Popping round the shops

SPAR MalbecThere's no wine in the house and with only ten minutes to go before the food is ready what can you do? Buying the meal-matching wine from the local village shop or corner convenience store is the best strategy when time is limited.

Small independent shops may only stock around the fifth of the range on offer in supermarkets but you'll still be able to choose a reasonably priced and tasting wine from one of the 20 or 30 on offer. The choice will be limited to brands you've probably never heard of but are cheap, or reliable big-name brands like South Africa's Kumala and Californian blends from Gallo and Blossom Hill that will cost around £7 a bottle – always expect to pay a couple of pounds more than you would if buying the bottle from Tesco or Sainsbury's.

Chosen for their ability to sell quickly and appeal to as many customers as possible, these bulk-bottle wines offer pleasant freshness with a light fruity taste that will match almost any dish. The small shop owner will never be a source of specialist wines but what stock there is will match most of their customers' meals, whether that's slow-cooked braised beef or take-away haddock and chips.

Sainsbury's Duc de CastellacPG Wine Reviews

Toro Loco Reserva 2012, Spain

£4.99 Aldi

A great value red with flavours of plum and cherry.

M&S La Falleras Tinto 2015, Spain

£5 M&S

A light lunchtime vino with flavours of smoky cherry and violets.

SPAR M Malbec 2015, France

£6 SPAR

A really good wine from this corner shop brand. Flavours of sweet plum, with balancing sharpness of blackcurrant and sloe.

Trésors de Loire Cuvée 845 Chenin Blanc 2015, France

£7 Sainsbury's

Floral and lime. Nice.

SPAR Chablis 2014

£11 SPAR

Gently floral and grassy white with fruity flavours of pear and pineapple.

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