At the bottom

somerfield wine aisleRummage among the bottom shelves of supermarket wine aisles and you’ll find cheaper own-label wines that taste just as good as any expensive named chateau – it’s not unusual for big-name wine firms to fill a supermarket’s bottles with their spare wine. The result is a cut-price high-quality wine grown and bottled by a top vineyard but hidden behind a familiar supermarket logo.

And what’s even better is that these wines cost the same as a couple of National Lottery tickets. Asda’s fruity French Corbières costs just £3.31, while Sainsbury’s House Claret is £3.79. They may be French, but think of English hedgerows when you sniff these wines: elderberries and slightly under-ripe blackberries. Match with light suppers and things-on-toast.

And the price gets even cheaper if you take six bottles through the checkout. Like its other supermarket rivals Tesco and Asda offer an extra 5% discount when you buy six or more bottles of wine (they don't all have to be the same but they can be). Plus don’t forget the Co-op. Their latest offers ends on the 19th, so if you want to save one-third off Wolf Blass or get champagne for under £10 then act quickly.

But still the best way to bag a bargain is to buy in bulk. Aldi sell their own-label Italian Shiraz in 3-litre containers. Equivalent to just £3.25 a bottle, this fruity wine matches almost any meal you care to try it with. Once opened, drink the four bottles-worth of wine within 6 weeks to get maximum freshness of flavour.

Good wine needn't be an expensive business.

PG Wine Tips

£3.99 and under

There are still some good bottles to be found that cost the same as a couple of National Lottery tickets.

Sainsbury’s Chilean Merlot, £3.31 Sainsbury's

Light cherry, blackcurrant and blackberry flavours with a hint of spice. Warming and fruity. Match with pepperoni pizza.

Aldi Chilean Merlot, £3.49 Aldi

Deeper flavours than in the Sainsbury version, Aldi’s Chilean Merlot offers blackcurrant and sloe flavours with extra mint chocolate. Ideal for beef casserole.

Tesco Chilean White, £3.49 Tesco

This blend of grape varieties gives creamy melon with pear and melon flavours. Best matched to meals with lighter sauces.

£5.99 and under

There are a few fruity, slurpable wines among the forgettable masses.

Spar French Vins de Pays Chardonnay, £5.35 Spar

Simple melon and apple pie flavours. Drink when in a quaffing mood.

Costs a bit more, but tastes great

Sometimes a bottle of wine tastes so fab it's still a bargain whatever it costs.

Wolf Blass Australian Sparkling Brut, £6.66 Co-op (down from £9.99 until October 19th)

A mix of apple and light strawberry flavours delivered within a bubbly froth.

La Tsarine Champagne, £9.99 for half-bottle Co-op

More interesting than most, this champagne offers marmalade and quince aromas matched with lemon and peach flavours. Serve with your fish course and get another half-bottle of sherry in for the dessert or cheese afters.

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