Yes it is that time of year again – the Daily Mail Wine Awards, you essential guide for the Wines with the best value for money out there on the supermarket shelves right now.
Here is something for every taste, from champagne to english Sparkling wines and proseccos through red and white tones to roses, Ports and delicious sweet wines and Cherries – and there are some wonderful ones Surprise finds on the way.
To make navigation easier Year we have the red and divided White wines by country as you like Find them in the aisles of the supermarket. A rosette attached to a bottle indicates that it was a category winner while all The others are outstanding runners-up.
I have been since the beginning of September We angrily taste the wines at our height Streets before I assemble my elite Team. In this most extraordinary Year we carried out the whole event on-line.
The wines were sent to them Judges’ houses so that we can taste keep them in line and compare notes about zoom. But act quickly if you want buy these wines because many are subject to seasonal discounts.
And don’t miss my guide to the best wines especially for it Christmas and New Year in the Daily Mail next Monday and Tuesday. This will be a separate festive guide some amazingly cheap Wines, but also wines to splash around out on.
These joys are available of supermarkets and the high Street but also from independent Retailers and online. Bottom up!
Matthew Jukes, W.Weekend wine expert
Cricket titan Sir Ian Botham joins ours Zoom panel for assessing the top supermarket Tips – and is amazed that they start only £ 6 a bottle
By Lisa Sewards for Weekend Magazine
A jury selected the most delicious and affordable wines of the year available in UK high street shops. Picture left to right: Baron Botham, Matthew Jukes, Emma Rice, Michael Caines and Jodie Kidd
Sir Ian Botham has been on the wagon for two months, but today he’s breaking his traditional pre-Christmas detox. And for a good reason.
He is one of the prestigious jurors at the third annual Daily Mail Wine Awards, trying their socially distant path through 110 specially selected supermarket tips – from white, red and rosé to sparklers and stickies – in search of the 60 most affordable bottles in Britain.
Our Wine Awards have become even more prominent this year as the British have spent nearly £ 1bn extra on wine since the first lockdown began in March.
Lessons from a legend
Pictured: John Arlott with Sir Ian Botham
Sir Ian Botham’s introduction to wine came at the age of 17 while playing for Somerset, and was given the task of carrying the late, great commentator John Arlott’s wicker basket into the radio comment box.
This contained his selection of four Beaujolais, French cheese and baguettes. After the game he offered me a glass. “What do you make of it?” he asked and I said, “It’s not bad,” laughs Sir Ian.
John later invited him to his home in Alderney, in the Channel Islands, and Sir Ian bought a house there a few years later. The couple became friends and when John died in 1991 he gave his wicker basket to Sir Ian.
“It’s in our dining room now. To this day, when I go to Alderney, I take a good bottle of red, sit by his grave and remember. There are a lot of corks in this cemetery.”
But with supermarket shelves displaying more wines than ever for the festive season, finding decent bottles can be a minefield. Because of this, the Daily Mail Wine Awards are important read.
“I drive around two to three months a year to remind myself that I don’t depend on it,” says Sir Ian, 65, a leading winemaker himself. Although he was made Lord this year, he is still better known as Sir Ian.
“During the closure, however, we went completely in the other direction – we bribed the dust men to collect all the empties!
“But this was a good time to stop drinking because Christmas is just around the corner. It may be strange this year, but I still have some really nice wines in the line and I’m looking forward to Christmas Day. “
Sir Ian, who blends and produces his own wine from Australian vineyards under his label Botham Wines, joins our jury, which also includes ex-supermodel, racing driver and customs officer Jodie Kidd, top chef Michael Caines and leading British winemaker Emma Rice. And they are all blown away by Berton Vineyard 2019, The Black Shiraz from Southeast Australia.
Sir Ian knows his Australian Shiraz. “I find Shiraz less earthy than Cabernet and a bit more fruity. This flavor leaves a nice dry and lingering taste and that is a compliment to the wine as there are plenty of good bottles for £ 20. So that’s fantastic value at £ 7.25.
“People ask me what I’m looking for in a wine, and the answer is simple: it has to taste great and value for money. And this year’s Daily Mail Wine Awards line-up includes some exceptional wines. “
Sir Ian is one of the greatest all-rounders in cricket history and has been fortunate enough to visit some of the best wineries in the world during his career.
“I’ve tasted more wines than I could count and seen some fabulous cellars,” says Sir Ian, whose first wine was made with his friend and fellow cricket colleague, the late Bob Willis, with renowned winemaker Geoff Merrill.
“It was 17 years before we talked about making our own wine before our first 2001 vintage came out.
“When we played in Australia a lot of the boys went to the beach on our day off, but Bob and I went to a winery for lunch. We made a lot of friends in the retail trade, and that’s probably why I taste more like New World wines. “
Last year, after 24 years as a cricket expert, Sir Ian left Sky Sports to expand his wine business.
