Morrisons CellarThis year’s annual listing of Top Ten Wines has been struck by both inflation and spending habits – no longer can the under-a-fiver category produce ten wines worth the time and expense of joining the Christmas rush, instead we must look to the £5.99 and under category to find 2013’s Top Ten Wines Under Six Quid.

The £5.99 and under wine category has expanded rapidly this year now that the average spend on a bottle of wine has crept up to over five pounds – partly due to the price rise on all food and drink items but there’s also the hike in oil prices to thank. The economic viability of moving tanker loads of (once) cheap Aussie wine half way around the world to be sold at £3.99 (that can still make a profit) has gone for a Burton.

All the supermarkets have enhanced and expanded their existing cheaper wine ranges. But Aldi still holds the top spot for the supermarket with the most consistently drinkable value wines (with Morrisons close at its heels). And that’s why six of its wines fill this year’s Top Ten Wines Under Six Quid.

After removing the merely alright or just okay from the list, the final ten are all not only great value but taste fab too. So expect fruity, long lasting flavours that offer a high class balance between sweetness and acidity and are a great match to everyday foods or the richer fayre that’ll be passing our lips in a month’s time.

So here they in order of stonking value, with the top spot being filled by a wine that if you were told it cost three times as much you wouldn’t bat an eyelid and going down in order to the merely very, very good.

PG’s Top Ten Wines Under Six Quid


Mavrodaphne of Patras, Sweet Red Greek wine

£4.99 Morrisons

Without seeing the label you’d think this luscious wine was a vintage port selling at three times the price. Flavours of raisin, marzipan, plum and blackberries is cut through with the fresh acidity of apple – which stops the whole lot becoming too sweet. Amazing value.

Aldi Exquisite Shiraz2

Aldi Exquisite Collection Australian Shiraz

£5.99 Aldi

The aroma leaps out of the glass at you with strawberry, raspberry, blackcurrant, black cherry and choc. This all then moves into the flavour with the addition of coconut, coffee and tobacco. Corr what a stonker.


Aldi Exquisite Collection Argentinean Malbec

£5.99 Aldi

Tastes lighter than the aroma of tar, cocoa and concentrated blackcurrant leads you to expect: plum, apple and blackberry with a tar edge which wraps itself around the lighter flavours. Very good.


Aldi Exquisite Collection Sud de France Sauvignon Blanc Viognier

£5.99 Aldi (available but not showing on their website)

With hazelnut meringue on the aroma what could go wrong? Well nothing because the taste of limey gooseberry and nutty peach is good, very good.


Aldi Exquisite Collection Australian Chardonnay

£5.99 Aldi

Peach, pear, bubblegum and almond. Fruity and complex.


Belletti Prosecco Italian Extra Dry sparkling

£5.99 Aldi

Simple, everyday apple and pear flavours with a lift of flowers. Perfectly pleasant fizz.


Les Pierres Bordes French Marsanne Viognier 2012

£5.75 The Wine Society (add on the £40 membership fee)

Creamy, hazelnut, pear and peach. Nice.


La Moneda Reserva Chilean Sauvignon Blanc 2013

£5 Asda

This is the wine that makes you hit the back of your neck after swallowing. Straight gooseberry with the merest hint of apple.


San Zenone Toscana Rosso 2009

£4.29 Aldi

Light cherry with a mix of chocolate, with just a touch of liquorice which makes for a deeper flavour. A nice bit of oomph for the price.


J P Chenet Vin Blanc 3-litre wine box

£15.49 Tesco (equivalent to £3.88/75cl)

Light apple, melon and pear – a go with anything white.

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

Christmas cakeWhisk(e)y, both Irish and Scottish, and sherry are sampled this week as I get started baking the Christmas fruity puds and cakes. Recipes for booze-soaked Christmas fruit cake always say you should let the cake 'mature' for at least a week before you ice it. But the cake will still taste wonderful if you start munching when it’s only been out of the oven for an hour and just (about) cooled down.

Perez Cruz Cab SauvIt’s cold. And it gets dark before the day has properly begun. Which means we now have to turn the light on when admiring the colour of that pre-supper glass of red wine. Shorter periods of daylight send a signal to our brain to reject the lighter hues of summer and seek out dark reds and browns of winter. So leave the light-green Sauvignon Blancs unopened and pick up a bottle of its red cousin Cabernet Sauvignon instead.

Asda onlineRivalling Tesco Wine by the Case, Morrisons Cellar and Waitrose WineDirect, Asda launches its own online Wine Shop today. With free delivery until the end of the year plus an extra 10% off first orders, this new easy-to-use site is definitely worth a go if you want to order six or more bottles of wine. You won’t find all the wines stocked by their main grocery site but with over 500 wines to choose from initially (more are promised for 2014) the site offers some interesting, if slightly expensive, oddities plus the usual popular brands priced at £5 and under.