Good Budget Wines

and I’m not talking about exceptional £10 wines here!

Last night we had a simple little Corbieres from Tesco, producer Lionel Faivre year 2000. It tasted quite fresh & nicely of damson plums. Nothing spectacular, but for around £5 very drinkable. I’m still angry though that I got the 2 cases I got to fill the order and not the case I actually wanted. Never trust Tesco!

Waitrose always treats us well & according to the wine importers they are an ‘honorary independant wine store’ for fair dealings & fair pricing and no outrageous market destroying gimmick marketing. Below are a few things we’ve been enjoying…

We drink a lot of the Moscatel by Lustau – this is a fortified wine at 15% alcohol, sweet but well balanced with nice aromas of grape. The great thing is that being fortified you can keep a bottle open in your fridge for about 3 weeks without it going off, however we rarely manage more than 3 days. At £5 really great value.

We recently had a little Portuguese red which is getting the critics (Wine Spectator, our local rag) excited at the £5 price (Altano Douro 2005), we weren’t that thrilled, however it was a solid little light bodied wine that drank well, so no complaints!

I believe I paid £5.50 for a lovely little pink bubbly, for that price great balance between the red fruits & the acidity which had both Julian (moscato drinker) & myself (champagne drinker) excited. It was the Marques de Monistrol Reserva Cava Seleccion Especial Rose Brut. The addition of a small amount of sugar to the wine implied in the term ‘brut’ gave it excellent balance. This is a traditionally vinified sparkling, however it did have slightly bigger bubbles than champagne.

Oh and a word of warning the Waitrose Pale Cream sherry at around £6.50 for 1L is really disgustingly undrinkable – the one sip I had before making Julian drink the rest was very sulphuric & lead to some nasty hangovers for Julian. On the other hand the Solera Jerezana Cream which is sweetened with some PX giving it lovely caramel and coffee tones is a bargain for £7.50.

However if you have the option always get the Lustau East India Sherry (available at Uncorked) for around £13 or around $40 at The Prince Wine Store as it is a truly magnificent sweet sherry with great complexity!

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