“I had the opportunity to develop my own range of wines, which I’ve wanted to do for years.” Cricket has been my life since I was 12. It still is, but I had to diversify. “
Although he collects port, Sir Ian doesn’t usually drink it, but he was ready to reconsider after a tasting of NV Morrisons, the best 10 year old tawny port, Douro Valley, Portugal.
“I’ve never been a big port drinker, but I’ve got some in the basement.” I have a 1955 double, double magnum. It’s all encrusted. Only 12 were made. My family always tries to auction it, but it’s not going anywhere, ”he laughs.
“Mind you, I’d have to run about three miles to burn the calories. But this 10 year old tawny port in Morrisons is good. It’s light, which I like, but also has a lot of flavor. It’s on my Christmas list.”
Jodie Kidd, co-owner of the award-winning gastropub The Half Moon in Kirdford, West Sussex, admits that she always bases her selection of wine on price.
“In a supermarket I go to the top row for the most expensive wines and get a bottle for £ 18. And many are terrible. I open it and think, “Urgh …” I own a pub and I think I know a little bit about wine, but I automatically assume that the best is the most expensive, what it isn’t. “
Matthew Jukes agrees. “The main street is a dangerous place to window shop because there are so many terrible wines. I think there’s a two percent hit rate these days, which is shocking. ”
He believes the quality has only been deteriorated by the pandemic. “Covid has meant that supermarket tasting teams have not been able to travel to tastings in the vineyards. So they just reorder.”
“As a result, their wine choices become boring and of poor quality,” he says. “But the wines in our awards are the best of the best in the supermarket – and they only cost £ 6 a bottle.”
For example, Matthew Jodie is offering the £ 8 Marks & Spencer 2018 Fleur de Moussas, Médoc, Bordeaux, France and she’s blown away. “This is better than anything on the top shelves. It has the subtle depth of great wine. “
If she orders white in a restaurant, she is on the safe bet of a Petit Chablis. But her taste buds have expanded by being only the second person in the country after Matthew to try Aldis 2018 Caves Road, Chardonnay, Margaret River, Western Australia, which costs just £ 8.49.
“The taste is exceptional,” she says. “I would pay £ 30 or more for it in the pub.” I’ll keep drinking it for the rest of the afternoon! “
Winter rosé wines are always a hot topic, as rosé peaked in summer and got rather sad in the colder months.
“Rosés used to be fireworks – they enjoyed a moment and then faded,” explains Matthew. “But these 2019 vintages are much cleaner and brighter than ever before.”
Michael Caines, who won two Michelin stars at his Gidleigh Park restaurant and now runs Lympstone Manor in Devon, agrees. He is particularly fond of Waitroses Albia 2019, Rosé, Barone Ricasoli, Tuscany, Italy, because it offers a “clean and chic” change from the usual Provencal rosés.
51-year-old Michael is always looking for chic in wine and food. “What cemented my love for wine is the integral relationship between the two,” he explains.
“When we cook, we also pay attention to what we serve in terms of wine selection.”
Of course, it wouldn’t be Christmas without sparkling wine – although 2020 was a bad year for Prosecco.
“Zoom tasting samples didn’t offer the same rigorous testing,” explains Matthew. “So the Italians have not been able to adjust their blends and the choice of Prosecco is very limited this year.”
Nevertheless, Matthew Emma Rice – head winemaker and director of Hattingley Valley Wines in Hampshire – impresses with a pink Prosecco from Waitrose.
“It’s very attractive,” says Emma from La Gioiosa 2019, Rosé Millesimato, Veneto, Italy. “The nose is nice and soft and has a super clean, delicate taste. It’s a great party wine! “
But while it’s been a rough year for Prosecco, English sparkling wine has flourished. “Personally, I drank every day in lockdown and watched the news with a glass of rosé in hand,” smiles Emma.
“But professionally we were desperately concerned as our entry level is £ 30 a bottle and all of our exports to the US have died a death. So we decided to sell directly to the customer and we were overwhelmed.
‘We were able to increase sales by 15 percent. It shows that people are willing to pay a little more for high quality bubbles to drink at home. “
The winner of our English sparkling wine category is also available from Waitrose – Gusbourne, Brut 2016, Exclusive Release, Kent.
At £ 36 a bottle, it’s not cheap, but Michael Caines is amazed. “It’s fantastic,” he says. “The UK sparkling wine business is thriving thanks to his investment and vision. It’s incredibly exciting.
“But we now also have this amazing selection of imported wines in UK supermarkets. And the Daily Mail Wine Awards are a fantastic example of the variety of great wines at all levels at amazing prices available on our main roads today. ”
2019 Berton Vineyard, the black Shiraz
Southeast Australia (£ 8.25, reduced to £ 7.25 by Jan 1st, co-op)
This was the winner in our Rhône Varieties class – Grenache, Syrah (Shiraz) and Mourvèdre. Sir Ian is very experienced in the Australian Shiraz world as he produces several wines under his own label from this great country, and he quickly realized that this winning wine was indeed a “great value”. It has tar, licorice, plums, blackberries, and considerable vigor, and at just over 7 pounds, it’s a worthy winner.
