trophyNot Wines of the Week but Wines of the Year this time. Of the many bottles opened and tasted this year 170 wines were rejected as not meeting the high standards of outstanding value and taste this blog strives for, while only 48 made it to the short list. From these the final ten most outstanding wines of 2010 were selected.

Best White, Best Red, Best Rosé and Best Sparkling Wine, plus additional categories of: Best Dessert, Best Port, Best Low Alcohol, Best 3-litre Box, Best Wine Under Screwcap and Best Bargain Buy of the Year can now be revealed.

Best White Wine

Sainsbury’s South African Fairtrade Chenin Blanc Viognier, £5.49 Sainsbury’s
There’s a lot going on for a fiver in this sweet and sour tasting white wine. Its complex aromas of lemon drops, melon, apricot, cut grass and bubblegum are matched to flavours of creamy lime. Such great value and great taste will not only match the traditional festive fayre of turkey but also please those who just want to sit on the sofa sipping a glass of something nice.

Best Red Wine

Coop MalbecCo-op Argentine Fairtrade Bonarda Shiraz, £4.49 Co-op
Being a fair trade wine wasn’t necessary to reach this year’s top ten but they do seem to offer great taste at a great price. This rich red from the Co-op has deep and satisfying aromas of strawberry, cranberry, red and blackcurrant, toffee, butter, sugar, condensed milk and malty bread but surprisingly it still tastes light and refreshing. Expect more redcurrant yoghurt in the flavour plus Fudge Fingers and tobacco. An ideal match to darker meats and dark desserts.

Best Rosé Wine

Marks and Spencer French Gascogne Cuvée Speciale Rosé, £5.49 Marks and Spencer
This is a traditional strawberry tasting rosé with enough body to match curries and left-over meat topped with mayonnaise.

Best Sparkling Wine

Spar Marquise Belrive Champagne Brut, £15.99 (down from £19.99 until December 8) Spar
A balanced fizz with enough light lemon sherbet with a creamy edge to please both the dry and sweet tooth brigade. Flavours of crusty white bread with a hazelnut topping are best matched to light snacks or meringue puddings.

Best Dessert Wine

Sainsbury’s French Muscat de St. Jean de Minervois, £4.48 Sainsburys
A dessert wine for marmalade lovers: expect flavours of honey and Seville orange with a perfume of ripe apricots and quince. Best served chilled with dessert or nuts.

Best Port Wine

Fonseca Guimaraens Vintage Port 1996, £23.74 WaitroseWineDirect
Expect sweet blackberries topped with crème brulée and a dash of Venos Cough Mixture to stop it being too sickly. Enjoy matched to Christmas cake or Christmas pudding.

Best Low Alcohol Wine

Aldi St. Amandus Liebfraumilch 2009, 10% alcohol, £2.78 Aldi
There aren’t too many low alcohol wines about despite consumers crying out for them. Of those available most are German and white, and this wine is no exception. But don’t be put off by the Liebfrau label, its quaffable pear and peach flavours are tamed with lime and warming ginger.

Best 3-litre Box Wine

Tesco New Zealand Fern Bay Sauvignon Blanc, £15.99 (down from £17.99 until January 1) equivalent to £3.99 a bottle Tesco
A balanced white wine that’ll match almost any food you care to throw at it. Expect pear, peach and lime with a hint of spinach and toffee. Quaffable.

screwcapBest Wine Under Screwcap

Wakefield Australian Eighty Acres Shiraz Viognier, £9.99 Fareham Wine Cellars
It’s quite expensive and not available on every High Street but this wine got into the top ten just for its sheer tastiness and the fact that it uses a screwcap and not a traditional cork. This means that you’ll be assured of a tasty wine however many bottles you open, with no disappointing off-flavours of damp dog brought on by badly sterilised corks. So enjoy blackcurrant and cocoa flavours with a green sappy edge.

And finally

Best Bargain Buy Wine of 2010

CaliterraCaliterra Chilean Estate Grown Sauvignon Blanc, £6.24 or buy 2+ bottles at £4.99 Majestic (down from £7.49)
Not only does this balanced white taste fantastic, it’s also on special offer making it this year’s best bargain buy. So if you can get yourself a bottle or two then try matching its creamy gooseberry with hints of lime and mango to any meal between now and Christmas 2011.

This article has appeared as Paula's Wines of the Week on Mature Times