For sure, these are difficult times – and will probably become harder over winter.
Money will be tight and costs seem likely to rise on almost everything – including wine.
So, with many people understandably dejected and apprehensive, I felt it might be time, as the old wartime song had it, to try to “accentuate the positive”.
Here, then, are my ten wine-related reasons not to be totally despondent.
- Quantities of sound and well-made wine are still available at modest prices.
- We have suppliers that can search almost the entire world to find it.
- Indeed, several countries (Portugal, South Africa and much of Eastern Europe) prove to be regular sources of reliable but inexpensive wines.
- Beyond that, accomplished producers (especially in areas like Languedoc) also take pride in providing tasty wines that do not cost a king’s ransom.
- Equally, there is no shortage of people ready to help you find them from household names like Oz Clarke to lower key resources like this site.
- After all, like good sommeliers, the best commentators delight in finding wine that suits your budget.
- And, anyway, the early signs are that wine prices may not rise quite as fast as some others.
- So, if going out does prove too expensive, you can still create great eating and social atmospheres but do it at home.
- Remember, above all, that real pleasure comes from the people you are with – not the wine, however much it costs. [This is so important it counts as 1½]
- Even so, nice wine does make even mundane events just that little bit more special.
Let’s follow that with details of a couple of bottles that I think should help to keep those positive thoughts flowing.
As is normal here, pictures and hyperlinks are provided where possible to guide you straight to the right wine on shelf or web page.
First, then a Spanish red
2020 Heredad del Rey Reservada Yecla (£5.99 – instead of £6.99 until 1 November – at Waitrose):
Full marks to this delightful Spanish answer to GSM blends (without the garnacha in this case) and one that represents fantastic value at £6.
Oaky but with hints of sweetness, it contains juicy bramble flavours coupled with balanced tannin and a trace of liquorice.
All those components are set in a smoky, earthy and slightly rustic framework that serves to provide enjoyable extra appeal.
And, to match it, a French white
2021 Bergerac Grande Reserve Sauvignon Semillon (£6 – instead of £7 until 1 November – at Sainsbury’s):
Nowadays, Bergerac seems to identify more with South West France than with Bordeaux.
Nevertheless, there is something distinctly Bordelais to this brilliant white blend.
Smooth yet pithy, it provides textured greengage, melon and apple flavours supported by grapefruit acidity and hints of green pepper, but with lemon curd style sweet edges too.
Details came too late for Thursday’s post but Sainsbury’s have a “25% off when you buy 6” promotion that runs until 1 November.
As MidWeeker Eddie pointed out last week, Asda has a similar promotion that goes on for a day longer, not expiring until 2 November.
However, do make sure you read the small point about limitations that may apply to either of these promotions.
After today’s focus on the less expensive end of the wine world, take a step up to my Friday treats and two steps up to my Sunday Best selections when we meet again on Thursday.
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