2017 Tim Adams, Shiraz
Clare Valley, South Australia (£ 10, Tesco)
Tim Adams is a legend on the Australian wine scene and his wines have been on our shelves for 35 years. This blockbuster has everything you could want in a full bodied red. This is a wine that would love to be decanted because there is so much power and valor here that it needs to be unleashed. As Jodie said, “Decant this smooth, fabulous oak wine for friends and seriously push the boat out.”
2018 Xanadu, Fusion Cabernet Sauvignon
Margaret River, Western Australia (£ 12, Marks & Spencer)
Best with steak
Xanadu explodes from the glass with exquisite aromas of black currants. Jodie summed it up like this: “full, hearty and amazing with game, with bigger, screaming flavors to take you on a journey on the palate”. Margaret River has the perfect climate for this type of red and this is a tour de force for this grape. Standing head to toe with Bordeaux is a challenge for any wine, and Xanadu is more than worthy.
2020 Vasse Felix, Semillon / Sauvignon Blanc
Margaret River, Western Australia (£ 12, Tesco)
Best with Asian food
Michael adored the “cool, pure, and punchy flavors” of this wine, the winner of our Sauvignon Blanc category, and said, “This is all about fruit and it goes well with ceviche and Asian dishes.” As the most famous wineries in Western Australia, this is a symphony of citrus fruits and a worthy winner in this highly competitive category.
2018 Caves Road, Chardonnay
Margaret River, Western Australia (£ 8.49, Aldi)
“Great depth and freshness, not too sour, my favorite and I will drink the rest of the bottle,” said Jodie after just sipping this corker, this year’s winner in the Chardonnay category. Caves Road is the cheapest Chardonnay of the year. I was thrilled that it topped our awards. Do whatever you can to find this wine.
2019 Jim Barry, The Lodge Hill Riesling
Clare Valley, South Australia (£ 12.50, Marks & Spencer)
Best with sushi
Jodie noted that this “really grew up with freshness, ease, and a long, dry aftertaste”. Dry and flavorful, this is a ninja with sushi, sashimi and ceviche. It’s also one of the few wines in the range that can easily handle soy sauce and wasabi.
2016 Beaumont Castle, Cru Bourgeois, Haut-Médoc
Bordeaux, France (£ 16, co-op)
Our Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and others grade focuses on the grapes grown in Bordeaux. When these grapes are grown in other countries, the resulting wines are made from a “Bordeaux blend”. Our winner is a pure, unadulterated class that is drinking perfectly right now – the definitive wine for Sunday lunch. Beaumont is a highly regarded castle and it is rare to see such an estate on the main drag as its wines can usually be found in top restaurants and clubs. It’s a bit more expensive, but the price is just right – the co-op wine buyers have certainly done their magic again.
Cru du Beaujolais, France (£ 10, co-op)
Best with meaty fish dishes
Michael hopped in his chair as he brought in the perfect tasting notes: “This is top notch and juicy with blackberries, pepper and great style.” He’s picked out the exact characteristics of this amazingly good Beaujolais. The dark color and aromatic flavor make you think this is going to be a great wine, but it’s smooth, lean, invigorating and dynamic on the palate. A Beaujolais superstar – and it’s only a tenth.
2019 Taste the difference Beaujolais villages
Coteaux Granitiques, France (£ 9.50, reduced to £ 8 by Jan 1st, Sainsbury’s)
Best for Turkey
Emma loved this wine with its “classic nose and structure”. She thought it would be an excellent match for Turkey – kudos from one of the most discerning winemaking palates in the country. The term Granitiques refers to the granite floors where the best Beaujolais grapes are grown, making this wine pure and masterful on the palate.
2019 Lirac, Les Closiers
South Rhône, France (£ 10, Marks & Spencer)
This is the French Rhône model mix. This M&S red from Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre and Cinsault combines these four earthy, spicy and powerful grapes with astonishing accuracy. With black fruits themed pepper spice and black olives, this is an enormous, wintry wine that goes well with every imaginable main course. Be sure to decant it and its aroma will bloom.
2018 Fleur de Moussas
Médoc, Bordeaux, France (£ 8, Marks & Spencer)
Goes well with roast lamb and beef
Bargain red bordeaux is often a darker category, but Fleur de Moussas is in a league of its own. The mixture of 70 percent Cabernet Sauvignon and 30 percent Merlot is pure, smooth, ripe and seamless. Jodie loved this wine and said it was lighter and outperformed higher priced wines. It’s awesome, subtle, and a wonderful find. “
2019 D de Colmar, Gewürztraminer
Alsace, France (£ 9, Tesco)
It was a pleasure to see Michael’s eyes light up when he tasted this wine, the winner of our Aromatic White Wines category, which included floral, scented and perfumed wines. “Turkish delight, rose water, quince and Asian spices … it seems sweet, but not because of the balancing acidity – I’ll buy this wine!” He exclaimed. This winning wine celebrates the most expressive of all white grapes, the Gewürztraminer, and is an outstanding version. The perfume, silkiness on the palate, and clean, dry finish make for a spectacular performance, and it’s no surprise that Michael settled on the depth and balance of the flavors.
