The wine aisle of a supermarket is, quite frankly, a minefield. With so many flavours of red to choose from, how are we even supposed to know where to start? With price? With country? With attractive, vintage-style labels?
When it comes to a good red wine, it’s actually a lot easier than you think to find one that you like, and it won’t end up costing you the earth, you just need to work out what type of tipple you’re after. Apart from colour, of course.
Rather than stressing about age, a good place to start can be origin, with a general rule of red wines being that grapes grown in hotter climates tending to have thicker skins, which contribute to more tannin.
If you’re trying to find a red wine that matches your food well, it’s worth looking at the acidity of the bottle to help you find a good partner to your meal, with sweetness, saltiness and fat all balancing the sour taste of acidity.
Of course, neither of these are a one size fits all rule, with plenty of other factors, grape types and viniculture methods all altering the flavour of wine so if you do
The best way to work out what you like is by trying them, and making sure to keep notes of which wines were to your taste – and which weren’t.
From Cabernet Sauvignons, to Malbec, to Pinot Noir, we’ve listed out ten of our most fail safe favourites below, with plenty of different tasting notes to suit even the most complex of palattes.
1. Tesco Finest GSM, £8
A well known favourite, this wine regularly makes the news for its famously good taste. It’s a hearty red made from three Rhône grape varieties (grenache, syrah and mourvèdre, hence the name), that has a powerful, slightly spicy tang.
Buy it from Tesco for £8
2. Asda Extra Special Barbera D’Asti, £5.48
An impeccable price for its taste, this Extra Special Barbera D’Asti from Asda is a real crowd-pleaser. Smooth and medium bodied, it’s juicy without being too sweet and full of flavour without being overpowering.
Get it from Asda for £5.75
3. Palataia Pinot Noir, £11
While Germany isn’t somewhere we usually associate with a solid Pinot Noir, this particular bottle ticks all the right boxes when it comes to an every day, drinkable wine, that still boasts plenty of complexities. Much more light-bodied than its French counterparts, this also has some intriguing oak tastes with it too, as well as some earthy, gamey notes.
Get it from M&S for £11.50
4. Rioja Crianza 2013 Marqués de Cáceres, £8.99
Spanish restaurants love to serve this up as their house wine, with the brand now starting to make some waves for itself in England. Very Mediterranean in its flavours, it boasts notes of blackberry, cherry and strawberry, with a slightly spicy finish.
Buy it from Majestic wines for £9.99
5. Bordeaux Merlot 2016, £9
If you’re after a good crowd-pleaser to serve at a dinner party, you can’t go wrong with this easy to drink Merlot. Having the word Bordeaux on the label always looks good, and the flavour doesn’t disappoint either.
With generously fruity, fresh flavours of red cherry and plum, this is a juicy, fresh wine with just a hint of spicy oak for that perfectly balanced flavour.
Get it from Marks and Spencer for £54 for a case of 6 (£9 per bottle)
6. Bordeaux Superieur 2015, £6
This is a decent red wine that tastes like it’s something of a luxury, with its deliciously plummy leather notes.
Plus, you can always rely on Bordeaux for creating a decent wine, although we don’t reckon the rest of the cheap reds will come out as celebrated.
Buy it from Tesco for £6
7. Astro Costera Pinot Noir, £14.99
New world wines can be a bit of a mixed bag, but this is a beautifully complex berry flavoured wine, with a salty tang thanks to its unique proximity to the Pacific Ocean.
Get it from Virgin Wines for £14.99
8. Beefsteak Club Reserve Malbec, £14.99
A muscular Malbec isn’t usually for everybody, but this ultra-smooth steak wine has won many, many awards, and proven itself to be a wine of the people. Dark fruit flavours with hints of vanilla and, weirdly, olive, plus 18 months in a French oak barrel make this a Malbec to be proud of.
Get it from Ocado for £14.99
9. Sainsbury’s Priorat, £10
A complex and intense red made in the regional paradise that is Spain’s mountainous vineyards a stone’s throw from Barcelona. For a tenner you not only get a very delicious red, but it should be selling for a whole lot more.
Buy it from Sainsbury’s for £12
10. Domaine Bousquet Reserve Pinot Noir, £15.75
It certainly costs a pretty penny, but this intriguing bottle is a transformative mix of the exceptional Argentinian climate and France’s ancient wine-making skills. From the foothills of the Andes, to our next posh dinner party.
Get it from Vintage Roots for £14.50
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