Drink: All the fun of the wine fairs

Wines of the month There are bargains galore as the big British supermarkets get festive. Anthony Rose searches out the best of the fair deals

May is Foire du Vin month, and the major supermarkets have bargains galore. The 13 special purchases for Tesco's Wine Festival (until 25 May) are "wines which we'd love to stock all year, but [of which] there simply isn't enough". Safeway's May Wine Fair extends to 29 May with cuts of between 50p and pounds 2 on a good cross-section of the range. Sainsbury's has its Americas promotion until 15 May with some attractive price cuts, while, in typical swashbuckling style, Somerfield's Focus on Fruit slashes a handful of prices to the bone.

White

1998 Caballo de Plata Torrontes, La Riojana, pounds 2.49, Safeway. Argentina continues to gain ground in the cheap and cheerful market. If you like the flavours of the Muscat grape, you'll enjoy this opulent Argentine white (down by pounds 1 for the duration of the Safeway Wine Fair) conjured up by Australian winemaker Nick Butler from the South American giant's aromatic Torrontes grape.

1998 Somerfield Chilean Sauvignon Blanc, Canepa, pounds 2.79, Somerfield. At pounds 3.99, good, fresh, zesty Chilean Sauvignon Blanc is already seeing off competitors from the Loire and New Zealand. With pounds 1.20 lopped off the normal price, Somerfield has made this fragrant, elderfloral dry Central Valley white from the most recent vintage pretty much irresistible. The offer runs until 11 May.

1998 Millton Estate Barrel-Fermented Chenin Blanc, pounds 7.99, Tesco, 80 stores (Wine Festival). James Millton has made a speciality of the Chenin Blanc grape (of Vouvray fame) in the low-yielding Te Arai vineyard on his organic estate in Gisborne. Fermented in small oak casks to add flavour and texture, this is a rich, delicately spicy New Zealand white with a crisp, grapefruity aftertaste.

Red

1997 Cotes de Columbia Grenache, pounds 4.99, Tesco, 400 stores (Wine Festival). It may come as a surprise to find a southern French grape like Grenache as far north as Washington State, but the rain shield of the Cascade Mountains helps keep the vineyards dry enough to make a success of this Mediterranean variety. This spicy, warming red shows the typical peppery undertones of the grape, and the ripe strawberryish fruitiness lends a Cotes du Rhone- like feel. Hence, a mite pretentiously, the Cotes de Columbia name.

1996 Eagle Peak Merlot, Fetzer, pounds 5.49, Sainsbury's (to 15 May). The Mendocino-based winery Fetzer has become one of California's best value brands in this country. With an extra pounds 1 off as part of Sainsbury's Americas promotion, this smoothly-textured, stylish Merlot from Fetzer, spiced with toasty American oak and a dash of Zinfandel, offers plenty of cherry- like fruitiness and a touch of fresh mint.

1995 Plaisir de Merle Cabernet Sauvignon, pounds 7.99, Majestic. This top- of-the-range Cabernet Sauvignon from the giant Stellenbosch Farmers Winery's new showcase winery vividly demonstrates that big is not necessarily bad in the Cape. Reduced by pounds 2 until Bank Holiday Monday, this big-boned, vanilla-laden red, which is starting to soften into an approachable claret- style mouthful of fruit, is well worth snapping up.

Fizz of the Month

Louis Roederer Quartet Brut, pounds 11.99 if bought as a case of six bottles (from pounds 14.99), until 3 May, Majestic. Of California's many sparkling wine houses, Louis Roederer produce the most stylish and Champagne-like of fizzes. This is thanks to a winning combination of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes, the cool Pacific breezes of the Anderson Valley, and the expertise of French bubble master Michel Salgues. The complexity in this crisp, appley Mendocino fizz comes from the addition of oak-aged reserve wines, which add richness and a delicately toasty overlay of flavour

Arts & Entertainment
The Honesty Policy is a group of anonymous Muslims who believe that the community needs a space to express itself without shame or judgement
music
Arts & Entertainment
Martin Freeman as Lester Nygaard in the TV adaptation of 'Fargo'
tv
News
Waitrose will be bringing in more manned tills
newsOverheard in Waitrose: documenting the chatter in 'Britain's poshest supermarket'
Arts & Entertainment
tvIt might all be getting a bit much, but this is still the some of the finest TV ever made, says Grace Dent
VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Sport
Jonathan Trott will take a second break from cricket after suffering a repeat of the stress-related illness that forced him out of the Ashes tour of Australia
sport
Life & Style
life
News
Who makes you happy?
happy listSend your nominations now for the Independent on Sunday Happy List
Arts & Entertainment
Ian Anderson, the leader of British rock band Jethro Tull, (right) and British guitar player Martin Barre (left) perform on stage
musicJethro Tull frontman leads ‘prog rock’ revival
Arts & Entertainment
Back in the suit: There are only so many variations you can spin on the lives or adventures of Peter Parker
filmReview: Almost every sequence and set-up in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 seems familiar from some earlier superhero film
Life & Style
Father and son: Michael Williams with son Edmund
lifeAs his son’s bar mitzvah approaches, CofE-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys he’s experienced in learning about his family’s other faith
Sport
Gareth Bale dribbled from inside his own half and finished calmly late in the final to hand Real a 2-1 win at the Mestalla in Valencia
sport
Arts & Entertainment
Who laughs lass: Jenny Collier on stage
comedy... writes Jenny Collier, the comedian whose recent show was cancelled because there were 'too many women' on the bill
News
House proud: keeping up with the Joneses now extends to children's playhouses
newsLuxury playhouses now on the market for as much as £800
News
news
Life & Style
Stir it up: the writer gets a lichen masterclass from executive chef Vivek Singh of the Cinnamon restaurants
food + drinkLichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines
Extras
indybest
Arts & Entertainment
Ken Loach (left) and Mike Leigh who will be going head to head for one of cinema's most coveted prizes at this year's Cannes Film Festival
filmKen Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Apprentice IT Technician

    £150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is a company that specializ...

    1st Line Technical Service Desk Analyst IT Apprentice

    £153.75 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is an innovative outsourcin...

    1st Line Helpdesk Engineer Apprentice

    £150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company has been providing on site ...

    Sales Associate Apprentice

    £150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: We've been supplying best of breed peopl...

    Day In a Page

    How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

    How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

    Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
    Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

    British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

    The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
    Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

    Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

    Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
    A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

    A History of the First World War in 100 moments

    A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
    Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

    Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

    The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
    Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

    Cannes Film Festival

    Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
    The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

    The concept album makes surprise top ten return

    Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
    Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

    Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

    Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
    10 best baking books

    10 best baking books

    Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
    Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

    Jury still out on Pellegrini

    Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
    Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

    Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

    The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
    Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

    Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

    The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
    Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

    Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

    As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
    Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

    Mad Men returns for a final fling

    The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
    Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

    Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

    Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit