heart shaped wine glassTop Ten Red Wines of 2016 priced between £6 and going up to £9 this week. Majestic are putting up a good show (yet again – as they did in the Top Ten Whites of 2016 priced between £6 and £9, and also Top Ten Reds Under £6) with the Co-op making its return for another year, plus the new-comer to the Top Ten lists – Virgin Wines.

So what can you expect from a red wine in the above average price per bottle bracket? Lots of flavours that all complement each other (which you'll notice in higher priced white wines too) so that no one flavour dominates, plus the ability to keep on drinking to the end of the bottle rather than getting bored half way down – which can be the case with some cheaper reds where only one or two flavours make up the wine.

This complexity often gets better if you decant the wine – just open the bottle and pour the wine into a jug or a decanter if you have one (I use a decanter emblazoned with 'Stowells of Chelsea' which I bought at a charity shop years ago) and let it sit there for half an hour or so while you rustle up the evening meal.

This action of pouring the wine and leaving it in a wide brimmed vessel allows for a tiny amount of aeration – just enough to get the molecules mingling in the wine and uncovering the juicy, enjoyable flavours that can stay hidden if the red is left in the bottle.

Well here they are in ascending order of price.

Black Shiraz CoopTop Ten Reds of 2016 Priced £6 to £9

1

Chateau Lalande Cabardes 2013, France

£6.49 Co-op

A soft and fruity red with a bit of dark chocolate flavour to add bite. A good alternative to Chianti.

2

Santa Julia[+] Argentinean Malbec 2015

£6.75 Sainsbury's (down from £8 until December 13)

A light touch of violets livens up the smoky liquorice flavours.

3

La Patrie French Malbec 2014

£7 Sainsbury's

Another light and fruity red.

4

Artan Reserve Australian Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

£7.99 Co-op (down from £8.99 from December 7)

Blackcurrant flavours with a background of milk chocolate – smooth but not sickly and a good match to food.

5

Bienbebido Queso Spanish Tempranillo

£7.99 Majestic

Tastes like a mix of Turkish Delight, Liquorice Allsort and blackurrant fruit. Quite oomphy but with a refined edge.

6

Sainsbury's Taste the Difference Spanish Marques de Almeida

£8 Sainsbury's

Choc, cherry, liquorice and plum – chewy but smooth.

7

The Prime Cut Chilean Flat Iron Carignan Reserve 2015

£8.99 Virgin Wines

This tastes like an oomphy Merlot with dark fruit, vanilla and spice.

8

16 Little Black Pigs Australian Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

£8.99 Virgin Wines

Dark cherry and blackcurrant, with the flavour of coffee running through.

9

Marques de Valencia Spanish Gran Reserva 2008

£8.99 Virgin Wines

A good alternative to a red Bordeaux with its flavours of cherry, coconut and cocoa dryness.

10

Les Fustiers Côtes du Rhone 2014

£8.99 Majestic

Blackberry, cherry and cinnamon flavours. An easy drinking red with a spicy edge.

This article also appeared as Paula's Wines of the Week on MatureTimes.co.uk