Sunday, December 7, 2008

Two £6 wine bargains

Six quid, I can already hear you saying. Doesn't sound much like a bargain to me! But bear with me - they could both pass as wines that cost at least a pound more. What you're getting - and this is useful in the run-up to Christmas - is wines that look and taste posh. Your family and friends will be fooled

Both cost £6.19 from Somerfield - less if you buy six bottles in total which entitles you to 5% off, bringing the cost per bottle down to an even more reasonable £5.88.

Domaine la Tuque Bel-Air, Côtes de Castillon 2006
A smart-looking inexpensive claret from the so-called 'right bank' of Bordeaux meaning it's Merlot-dominated and therefore quite soft, smooth and supple. It'll please traditionalists - it's fruity but not too fruity and has a nice touch of spicy oak without being too oaky. It would go well with simple roasts and grills or with a home-made shepherds pie. Not great with cheese though, despite what the back label says. (These types of reds rarely are). RATING (see top right): ***

Vacqueyras 2007, Vignerons de Beaumes de Venise
Some villages in the Côtes du Rhône region are entitled to have their own appellation - Vacqueyras (pronounced vac-keh-rass) is one of them. This bottles comes from a co-operative better known for the sweet wine Muscat de Beaumes de Venise but it's a cracker with lashings of ripe juicy fruit. At 14.5% it's certainly big enough to take on the turkey but would also be great with a beefy stew or a steak and mushroom pie. Frankly this is as good as many over-priced Châteauneuf-du-Papes (but not the best ones, obviously). RATING: ****

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