2019 Domaine Begude, Sauvignon Blanc
Pays d’oc, France (£ 9.99, Waitrose)
Best with goat cheese
While Jodie isn’t usually a fan of Sauvignon Blanc, she was transfixed by Begude, noting that it was “smooth, calming, sunny, and citrusy”. This southern French Sauvignon from the Limoux region benefits from more sunshine than those found in the Loire in the north, which makes it a more luxurious and complex creation with excellent notes of class and heavenly lemon balm.
2019 Co-op Irresistible Viognier, St. Gabriel Vineyard
Pays d’Oc, France (£ 8, co-op)
Sir Ian loved this wine, but cautioned caution with the viognier grape and rightly pointed out that many examples are too sweet, soapy and repulsive. His exact tasting note was “not too flowery, great palate, delicate and pretty,” and I think that sums up the bewitching appeal of that peach-colored, silky-smooth white. If you want a white that fits between aperitif style and larger Chardonnays, this is it.
2019 Paul Mas, Réserve Blanc
Languedoc, France (£ 9.39 down to £ 6.99 by Jan 3rd, Waitrose)
Great with turkey
At £ 9 this wine surprised Sir Ian but when I mentioned the seasonal discount it almost dropped his glass! “Brilliant, I gave this a big hook. It has a great style and is a pleasant surprise,” he said. Made from an enormous blend of Vermentino, Marsanne and Grenache Blanc, this is a multilayered, extremely high quality white with a wonderful Depth of stone fruit and wild flowers.It would also make a stunning partner for turkey, sage and onion fillings.
2019 M & S Classics No. 31 Pinot Gris
Alsace, France (£ 10, Marks & Spencer)
Best with soft cheese
It turns out that Sir Ian is a fan of Pinot Gris and Alsace is one of his favorite regions. So he was delighted to try this wine. “Really balanced and nice and dry – I’ll buy this one,” was his immediate reaction. And he’s right because this wine has so much sophistication. Without the obvious fruitiness of the Tesco gewurztraminer, this is a quieter, more sensual find.
2019 Silene, Chardonnay
Limoux, France (£ 10, co-op)
This is a full-bodied Chardonnay in which Michael notes “beeswax, rich, creamy and classic on the palate, with wonderful acidity”. As the weekend magazine favorite, this is always a great wine and this year it was rightly rewarded with a runner-up in our competition. Full, proud, complex and deep, it is an exotic proportioned wine made by award-winning winemaker Jean-Claude Mas.
Loire, France (£ 7, Marks & Spencer)
Great with seafood
At £ 7, this is one of the cheapest wines in our awards, but it doesn’t lack an impact on the palate. Muscadet is a true French classic, but we are often guilty of overlooking this seafood favorite. The bright citrus and green apple theme is highlighted by a faint sea spray detail. Spread the word on this heroic white.
2019 Susana Balbo, Malbec Tradición
Los Chacayes, Uco Valley, Argentina (£ 12, Marks & Spencer)
I’ve been a long-time fan of Susana Balbo and this wine, the winner in our Miscellaneous Reds category, shows off her incredible touch with the Malbec grape.
Although Malbec is Argentina’s most important red wine style, so many are heavy and devoid of detail, but this beauty is silky, medium-heavy and extremely long.
The balance and the keeping of the notes of blueberry, plum, blackberry and mulberry are exquisite here. You will marvel at the layers of pleasure in this delicious wine.
2018 D.V. Catena, Cabernet Franc Historico
Mendoza, Argentina (£ 12, Tesco)
While most of the Argentine red wines on our shelves are made from Malbec, this ingenious wine uses the stunningly fragrant Cabernet Franc grape.
Catena is the most famous winery in the country. This fine wine comes from two different vineyards of different heights and soil types to layer the flavor before aging in barrels for 12 months. Purple, plum, and dark chocolate notes abound, and this is another big red that would love to be decanted.
2019 Vanitá, Negroamaro
Puglia, Italy (£ 7.50, cooperative)
Goes well with meaty fish
Michael was caught off guard by the winner in our Italian category and I think it was his general favorite too. “This is incredible – come to the co-op now because this is a real find,” was his first reaction before breaking down the taste into “dark chocolate and black truffle that is so smooth and with excellent balance”. The Negroamaro grape comes from the extreme south of the country and is expressive and juicy with silky red fruits and spicy whips. This is a phenomenal find.
2017 The best Amarone della Valpolicella, Cantina di Soave
Veneto, Italy (£ 16, reduced to £ 14 by Jan 1st, Morrisons)
“Velvety, with a little sweetness, but a dry finish, a clean palate and a fantastic price,” was Michael’s reaction to this Northern Italian classic. Michael’s palate was in orbit with this wine. It’s the best amarone on the main drag. So hurry up if you like strong wines soaked in black cherries.
