Aldi Pardon My French FitouTop Ten Red Wines of 2017 this week. Majestic are putting up a good show with the Co-op making its return for another year, plus the smaller regional wine merchants and independents are also here with some very good wines.

So what's the best way to serve these wines? Their complexity often gets better if you decant the wine – just open the bottle and pour the wine into a jug or a decanter if you have one (I use a decanter emblazoned with 'Stowells of Chelsea' which I bought at a charity shop years ago) and let it sit there for half an hour or so while you rustle up the evening meal.

This action of pouring the wine and leaving it in a wide brimmed vessel allows for a tiny amount of aeration – just enough to get the molecules mingling in the wine and uncovering the juicy, enjoyable flavours that can stay hidden if the red is left in the bottle.

Well here they are in ascending order of price.

Top Ten Reds of 2017

1

Aldi Vignobles Roussellet Malbec, France
£4.49 Aldi
Outstanding value and quaffable too. A great wine that many will enjoy as it's not too heavy on the mouth-restricting tannins with fruity flavours of plum, cherry and milk chocolate.

2

Aldi Pardon My French Fitou
£4.49 Aldi
Slightly more tannin than the Vignobles but this wine is still neither too heavy or drying. The flavours of damson and liquorice need matching to food – I suggest meals like beef strogonoff or meat-covered pizza.

Sainsbury's Cotes du Rhone3

Sainsbury's Taste the Difference Cotes du Rhone-Villages 2014
£7 Sainsbury's
Flavours of black and sweet cherry with damson and marzipan – a mixture of Black Forest gateaux and Christmas cake.

4

Paso-Primero 2016, Spain
£8.50 Tanners Wines
Buy online or pop into one of Tanners shops in Shropshire to get this wine made by a Shropshire couple with expertise in Spain. Their range is expanding but this is their staple red wine – and it's a really nice with flavours of a bit of everything going on.

5

Porta 6 2015, Portugal
£8.99 Majestic
A sophisticated wine with a great bottle label that makes it worth buying just for that. An original painting by a German painter of a Lisbon tram hurtling along the narrow lanes makes for a dramatic backdrop to this aromatic wine.

Porta 66

Vinalba Argentinean Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2013
£8.99 Co-op
A nice mix of fruity flavours: cherry, blackberry and almond liqueur chocolates.

7

Chateau Millegrand Cuvee Aurore Minervois 2014, French
£9.99 Co-op
A magnificent fragrant wine with aromas and flavours of ripe damsons, violets and blueberries. In fact it's so fragrant that it makes the wine hard to put down.

8

Alamina Romanian Pinot Noir 2015
DBM Wines £9.99, The Fine Wine Company case of 6 £48.20
A great wine to test your aroma and taste recognition perception on as it has loads going on. I got aromas of cherry, mint, mocha and green herb followed by flavours of cherry, chocolate, plum and raspberry.

9

Domaine Les Verrieres Les Sept Fontaines 2014, France
£10.99 Majestic
This wine makes a great match to Chinese takeaway with its flavours of astringent blackcurrant and chocolate.

10

Ramon Bilbao Vinedos de Altura 2014 Rioja, Spain
£13.95 Great Western Wine
Long flavours of cherry and darkly roasted black coffee develop as you drink.

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

The Big MoTop Ten White Wines of 2017 with recommended wines starting at £6.99 and going up to £18.99. The Co-op (for successive years), Virgin Wines and Laithwaites are putting up a good show, with other supermarkets and retailers making up the rest of the Top Ten.

Champagne chocolatesSo what wine-related pressies do you get for the wine lover in your life at this time of year? It's tricky as they'll have their own very strict idea of what wine to drink, and what not to drink – so why not avoid buying specific bottles and go for more generic gifts like wine-flavoured chocolates, books about wine or wine advent calendars?

Aldi Pardon My French groupTop Ten Wines in the £6 and Under category of 2017 this week.