If this column were a people pleaser, it would devote itself exclusively to the cheapest and the deepest promotions. But much has been written, not least on this page, of the false promises offered by supermarket promotions. Suffice to repeat that more often than not the promotion is not what it seems, but rather a cynical exercise creating deal junkies and binge drinkers by artificially raising the price to make the wine look cheap when it's subsequently on offer at buy-one-get-one-free or three for £10.
By the same token, The Independent has also devoted more than its fair share of column inches to the fact that the 56 per cent of tax we pay on an average bottle of wine means that after tax, duty and profit margin, there's often not much more than 50p's worth of wine in a bottle costing a fiver. Not only is all this bad for us, the consumers – but consider the effect it has on wine growers. Frequently it leaves them on the brink of throwing in the towel and without the means to properly invest in the vineyard, the cellar and the necessary marketing.
This is why, rather than supporting cheap wine per se, we aim to recommend good-value wines of intrinsic quality. As prices steadily increase over time, though, good bottles at a fiver are fewer and farther between. Now here's the twist: we actually have unearthed a handful of everyday budget wines for summer parties and barbecues.
Aldi has made a virtue of value at a good price with wines such as the 2014 The Venturer Series Old Vine Garnacha, £4.79, a spicy, full-bodied red berry fruits quaffer. Tesco has come up with a young Rioja lookalike in the juicily fresh, strawberryish 2010 La Nonna Crianza, £4.99; and Morrisons a Spanish answer to gluggy Beaujolais in the 2013 Montelciego Rioja Joven, £4.49 – a pure Tempranillo with fragrance, liquorice spice and raspberryish zing. Still in Spain, the barbecue-friendly Wine Atlas Bobal, £4.97, Asda, is bright with dark cherry and plum-filled fruit.
Argentina's Malbec can also be a source of good value at a knockdown price. Take a bow the 2014 Otra Vida Malbec, Mendoza, £4.99, Bargain Booze and Wine Rack, fresh and aromatic with bright, juicy strawberry fruit in a zingily easy-come-easy-go style; and the 2013 La Bodega de Los Altos Andes Malbec, £4.99, Morrisons – proper wine with perfumed black cherry and juicily approachable soft dark berry fruitiness.
Among good whites under a fiver, the 2014 Tesco Côtes de Gascogne Blanc hits the spot for its new vintage freshness and spring-sharp, tongue-tingling, grapefruit-zesty tang, £4.69, while Asda has come up with a little corker in the 2014 Wine Atlas Grillo, £4.97, a peachy, summ er's-day glugger from Sicily. People pleasers? Us? Just this once then.Reuse content