2018 No. 1 Ripasso di Valpolicella Classico Superiore, Fratelli Recchia
Veneto, Italy (£ 13.99, Waitrose)
Preferably with mushrooms
This refined, smooth and balanced wine is made from the same grapes as the Amarone and comes from the same region. But it’s not quite as rich or powerful, which makes it an all-rounder when it comes to adapting to food. There is nothing like a homemade lasagna and a glass of top-quality Valpolicella. This is the best example on the shelves today.
2017 CvNE Viña Real, Crianza Rioja, Spain
(£ 9.99, reduced to £ 7.99 by Jan 3rd, Waitrose)
Great with meaty stews
An impressive number of famous properties are featured in the awards this year, and here is one more.
The Compañía Vinícola del Norte de España was founded in 1879 and this amazing Rioja is not only one of the most delicious Spanish red wines to be found today, it is also ridiculously cheap right now.
It is a harmonious, red-fruity wine that will age well for a few years. Charge it now and put a few bottles away for future celebrations. More Spanish wines can be found in the Sparkling Wine, Sherries and Stickies sections.
RED AND WHITE WINES
2018 Bellingham, Homestead Pinotage
Stellenbosch, South Africa (£ 10, Tesco)
Emma Rice was brutally honest when she tried this wine. “I rarely drink pinotage,” she admitted, “but it’s earthy with a hint of licorice.”
Pinotage is the marmite of the wine world and I agree with Emma that very few supermarket examples score at the highest level, but this one is great. A break with the norm, it is a cinnamon-scented red with a juicy fruit core.
2020 Journey’s End, Winemaker’s Reserve Chardonnay
Stellenbosch, South Africa (£ 12, Marks & Spencer)
Michael found this statuesque white “oak, creamy and young, with potential” which is no surprise given that it is less than a year old. It is amazing to imagine the grapes hanging on the vines this February and arriving in the UK for us to enjoy just ten months later.
Full of energy and finesse, this shows how impressive South African wines are.
2020 Rustenberg, Grenache Blanc
Stellenbosch, South Africa (£ 9.99, Waitrose)
Rustenberg is one of the largest wineries in South Africa and this white wine is downright sensational.
With the floral Grenache Blanc grape and no oak or tricks to add unnecessary weight, this is a pure creation with notes of apple peel and lemon balm combined with a bright, sharp and lively finish. This wine is all about restraint and elegance and it is one of the finest dry white wines of the year.
2018 Embankment Noir, Pinot Noir
Martinborough, New Zealand (£ 14.99, reduced to £ 11.99 by Jan 3rd, Waitrose)
Great with chicken dishes
We found a £ 12 Pinot that is absolutely stunning and the winner in our Pinot Noir and Gamay category, the lightest of all red wine classes. Escarpment is a top class New Zealand winery and I can’t emphasize how lovely this wine is. Made by master craftsmen Larry McKenna and Tim Bourne, this is the definition of the Pinot Noir grape, and a wine of this caliber is rare at this price. So don’t miss out.
2019 Yealands, Reserve Grüner Veltliner
Awatere Valley, New Zealand (£ 12.99, reduced to £ 9.99 by Jan 3rd, Waitrose)
Great with a pan
While the green Veltliner grape is native to Austria, it is grown by some specialists in other parts of the world, and this New Zealand example is incredible – so incredible that it won our “Other Richer Whites” category for full-framed, main course wines.
Emma Rice discovered the “beautiful spice in the nose and the great texture”. This is a worthy winner here because if you were to travel to Austria to look for a wine of this integrity and ability it would cost more than double the price.
2019 Nautilus, Sauvignon Blanc
Marlborough, New Zealand (£ 13, co-op)
Co-op triumphed here by tracking down one of the best kiwi sauvignons and pulling the price down so we can all access this amazing wine on special occasions.
There is the slightest hint of French oak here, which gives this restrained and refined wine immeasurable breeding.
The perfume is sensational and superimposes notes of fruit and herbs, while the palate celebrates minerality and energy. It is a first-class wine that just drinks perfectly.
2019 Cidade Branca, red
Alentejo, Portugal (£ 8, Morrisons)
Am besten zu Lammkoteletts
Basierend auf Touriga Nacional, der Rebsorte, die für die Herstellung der tiefsten und dunkelsten Häfen verantwortlich ist, ist dieses wundervolle Rot aus der Mitte des Landes ein wahrer Gewinner und hat die Spitze unserer Kategorie Spanien und Portugal erreicht.
Ganz neu in den Regalen und mit den klassischen weiß getünchten Alentejo-Häusern auf dem Etikett. Dies ist ein brillantes Stück der wilden portugiesischen Landschaft mit ihren Kräuter- und Gewürzdetails unter einem dunklen, schwarzfruchtigen Kern.
Sir Ian riet uns, “es mit gegrilltem Essen zu versuchen, weil es genau dort oben ist”, und Sie können seinem Rat auch reichhaltige, winterliche Eintöpfe hinzufügen.
