Castillo de Calatrva labelMorrisons Castillo de Calatrava Spanish Tempranillo Crianza is the Bargain of the Year (so far). Paying just £4 for this complex, fruity red is such a stonking deal (within their 3 for £12 offer which starts today) that buying just one bottle is a missed opportunity – my advice is buy as many as your purse will allow.

Morrisons assures me there is no limit on the quantity on this, or any other, particular bottle within the deal (which ends 25th March). So you can buy as many trios as you like but they will be subject to who gets there first.

Castillo bottleAnd what a bargain it is: cocoa, blackberry, sloe and black cherry yoghurt flavours all nicely rounded off with some sucking-on-the-end-of-a-pencil woodiness. Which you’d think would be an ideal match to equally heavy-weight dishes such as beef stew or Sunday roasts but this wine is surprisingly light-bodied which means it can also match lighter, more aromatic meals such as pizza, pasta and sag aloo.

The Tempranillo grape is a staple of the Spanish wine industry. Not just within the central La Mancha region where this Crianza (wine of breeding) Calatrava originates but also Rioja, who’s wine of the same name is arguably Spain’s most famous wine export.

If you want to look out for other wines made with the Tempranillo grape then you’ll have your work cut out. Known by at least fifty-six other synonyms (including Cencibel and Tinto Fino in Spain, Aragonez in Portugal and Jacibiera in South America) this grape variety has many guises. But it’s made a little simpler by the fact that nearly all the countries that grow and use it in their wines have, or had, a direct connection with Spain.

But before we get started on working out all of Spain’s ex-Empire colonies there is the small matter of some bargain bottles to get in.

Morrisons 3 for £12 Mix and Match Wine Offer allows you to choose any three offer wines - so pick three different or three all of the same (subject to availability) for £12. There are eleven wines within the deal, which starts today 27th February and ends 25th March:

Castillo de Calatrava Spanish Tempranillo Crianza

French Connection Selection Blanc
French Connection Selection Rouge

Hardys Australian VR Chardonnay
Hardys Australian VR Shiraz

Tronos Chilean Chardonnay
Tronos Chilean Shiraz

Valbello Italian Pinot Grigio

Dangerpoint South African Cabernet Merlot

Los Vividores Spanish Tempranillo Rosé

Frontera Chilean Rosé

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

Sauternes labelAs you squeeze the lemon juice over your pancakes tomorrow will you be contemplating an accompanying glass of wine or a nice cup of tea? Because wine isn’t the natural partner of choice for the traditional Shrove Tuesday meal. Adding lashings of sugar as well will almost stop the taste buds registering anything else – unless it’s even sweeter or more acidic than each of the pancake toppings. So what wine, if any, matches these criteria?

tape measureThe ‘fat’ Woman’s Hour listener in her 40s looking for practical weight loss advice didn’t find any from the panel of three experts (a researcher, a diet book author and a life coach) bussed in to discuss ‘Diets don’t work – or do they?’ (broadcast Radio 4, 14 February). Instead woolly solutions were offered including: eat more meat (this to a woman running a home and family of 5 on average wages) and overcoming deep-seated psychological issues (‘I’m very happy and have a fulfilled life’ was her response). So how do you lose weight? Follow the sensible approach – eat slightly less and exercise slightly more.

chocolate squaresThis Valentine’s Day rather than the usual box of chocs and bottle of wine, why not present your loved one with a bottle of wine that tastes of chocolate? To find those cocoa nuances you’ll need a full-bodied red from the warmer parts of Europe, South America or California.