UK’s 20 Best Economy Wines | vintage

whiteness

Caves des Roches Côtes de Gascogne
France 2021 (£5.50, Tesco)
Dry white wines made in the Armagnac country in southwestern France Côtes de Gascogne, like this graceful example from local high-performance co-op Plaimont, have tart green fruit that’s cool and clear and crisp in a way that appeals to Sauvignon blanc aficionados but at rock-bottom prices.

Aldi specially selected Chilean Sauvignon Blanc
Casablanca, Chile 2021 (£5.99, Aldi)
From the Casablanca Valley, Chile’s original cool-climate coastal wine region. Vibrant and fresh, the Sauvignon Blanc combines grapefruit and lime citrus with elderberry and greenery. It’s tighter and drier than many New Zealand examples, but all the better for it.

Moncaro Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi 2021
(£6.99, Waitrose)
One of those wholesome, indistinct but definitive and quietly delicious dry white wines that Italians do so well. A wine primarily suited to hearty foods – from creamy pasta to lemony grilled fish – but with a distinctive blend of savory almonds, zesty lemons and a crisp breeze.

Morrisons is the best Chardonnay
Coastal Region, South Africa 2021 (£7, Morrisons)
Made for Morrisons by talented South African winemaker Trizanne Barnard, this is reminiscent of the superior, unsaturated Mâcon-Villages wines from southern Burgundy. Its sweet, mellow charm combines ripe watermelon with a hint of green apple bite and a soft weight on the palate.

Photo: Sophia Evans/The Observer

Found Fatasca Regala
Romania 2021 (£7, Marks and Spencer)
The wines of the Englishman Philip Cox and his Romanian wife Elvira’s Cramele Recas are always of high quality. They do a mid-range of budget pinot gulls, but I’m particularly fond of this spicy, floral, lychee-scented white—kind of a more invigorating version—from gewurztraminer.

Best Tesco Stellenbosch Chenin Blanc
South Africa 2021 (£7.50, Tesco)
There are some high end branded South African chenin blancs in the £7 to £8 bracket, but this one from the excellent Stellenrust is my current favourite. Strong, refreshing, and clean, it serves up apricot and citrus notes with a drizzle of honeyed complexity.

Taste the Portuguese difference Alvarinho
Venho Verde, Portugal 2021 (£7.50, Sainsbury’s)
Arguably best known in its Spanish spelling, for Albariño wines from Rías Baixas in Galicia, Albariño from a little further south in the Vinho Verde region could be in disguise. In this case, it’s also a better value: appetizing and peppy with zip and a Lilt-like tang.

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Taste the difference of the white Languedoc
France 2021 (£8, Sainsbury’s)
Whether producing wine for himself or for supermarkets, tireless winemaker in the south of France Jean-Claude Mass is responsible for far too many of the UK’s finest wines. This luscious peachy-pink white blend is always worth more than the price of admission.

reds

reds

Campagno Old Vines Grenache
Campo de Borja, Spain 2020 (£5, Tesco)
Campo de Borja in Aragon in northeastern Spain has some great old garnacha vineyards to work with, producing bright, lively fruity brambili wines with a level of focus and richness you rarely find at this kind of price point. Same brand tempranillo (£5, Tesco) is almost as good.

Memo Motinho Dow
Portugal 2021 (£5.99, Aldi)
There is a great selection of reasonably priced Portuguese wines at Aldi, both reds and whites. Made from the Tauriga Nacional grape of the central Dao region, this fragrant, well-bodied red stands out, with smooth tannins, blackberries, raspberries, and deep flesh.

Corte ali Mora Chianti Reserve
Tuscany, Italy 2019 (£5.99, Lidl)
Cheap chianti gets a bit of a bad reputation, but there are some real gems among the raw stuff you still find in generic Italian restaurants. This Riserva, for example, is a long-standing star of Lidl’s ever-changing range, a wine of smooth taste and real local character, with dark, sour cherries and baked spices.

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Castle Old Manor
Bordeaux, France 2020 (£7, Cooperative)
The perception of Bordeaux as an expensive region is greatly misplaced. Sure, it has some of the most expensive wines in the world. But it also has oceans of the cheap stuff, and in a vintage as good as 2020, that means bargain-bad reds like Vieux Manoir, with its classic blackcurrant and graphite notes.

reds

Finest Tesco Montepulciano d’Abruzzo
Italy 2019 (£7, Tesco)
Another style of red that can be very ordinary in mid-market pizzerias. In the right hands and ripe grapes, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo can deliver a richly satisfying blend of black cherry and plum tartness and tangy tartness that teams great with mid-week pasta.

Found Nerello Capuccio
Sicily, Italy 2021 (£7, Marks & Spencer)
The stellar reputation of reds made in the volcanic soils of Mount Etna depends largely on the nerello mascalese variety. But the ‘other’ Mascales has its own charm, here producing a refreshing, lighter wine in which the pure raspberry fruit tone and red cherry tang stand out.

Australian Cabernet Sauvignon Society
South Australia 2019 (£7.95, thewinesociety.com)
You may need to wait up to two weeks before ordering this classic Australian Cabernet made by South Australia’s leading producer Yalumba. It will certainly be worth it to get an elegant silky package of pure, ripe blackcurrant juice with a hint of mint tea freshness.

Pringle by Pinot Noir
Western Cape, South Africa 2021 (£7.99 as part of a mixed state of six, Majestic)
When he’s not working on some of South Africa’s best small-production bottles, winemaker Duncan Savage is deploying his talents in serving up some good value Cape wines. This one, made with partner Thys Louw of Diemersdal, is extraordinarily elegant and flexible for the price (six bottles).

fizz

fizz

Tesco Cava Brut
Spain NV (£5.85, Tesco)
Made by cava giants Codorniu using the same techniques as Champagne (the second fermentation takes place in the bottle), but with different grapes in the Pinedès region of Catalonia. This is a sparkling wine with surprising character and depth for the money, with lime notes and warmth.

Aldi Organic Prosecco
Italy Nevada (£7.99, Aldi)
A consistently safe bet in the highly competitive prosecco market under £10. Aldi’s organic version of the Italian fizz has all the creamy soda and sugar-smooth seasoning they’re craving with a fresh fruit heart that avoids the sweetness of fermentation and works as a solo hors d’oeuvre and base for a Spritz.

Heraldry Moscato d’Asti 2021
(£6.99 as part of a mixed six, Majestic)
You’ll need to fill a six-pack with either these or some others to bring the price down to £6.99, but you’ll receive an authentically delightful bottle of soft-foaming, sweet, light-alcohol Italian fruit, all the fragrance of spring blossom, apricot, peach and Muscat grape.

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Marks and Spencer Prestige Cava Rosado Nv (£8, Marks and Spencer)
Further evidence of the available value of the sometimes malignant Catalonia blooms comes in the form of this perforated pink pattern. Its blend of soft-focus strawberries and raspberry acidity, with a creamy mousse and some savory undertones, is a good match for mild curries and savory rice dishes.

Prices can fluctuate but are correct at the time of writing

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