Douro, Portugal (£ 6, Genossenschaft)
Mit einem „Helix-Korken“, der ohne Korkenzieher geöffnet und wieder versiegelt werden kann, ist dieser nach den traditionellen Booten benannt, die Wein entlang des Douro transportierten. Dieser Wein wird aus drei herzhaften roten Trauben hergestellt, die in angereicherter Form für die Häfen in diesem Auszug verantwortlich sind. Er ist hell, saftig, pfeffrig und fröhlich.
2019 Probieren Sie den Unterschied, Douro White
Portugal (£ 10, reduziert auf £ 8,75 bis zum 1. Januar, Sainsbury’s)
Wenn es einen Wein gab, der dieses Jahr die unerwartetste Bewunderung hervorrief, dann ist es dieser unscheinbare portugiesische Weißwein, der Gewinner unserer Kategorie Andere helle Weiße.
Michael sagte: “Ich bin damit nicht vertraut, aber es ist eine großartige Einführung für alle Weintrinker, denn während die Nase ruhig ist, öffnet sie sich für Schichten von Komplexität und Wellen von Geschmack und Mineralität.”
Ich bin völlig einverstanden, da wahrscheinlich niemand dies von der Stange nehmen wird, es sei denn, es wird empfohlen, und als Gewinner unserer Auszeichnungen hoffen wir, dass jeder den Sprung wagen wird. Dieser von der Familie Symington hergestellte Wein signalisiert eine große Zukunft für Douro-Weiße.
FRANKREICH & ITALIEN
2019 Studio von Miraval Rosé
Provence, Frankreich (£ 12, Tesco, Co-op, reduziert auf £ 11 bis 1. Januar, Co-op)
“Blumig und fröhlich, es ist schwer, zwischen diesem und Miraval zu unterscheiden”, war Jodies prägnante Notiz über diesen Wein, der der diesjährige Top-Rosé ist. Während Studio fünf oder sechs Pfund billiger ist als der bekanntere Weingut Miraval, ist es am Gaumen genauso verlockend und elektrisierend. Lang, fein und trocken mit genau der richtigen Menge an Himbeer- und Kirschsteinnoten in Nase und Gaumen ist dieser Wein unglaublich beeindruckend.
2019 Mirabeau Pure Rosé
Provence, Frankreich (£ 14,99, reduziert auf £ 10 bis 16. Dezember, Waitrose)
Sir Ian ist ein Rosé-Fan und er kennt alle großen Namen in der Provence. Als er feststellte, dass dieser Wein „genau dort oben, sehr gut“ ist, war es großartig zu hören, dass er zustimmte. Was ich jedoch geheim gehalten habe, ist, dass dieser Wein nur für einen begrenzten Zeitraum von seinem üblichen Preis auf einen Zehner reduziert wird, was ihn unumgänglich macht. Wenn Sie schnell vom Fleck sind, können Sie sicher sein, dass Sie einen Vorrat an diesem fabelhaften, blassen und anmutigen Wein haben.
2019 Albia, Rosé, Barone Ricasoli
Toskana, Italien (£ 11.99, Waitrose)
While Provence always grabs the rosé headlines, last year we had a Spanish wine in the category and this year Italy jumps into the limelight. Michael was quizzical about this wine, saying that it was an unusual blend of sangiovese and merlot and that it had fascinating white pepper notes. ‘This is a fresh style for white wine drinkers,’ Michael added, and this is exactly why this wine appeals – while it has faint Tuscan tones, it is bright, clean, uplifting and ever so chic.
2013 Tesco finest Vintage Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs, Champagne
France (£26, Tesco)
Three important parts are working in perfect harmony in this wine, our winning Champagne this year. Firstly, this is a vintage wine at an astoundingly cheap price.
Secondly, it’s a Grand Cru wine and that means the grapes used are of the highest quality from this elite region. Finally, Blanc de Blancs means that this is a 100 per cent chardonnay wine and so it has superb freshness under the toasty, rich, mature flavours.
This is the sort of wine that would fool an expert because it tastes extraordinarily grand, and so it is our winner.
NV Les Pionniers, Brut, Champagne
France (£19, reduced to £18 & reduced to £15 for Co-op Members, both until 1 January, Co-op)
Jodie fell for Les Pionniers in a moment, saying that it was ‘very smooth and not too acidic… there is no need for food with this Champagne’. While the winning Champagne is a rich, heady number, Les Pionniers is a finely poised, tantalising style and it is one of the cheapest prices on the shelves this Christmas. But this is not the reason it has made the grade – this wine is here because the palate is first class.
NV Taste the Difference Blanc de Noirs Champagne France
Michael Caines was over the moon with this white wine, which is made solely from red grapes. He praised the ‘summer berry fruit and exceptional foodie style’. He added, ‘This is a must-buy and a coup for Sainsbury’s’.
I know why Michael was so excited about this wine, and it is because the red fruit notes are just so seductive and smooth. This has always been a star wine for Sainsbury’s and it’s just a touch over twenty quid, which is a result for us all.
