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Yes, Reliable £5 Wines Are Around – Just Pretty Rare.

Although – dare I say – some of us may have a few miles on the clock, new things in the world of wine still emerge.

Equally, the maze that represent today’s wine aisles continues to be hard to navigate.

Both points are reasons for the MidWeek Wines recommendation platform.

It aims to provide a cosy corner of the internet where wine wisdom is shared.

The priority is dependable wine at affordable prices that will satisfy a broad range of palates.

Many reading this will know all that – and have become long-term subscribers because of it.

If that is you – many thanks for your support.

About a third of all site visitors, however, are not subscribers so here are compelling reasons why I think you should put that right.

  • First and foremost, it's absolutely free – no strings attached and no attempts to sell you anything.
  • Its curated wine recommendations go out twice a week, keeping you in the loop with the latest discoveries.
  • Content is much closer to real-time insights than newspaper column deadlines can ever allow.
  • It can save you time selecting wine while also helping to avoid the disappointment of bottles that do not quite hit the mark.

So, subscribe today to sip and savour your way to even better wine experiences.

And, if you have already joined, encourage your friends to do the same – what better present can you give them?

Meanwhile, here come two liquid reasons why subscribing is such a good idea.

As is normal here, pictures and hyperlinks are provided where possible to guide you straight to the right wine on shelf or web page.

The first one is from Italy

2020 Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico (£7.65 at the Co-op and 12.5% abv): 

This is white wine that – deservedly – gets much love in the press and which sits at a price point close to what will probably become the “new normal”.

It hails from Castelli di Jesi, a wine region in the Marche region of central Italy, so called because of the area’s numerous castles and fortified towns.

The verdicchio grape that prospers there is particularly famous for the light bodied and bright white wines like this produced locally.

It delivers delicate apple and nectarine flavours supported by sharp, yet pithy, grapefruit acidity and a finish containing traces of flint and nuttiness.

And on to that bargain option

2021 Kooliburra Australian Cabernet Shiraz (£5.07 in Aldi’s Scottish stores and 13.5%):

Returning to the theme of the title, bargain priced wines like this will become even rarer under the new alcohol duty arrangements.

While I will seek out inexpensive but dependable options where I can, be warned that, increasingly, low prices are achieved at the expense of quality.

Sadly, the exceptions that belong on this site, are becoming rarer.

However, quality is fully acceptable in this uncomplicated, everyday red so grab some while you can.

Sweet edged yet with savoury traces, it is centred on minty damson and blackcurrant flavours.

These are accompanied by good acidity, modest tannin and touches of treacle, baking spice and chocolate.

NB: Prices may vary in different parts of the UK but the wine should be available in physical stores despite being shown out of stock online.

After today’s focus on the everyday end of the wine world, the next post (on Thursday) takes a broader look at what is available courtesy of the latest Lidl Wine Tour that starts that day.

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Fred jones

Thanks again for your review I find them most interesting & very helpful

Brian Elliott

Thank you, Fred for those kind words and for your solid support over the 18 months or so you have been a subscriber


Because Verdicchio is available at all the major supermarket chains and pretty much at the same price point – is there any way of distinguishing the quality between the different chains? Or are they all buying the same stuff from the suppliers?

Eddie Walker

Interesting point there Mike. Brian will give us chapter and verse but the Verdiccho is to me one of those wines that seems to come in lower production levels than many other grape varieties and from a comparitively small denominazone area, and gains greater consistency for that reason even at the cheaper end of things. I buy mine from Sainsbury’s but only when it’s a 25% offf buy 6 deal and always have one on the shelf. Sometimes as cheap as a fiver!!!

Dave Cronin

Verdicchio is lovely and the Co-op one Brian suggests is very good for the price as is the Sainsbury’s bottle, as Eddie says get it on a deal and it’s even better. If you want a step up (unfortunately in price as well) Sainsbury’s also do a CLASSICO SUPERIORE …….
Think this has a splash of Malvasia in the mix, but it’s excellent.

Brian Elliott

Thanks Dave – the malvasia will add some neat aromatics to the delicacy that verdicchio offers.

Brian Elliott

Pleased to see that you too rate the Sainsbury’s version – and your experience will be more recent than mine.

Brian Elliott

I see your point Mike, but this is a bit tricky. As Richard points out, the supplier sometimes is the same but – unlike his case – the blend may be different, often tailored to the wishes of the specific buyer. With wines best drunk young, time can also make a difference. For example, I recommended the Sainsbury’s version in February but will it still be as good six months later? I don’t know. The only option is to compare five or six versions from different retailers at the same time – and I do occasionally do that – but it does take a bit of organisation.

Richard Wyndham

I agree, Brian, the Verdicchio is a cracking wine – and in my local Suffolk co-op it is at only £6.75. I find it a very useful wine, good acidity, delicate fruit, some almond on the finish and a slight creaminess. So can match a range of dishes.
In response to Mike, Asda sell the identical wine (same bottler, same importer) also at £6.75 (down from £7.75). There is no named wine maker on these bottles. I think at higher price points (lower yields) there are wines with a touch more weight, some aging potential, and likely with specific details of the vine grower and wine maker.
Hope move still going well!

Brian Elliott

Thanks for the additional comment, Richard – and good point about the connection between yields, weight and prices.
Build doing nicely – almost weather tight now – and we are slowly adjusting to city living in out temporary abode.

Richard Wyndham

…. Just noticed that Asda have a 25% off mixed 6 offer, and the Verdicchio is included. So that brings it down to about £5.07!

Brian Elliott

Eddie will be commenting on that Asda promotion on Thursday – along with one other currently under embargo.

Paul Davies

Hi Brian,
In these times of food and drink inflation at 13.6% ; inexpensive and decent wines are a real bonus.
Step forward 2020 Tesco Vista Castelli Montepulciano D’Abruzzo at £5,35.(Not the Finest one)
Juicy ,aromatic, blackberry and plum flavours with noticeable ,but not overdone ,tannins-tempered by fresh acidity.A good autumnal stew red wine.
Even better I bought a few bottles at the former price of £4.75 and with a drinking window to 2026, who would have thought about the potential of a wine for a fiver?

Brian Elliott

Yes, Paul, wine at £5 with aging potential is like the proverbial hen’s teeth. I always suggest the Montepulciano grape as the safe option for the cautious in Italian restaurants and, from what you say, its reliability does not seem to be restricted to the on-trade.

Eddie Walker

Good call that Paul if it’s as good as you suggest! It could almost go unnoticed on the ”bottom shelf”. What is interesting is how cheap it could have been if Tesco had retained its minimum price of £5 for bottles in the 25% off buy 6 offer. But now their minimum is £5.50 so it still can’t feature. However, at £5.35 usual price that is hardly anything for a quality bottle that could be laid down or drunk now.
I shall have some next time my wife shops at Tesco!!!

Brian Elliott

I have just acquired some so will be shaping up my opinions shortly.

Paul Davies

Hello Eddie,
I have just read an article in the I published on September 29th by Christine Austin entitled “The best red wines for autumn 2023 from a £5 Tesco Montepulciano…..”

Brian Elliott

Christine usually hits the spot pretty well.

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