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Friday 1 June 2012

Weekly Wine: Dirt-Cheap Summer Wine That You'll Actually Enjoy Drinking

Good golly Miss Molly, I love a bargain. And like most of us, I'm a girl on a budget. That's why, sometimes, I buy gaspworthily cheap, tat-looking wine in supermarkets, just to see if it's truly dreadful or a sneaky steal.

My 'research' has been hit-and-miss at times (never - I repeat never - will I buy Blossom Hill 'just to see if it's stopped making me do crazy-acid-face' again; it's not pretty), but as this is the last of my Weekly Wine columns I thought I'd spill all my guilty pleasures in time for the longest weekend we've had in ages.

We've not got a lot of time left to stock up so I'm sticking to my supermarket bargains - good luck, sisters. Go forth and get happy-tipsy on the cheap.


Red: Taste the Difference Marzemino Delle Venezie, £5.99
This is actually often on offer for £3.99, which just makes you super-jammy. A lesson in not being afraid to pick a wine because you've never heard of it before, this delight is super-fruity and light, with bubblegum/kirsch character.

White: Taste the Difference Gewurztraminer, £8.09
Okay, this isn't that cheap. But it's probably the most fun I've had for less than a tenner in ages. Seriously, you'd never know this is 13.5%; it's so mouthwateringly fruity (think lychee) and drinkable that you might think it's just juice. Really bloody tasty juice. If you see it on offer SNAP IT UP.


Red: Trapiche Bonarda, currently £7.99 down from £11.29
Again, not dirt cheap, however don't pass up a wine because it's Argentinian but you can't see the word 'Malbec' on it - you're missing out. Bonarda is Argentinian for 'bloody great fruit bomb' - well okay, it's not, but it SHOULD be. Genuine pow-factor in juiciness here; I could drink this all evening.

White: Piesporter Michelsberg, £3.79
Okay, right, I KNOW, but stick with me for a minute. It's the worst kind of German wine: really vague-looking, and too cheap to be sweet in a balanced way. But I'm not suggesting you drink this on its own - I'm suggesting you drink this if you're having one of those parties/picnics with cocktail sausages, sausage rolls, coronation chicken, or any other pork-based or creamy-spicy stuff. The slight sweetness is key, and this has earnt me all kinds of cool-points when I show people how well it goes with the food.


Red: Extra Special Dao, £5
Most of Asda's wine range makes me want to do a bit of a cry, but some of their Extra Special range isn't bad at all. If you find yourself stranded and in need of a drinkable, gently spicy Portuguese red, this is the one for you.

White: Zilzie Viognier, £5.98
I can't tell you how much I love viognier right now, and this is one of the only non-massive-brand wines Asda do. The silky texture and the floral, peachy aromas of this Aussie wine make it lots of fun for sipping with equally delicate foods and on equally fragrant evenings.


Sparkling: Valdobbiadene Prosecco Spumante DOCG, Dry, £6.99
A Decanter Award-winning sparkler for less than £7 a bottle is hard to find, especially from the absolute best place to make Prosecco (Valdobbiadene). Apples and pears coming out of its ears, and screaming out for a bellini.

What are your crafty cheap wine failsafes? Share your favourites with us in the comments, or on our Twitter and Facebook pages...

Image taken from Izik's photostream under the Creative Commons License.


  1. I adore viognier and will definitely try all the others, OK perhaps not the Piesporter though. I bought a £2.99 bottle of Spanish red from Tescos last week for Sangria and it was actually so nice we just drank it as it is! Was really surprised! Hurray for cheap wines that don't make our faces screw up :)

  2. Aldi's sparkling wine selection is very good - as well as the one you list above which is very nice, I also like the Philippe Michel Cremant de Jura (dry, lots of bubbles, lots of prizes, apparently - and a rather nice bottle, £6.99) and the Danti sparkling Pinot Grigio (scarily drinkable, £4.99).

    Goodness me, I do sound like I drink a lot, don't I?

  3. Hooray for cheap(ish) wine that doesn't make your face go funny! But why, Missy, is this your last column? Where will we get our advice now? *sob*

    1. Aw, how sweet! I'll still be around posting every week, and don't worry, it's not possible to stop me from nattering about wine, it's just the end of the longer column format! And if you're looking for advice let me know - I'm always happy to help. :)


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