2019 La Gioiosa, Rosé Millesimato, Prosecco
Veneto, Italy (£11.99, reduced to £8.99 until 3 January, Waitrose)
Emma Rice noted ‘lovely colour, slippery, strawberry fruit, super-clean, looks pretty – and it’s great value, too’ in our winning Prosecco. Well, I couldn’t agree more with her tasting notes because this is a spectacular wine with so much energy and flair it is amazing. Rosé Prosecco is a twist on the normal ‘white’ style and many are too strong and powerful, but this one is a dream.
2019 Taste the Difference Prosecco Superiore Conegliano
Italy (£10, reduced to £8 until 1 January, Sainsbury’s)
Great for sparkling cocktails
Michael Caines was massively impressed with this wine saying, ‘I can’t believe it – delightful, rose petal, violet notes… it’s not heavy at all.’ He immediately spotted the fairy-light style and beautiful floral theme, and the freshness and vivacity are the critical elements here.
NV Morrisons, The Best Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Italy (£8, Morrisons) This is the most classically shaped of the Proseccos, and it is more flavoursome and slightly richer than the other two.
It’s the foodiest of the trio, too. If you’re cooking up a storm then go for this, but if you want your wine to perform elite aperitif duties then the others are ideal.
NV Morrisons, The Best Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore
Italy (£8, Morrisons)
Great for bellinis
This is the most classically shaped of the Proseccos, and it is more flavoursome and slightly richer than the other two. It’s the foodiest of the trio, too. If you’re cooking up a storm then go for this, but if you want your wine to perform elite aperitif duties then the others are ideal.
SOUTH AFRICA, SPAIN & FRANCE
NV Graham Beck, The Rhona Brut rose
Western Cape, South Africa (£12, Marks & Spencer)
Made by Pieter ‘Bubbles’ Ferreira, the most famous, dedicated sparkling wine specialist in the Cape, this wine has been a star for years and yet it has never attracted enough acclaim in the UK.
Until now, when it tops our World Sparkling category. The Rhona is a chardonnay and pinot noir blend, made in the Champagne style, and it is a mere £12.
That, in itself, is remarkable, but it is the elegant perfume, tiny bubbles and lip-smacking length that really add up to this wine being a true winner.
NV Pere Ventura, Primer Reserv a Cava
Penedès, Spain (£12.99, reduced to £9.69 until 3 January, Waitrose)
Sir Ian spotted that this wine was ‘light, long and fruity with great balance and a dry finish’. But when I told him the reduced price he bellowed, ‘This is great value for money!’ I couldn’t agree more with him, because this is one of the finest cavas of the year and I’m amazed that it ducks under a tenner. This wine is made in the ‘traditional’ (or Champagne) method, and the purity and sophistication of it are simply sublime.
NV Crémant de Bordeaux, Brut, Etoile de Timberlay
France (£9, Marks & Spencer)
Great for kir royale
While this is a white sparkler, the grapes are both red and white. Merlot and cabernet franc are famous for making red Bordeaux wines, but here they combine with white grape semillon and, using only their juice, make this thrilling wine. You will not be surprised this is packed with flavour and, along with the amazing aftertaste, you can pick up faint red fruit touches, which makes it incredibly complex and rewarding. And it is under a tenner!
2016 Gusbourne, Brut, Exclusive Release
Kent (£36, Waitrose)
Michael Caines was super-impressed with our English Sparkling winner, with him saying ‘classic Champagne style, baked apples, brioche, with delicate green apple acidity, this is a sophisticated wine and not too acidic’. I don’t need to add to his note because he has nailed it. But one other detail worth sharing is that Gusbourne is an elite English winery and I have never seen a release of theirs that has been priced as competitively as this one has been. It is nothing short of astounding quality.
2010 Morrisons The Best English Sparkling Wine
Sussex (£25, reduced to £16 until 1 January, Morrisons)
Jodie Kidd was quick to pick up on the fact that this wine was ten years old and that this maturity meant it was ‘great with food’. This is a rich, deep style and when I found out it was going to be reduced to only £16, I just couldn’t believe it. I actually emailed Morrisons no fewer than three times to confirm the deal! For a decade-old, superbly suave English sparkling wine, this one is really a ridiculous steal.
NV Co-op Irresistible Eight Acres Sparkling Rosé
Kent (£18, Co-op)
Sir Ian Botham loves his rosé wines and, by all accounts, his greater family is very keen on them too, so it was no surprise to me when he announced that this is a ‘lively, light and delicate wine… fresh and sunny’. This very wine made the grade for our list last year and this goes to show that it is a superstar English rosé and also that its standards have been maintained perfectly. Made by Hush Heath for Co-op, this is a brilliant price for such an ethereal sparkling rosé wine.
2015 Graham’s, Late Bottled Vintage Port
Portugal (£13.99, reduced to £8 until 1 January, Morrisons; £13.99, reduced to £8.99 until 3 January, Waitrose)
Best with dark chocolate
Jodie was bowled over by this 200th anniversary celebration wine, this year’s winning port. She said, ‘this rounded and robust port takes you on a journey – it would make a wonderful present in the gift pack’. And there is no doubt that this plush port has the best-looking packaging of the season.
