have to hurry for this one

A little haste is fully justified though for this Argentinean malbec because “Barrel Select” indicates that this is a cut above basic malbec.

And its impressive awards certainly confirm that view – as do my taste buds.

Dark and intense, 2021 Las Moras Barrel Select Malbec (£6.25 – instead of £8.25 until tomorrow at the Co-op) contains smooth loganberry, damson and blackcurrant flavours.

Those elements are nicely supported by lively acidity (but limited tannin) and touches of oregano, dark chocolate and aniseed.

See you again on Thursday folks for an update on promotions and ideas on wines a notch or so up the ladder.

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2 Responses

  1. Hello Brian
    I tried a bottle of your recommended Tesco-Lateral Chilean Cabernet last week. I wouldn’t buy it again. It’s not that it’s wrong or offensive, it was perfectly drinkable, but it is to me too lightweight without the better characteristics that can attach to some light-in-body wines. I did in fact take the ”house red” in Bella Italia just a couple of days before that, at around £16, so the £3.89 for the Lateral wasn’t painful when the restaurant price was outrageous for a really cheap-end Bardolino or some-such with nothing going for it. By comparison I paid £3.74 at Asda on a deal (full price currently £4.99 on rollback), for the Identity SA Shiraz and that was a steal for the money! As you rightly say there are some cheap bottles out there if only we can locate them, and then the producers must continue to put decent stuff in the bottles with each following production. I still think that taking proven, slightly more expensive stuff is the way forward, BUT always watching for them when they are offer. The Lidl Nero d’Avola Siciliane
    isn’t expensive in the first instance at £4.79, but it’s down to £3.49 next weekend June 10th, and I think it fits that bill for bbq/outdoor drinking pretty well for a giveaway price.
    Nero d’Avola Terre Siciliane – at Lidl UK – http://www.lidl.co.uk

    Best as ever Brian …

  2. I understand your point about the Lateral Cabernet and accept that “bargain priced” reds often lack the texture commonplace in more expensive options. That said, there are quite a lot of wine drinkers that (a) can forgive a wine with limited depth provided its fruit is emphatic and (b) work to exceptionally tight budgets. They would not forgive me if recommendations do not cater for those subscribers too.
    I was pleased to see your suggested alternatives though. Nero d’Avola in particular often provides great value wines. As you say, however, finding similarly good options is increasingly difficult so I really appreciate having Sherlock Eddie on the case too.

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