It is not easy to keep pace with reliable and enjoyable wine while prices are rising sharply.
But where retailers do hold prices down – to keep market share – quality often seems to suffer.
Consequently, I reject much more wine that ever before and the number of budget level gems is diminishing.
So, we must expect the average price of wines being recommended to rise – and, I fear, that trend has not peaked yet.
For today, though, here are a couple of well-made wines, typical of their style, around the £6 mark – which we must now accept is probably the sweet spot.
The usual pictures and hyperlinks are provided to make it easier to identify the exact wine in a crowded display.
Classic Southern Rhone red
An ever-popular French blend of grenache and syrah, this is produced by the widely respected Perrin family and is typical of their Rhone Valley homeland.
Warm and rounded, 2020 La Vieille Ferme (£6.49 – instead of £7.99 until 17 May – at Waitrose) has black cherry and blackberry flavours supported by firm tannin with rosemary and white pepper elements and hints of oak.
A welcome revival
Late last century, Italian producers began a major programme of revival of ancient white wine grape varieties that had fallen off the radar.
Falinghina was one important beneficiary and so was fiano which, because it likes volcanic soil, has done particularly well in Sicily.
Soft and perfumed, 2020 Extra Special Fiano Terre Siciliane (£6 at Asda) from that island features delicate apple and mango flavours partnered by gentle lemon acidity and a contrasting nutty finish.
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