2015 Taylor’s, Late Bottled Vintage Port
Portugal (£15, Sainsbury’s; £15.75, reduced to £10.50 until 3 January, Waitrose)
2015 Taylor’s is more fragrant and lighter-bodied than the Graham’s LBV – it is the sort of port which would appeal to a wide range of drinkers from expert to newcomer, and is perfect chilled for aperitif duties or room temperature for after-dinner sipping.
NV Morrisons, The Best 10-Year-Old Tawny Port
Douro Valley, Portugal (£12, reduced to £11 until 1 January, Morrisons)
Sir Ian loved this, noting that it was, ‘very good, light, with lots of lingering taste and not too sweet either’. There is a tangy, crisp finish here which makes it refreshing and soothing on the palate.
AUSTRALIA & FRANCE
2017 Morrisons, The Best Botrytis Semillon
Riverina, Australia (£7.25, half bottle, reduced to £6 until 3 January, Morrisons)
Our winning Sweet Wine is both phenomenally flavoured and incredibly low-priced. ‘This is on my Christmas list. Beeindruckend! I am very impressed,’ said Sir Ian. This honeyed, orange and almond-scented sweetie is a beauty that’s light and fresh, which means it will be a crowd-pleaser – and the perfect partner for a vast array of desserts and puds. This wine is sold in nearly 500 stores around the country so it is an even more worthy winner given its nationwide availability.
2011 Waitrose & Partners No.1 Sauternes, Château Suduiraut
Bordeaux, France (£16.99, half bottle, Waitrose)
Jodie declared, ‘this is the crème de la crème, a perfect Sauternes’ and this is no understatement because on the label you will see that Waitrose sources it from the Premier Cru Classé Château Suduiraut. Heaven in every respect, this is one of the most complete sweeties I’ve tasted in my two decades writing for Weekend magazine.
2017 Tesco finest Dessert Semillon
Riverina, Australia (£6, half bottle, Tesco)
Great with decadent puds
Made by the same winery from which the Morrisons wine is sourced, De Bortoli, this is a heavier and more viscous style that loads crème brûlée and apricot notes onto the palate from start to finish. Designed for decadent puds, it’s a sweet wine aficionado’s dream and breathtaking value. Available in 307 stores, which means more than 800 shops around the country stock a world-class sweetie from De Bortoli.
AUSTRALIA & SPAIN
Tesco finest Pedro Ximénez
Jerez, Spain (£6, half bottle, Tesco)
Made by González Byass, this is a ridiculously delicious wine and it will pour 12 glasses, such is its intensity. Looking rather smart for an own-label wine, it’s the winner in our Stickies category. The dried Pedro Ximénez grapes that make it are so raisiny and dense they load it with prune, dark chocolate and toffee notes.
NV Campbells of Rutherglen, Muscat
Victoria, Australia (£12.99, half bottle, Waitrose)
Great with Christmas puds
Michael had his food and wine-matching chef’s hat on while tasting this, saying, ‘Campbells was pure raisins, perfect with Christmas pud and sticky toffee pudding or even an affogato’. I have loved this wine for every year of my wine career and if you have never experienced liqueur muscat then you are in for a treat with this. The most intense of raisin and rose petal flavours coupled with decadent sweetness make this the perfect wine to enjoy with Christmas pudding and mince tarts.
NV Morrisons The Best Pedro Ximénez
Jerez, Spain (£6.25, half bottle, reduced to £5.50 until 3 January, Morrisons)
Great with treacle tart
While the Tesco Pedro Ximénez has a turbo-charged flavour, this version is a little lighter and more plummy which means it goes particularly well with chocolate puddings, pecan pie and treacle tart. This style is one of the most classic Christmas wines of all and if you chill it you’ll be amazed at the silkiness and magical flavours in the glass.
NV Bodegas Hidalgo, Pasada Pastrana Manzanilla
Sanlúcar de Barrameda, Spain (£12.99, Waitrose)
This is the elite manzanilla from the famous La Gitana winery – it has depth and as regal a flavour as any dry sherry could hope for. It’s the ultimate aperitif, the least expensive wine to score a 20/20 from me and a worthy winner of our Sherry category.
NV Waitrose & Partners No.1 Torre del Oro, Palo Cortado Sherry, Lustau
Jerez, Spain (£11.99, Waitrose)
Combining the finesse of an Amontillado with the richness of an oloroso, this tremendous palo cortado is nutty and figgy. The finish is super-dry, with a really great length of flavour.
NV Morrisons, The Best Oloroso Dry Sherry
Jerez, Spain (£6.25, half bottle, reduced to £5.50 until 3 January, Morrisons)
The second runner-up is another bone dry, rich, nutty style, a deeply rewarding, spicy sherry with a walnut and caramel theme coupled with goosebump-inducing freshness on the finish.