winebox tapIf you really like a certain wine, rather than buying it in single cork-stoppered bottles why not get in larger three or four bottle-sized amounts available in boxes? You’ll find many supermarkets sell the same wine in bottles and wineboxes, but check out the equivalent price per bottle and you’ll find the winebox wine works out cheaper.

Wineboxes have other advantages. Dispensed through a plastic tap dispenser, wine boxes do away with the annoyance of broken corks and tainted 'corked' wine - improperly sterilised corks spoil at least one in ten traditionally bottled wines.

wine glassesPartially consumed winebox wine remains fresh and unoxidised for up to six weeks. As the plastic bag concealed within the cardboard box empties, the pressure of the remaining wine stops air entering the tap. For single glass consumers of wine this is a huge bonus. If you've tried to keep a partially drunk conventional bottle of wine you'll know it will become tasteless and oxidised within a couple of days.

PG Winebox Tips

The Fair Mile; Australian Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Merlot blend; 3-litre winebox

£16 (equivalent price £4/75cl) Tesco (down from £19.99 until January 22)

There’s every wine flavour going in this blend of three very popular red grape varieties, so you should find something in it you like. It tastes like blackcurrant yoghurt with a hint of icing sugar, liquorice and milk choc. A versatile wine that’ll match almost any food or mood.

Banrock Station wineboxLateral Chilean Sauvignon Blanc, 3-litre winebox

£16.49 (equivalent price £4.13/75cl) Tesco

Fresh, light gooseberry flavours with a creamy edge and a cooked apple ending. An everyday drinker.

Lateral Chilean Shiraz, 3-litre winebox

£16.49 (equivalent price £4.13/75cl) Tesco

This is Shiraz for people who don’t want the in-your-face Aussie-style black peppery Shiraz that can overwhelm the senses. Try this lighter version with plum and blackcurrant flavours and only a hint of black pepper.

Lindemans ShirazTesco Simply French Côtes du Rhone, 3-litre winebox

£16.99 (equivalent price £4.25/75cl) Tesco

A French red that tastes of the English countryside: elderberry, plum and blackberry flavours topped with dark chocolate and redcurrant.

JP Chenet Vin Blanc, 3-litre winebox

£17.99 (equivalent price £4.50/75cl) Tesco

This is what we used to call a wine lake blend but is now more delightfully called a ‘Vin de la Communauté Européenne’. There’s no clue to what grape varieties go into this or from which countries they originate but all that become irrelevant when you concentrate on the taste – extremely pleasant and fruity with light apple, melon and pear flavours. A go with anything white. Good stuff.

Mountain Edge casksMountain Edge Chilean Sauvignon Blanc Reserve 2-litre wine ‘cask’ (a cylindrical winebox)

£23.99 (equivalent to £8.99/75cl) Inspired Wine

(Enter the voucher code ‘MatureTimes’ when ordering online to get £10 off when you order 2, or £20 off when you order 4. Brings price down to equivalent £7.12 for 75cl)

A very acceptable fresh and elegant Sauvignon Blanc that tastes more French than New World. The usual gooseberry flavours found in Sauvignon Blanc have been reduced to a mere background and the main flavours are pineapple and celery. A wine that will match almost anything and be enjoyed by almost everyone. Comes in some posh packaging that hides the fact that you’re dealing with plastic bag in a cardboard tube. Wine will stay fresh for up to 4 weeks.

Mountain Edge Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2011 2-litre wine ‘cask’

£23.99 (equivalent to £8.99/75cl) Inspired Wine

(Enter the voucher code ‘MatureTimes’ when ordering online to get £10 off when you order 2, or £20 off when you order 4. Brings price down to equivalent £7.12 for 75cl)

An adaptable wine with flavours of Black Forest gateaux with a hint of crème fraiche. Smooth but not sweet, intense but not rich. Nice.

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

Aldi Toscana RossoTop Ten Last Minute Christmas Bargains this week. Because, if you’re like me, then you’ve been concentrating on the nosh side of Christmas rather than what wine to match with the roast turkey, the cold turkey, the turkey curry, the mince pies, the puddings, the nuts...yes well. So here are ten wines ranging from Aldi’s £3.99 stonking value Italian red to some posher clarets at over £10 a bottle. And what these wines have in common is that they’re all well worth the money.

half bottles of champagneTop Five Sparkling Wines of 2012 this week. Which makes a change from 2011 where there was such a dearth of the decent bubbly stuff that a top sparkling round-up couldn’t be justified. Things are a little better this year. But while we’ve had a Top Ten Whites and Top Ten Reds, and even a Top Ten Under A Fiver, there still wasn’t quite enough tasty fizz this year to make a top ten list. So you’ll have to make do with a top five instead. And here they are.

Caliterra labelTop Ten Reds of 2012 this week including three at under £7 plus plenty of slurpable chocolate and cherry flavours. Here they are in order of fabness.