Every so often, a supermarket takes pity on us and gives a generous wine discount. They play their cards close to their chest and details emerge only shortly beforehand with veiled threats to excommunicate any press who don't play ball. Some offers are more anticipated than others and Waitrose's 25 per cent off any six bottles or more (until this coming Tuesday) really is one not to be spurned. If you don't have a store near you, the discount also applies to any 12 bottles bought at waitrosewine.com.
Compared to the disingenuous 'bogof' (buy-one-get-one-free), it's an honest offer that not only encourages us to spend a bit extra to raise the quality of our wine drinking, but to stock up on summer quaffers and lay in our fizz for impending anniversaries. In the latter case, the effervescent Cuvée Royale Crémant de Limoux Brut moves down from £10.99, to £7.99, Hampshire's terrifically tangy 2008 Jenkyn Place Sparkling Brut from £21.99 to £16.50, and the classiest act in the range, the delicate, toasty Champagne Pol Roger Pure Extra Brut from £42.99 to £32.25.
There's no shortage of excellent dry whites in the offer, among them a delicately herbal 2012 Domaine Masson-Blondelet Pouilly Fumé, from £14.99 to £11.25, or for its budget version, the crisp, gooseberryish 2012 Waitrose Sauvignon Blanc Touraine, down from £7.99 to £5.99. Austria's grüner veltliner is a good summer bet and the 2012 Domäne Wachau Terraces Grüner Veltliner, £9.99 down to £7.49, is no exception – a dry zesty white.
Piedmont's arneis grape in the 2012 Malvira Roero Arneis, from £10.99 to £7.99, brings freshness and fragrance to a mouthful of juicy-peach flavour, while Iberia's 2012 Sogrape Quinta de Azevedo, from £7.49 to £5.62, is the perfect zippy fresh quaffer. Spain's godello grape succeeds superbly with intense stonefruit and honey-flecked concentration in the 2011 Valdesil Godello from Valdeorras, from £15.99 to £11.99. And from Jerez, how about a sea-salt-savoury Waitrose Fino, from £6.99 to £5.24?
The best of the budget buys include the bright-red-fruited 2011 Vega Ariana, from £6.49 to £4.87 and, almost given away, the plummy 2012 Cuvée Chasseur, from £4.95 to £3.71. Burgundy lovers will appreciate the classic pinot noir fragrance and seductive fraise du bois delicacy of the 2008 Louis Jadot Beaune Premier Cru, £20.99, down to £15.74, while more adventurous souls will find New Zealand's 2012 Escarpment 'The Edge' Pinot Noir from Martinborough, from £13.99 to £10.49, a model of peppery fragrance and delicately-spiced raspberry.