Lateral drinking

Anthony Rose picks the perfect wines to help you through the party season, whether you're on a tight budget or splashing out
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Eight great wines for under £10 a bottle

Eight great wines for under £10 a bottle

Dry Sherry

Fino Sherry, Williams & Humbert

What better with a pre-prandial bowl of olives and salted almonds than a crisp and tangy dry fino sherry at a knockdown price? I can't think of anything right now.

Marks & Spencer, £3.99, reduced from £4.99 until 30 November

Fizz

Lindauer Rosé

There are currently two promotions on this handsomely packaged, appetising, salmon pink Kiwi fizz with its clean, crisp strawberry cup flavours and textured, elegantly dry bubbles. Stock up for Christmas now; drink later as an apéritif to get yourselves in the mood.

Thresher, Wine Rack, normally £8.49, until 6 December 2 for £12. Tesco, from Wednesday for 3 weeks, £6.39

Whites

2003 La Chasse du Pape Chardonnay Viognier, Vin de Pays d'Oc

What's up d'Oc? In this case, a successful southern-French everyday dry white delivering attractively clean, peach and pineapple fruit flavours and crisp, refreshing acidity at more than a fair price for the quality. Versatile enough to go with fish or chicken.

Asda, Co-op, £4.99

2004 Dashwood Sauvignon Blanc

This pungently aromatic dry white is one of the best value New Zealand sauvignons of the new vintage. Assertive tropical fruit flavours shot through with a tangily refreshing, nettley streak are just the match for shellfish starters with a lemon or lime-based ceviche.

Oddbins, £7.59

Reds

2003 Porcupine Ridge Syrah, Coastal Region

This refined Cape syrah, with a touch of northern-Rhône-ish pepperiness, is complemented by fleshy black-fruit flavours and clean damson-like acidity to complement roast lamb, duck and game. The little brother to the exceptional Boekenhoutskloof Syrah.

Somerfield, Waitrose, £6.99

2002 Chateau d'Arcins, Haut-Medoc, cru bourgeois

Yes, it is possible to find a good claret on the high street for under a tenner, but they are few and far between. So grab this opportunity to snap up a well-crafted example of the Medoc in its modern manifestation. It is an honest, youthful red with a hint of capsicum and juicy, pure blackcurrant fruit.

Oddbins, £9.49

Dessert wine

2003 Cape Promise Private Reserve Noble Late Harvest Muscat Chenin Blanc, Worcester

Although concentrated and lusciously rich with a viscously thick orange and grapefruit marmalade intensity, this unctuous Cape blend is a relatively light 11 per cent alcohol. Drink on its own or with fresh fruit, or if it's not too sweet, an apple or apricot tart. Totally yummy!

Waitrose, half-bottle £8.99

Fortified

Sticky Pudding Wine, Barbadillo

From Jerez in Spain, this cunning re-invention of sherry's traditional Pedro Ximenez in appetisingly modern guise delivers a full-on toffee, date and caramel richness. One of the few sweet wines capable of standing up to crème brûlée or Christmas pudding.

Sainsbury's, 50cl £6.49

Eight great wines for over £10 a bottle

Dry Sherry

Emilio Lustau Fino Jarana, Solera Reserva

Intensely aromatic, richly fruity but searingly dry, this is a sophisticated, aged fino sherry with an appetisingly savoury character which acts as a counterpoint to the intense fruitiness.

Corney & Barrow, London EC1 (020-7265 2400), £10

Fizz

Taittinger Prélude Grands Crus Champagne

There's a typically good Majestic deal on this fine new champagne from Taittinger, a blend of grand cru vineyards with a powerfully flavoured, biscuity quality and full-flavoured richness that is balanced by a clean, mouthwateringly fruity tang. Drink on its own, or, daringly, with shellfish.

Majestic Wine Warehouses, £31.99, or 2 for £23.99 each

Whites

2002 Meursault, Henri de Villamont

One of the few relatively affordable Meursaults on the market, this is a Côte de Beaune white burgundy with a flavoursome, buttery texture enhanced by the leesy flavours derived from the stirring of the sediment in cask. A perfect match for fish and poultry.

Majestic Wine Warehouses, £12.99

1994 Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Spätlese

At 10 years old, this is a marvel of a German riesling, still fresh as the proverbial daisy, with a complex, bottle-developed bouquet of zesty tropical fruits, rose petals and that tell-tale kerosene-like character riesling develops with bottle age. Drink, lightly chilled, as an apéritif, or with smoked salmon parcels.

Waitrose Inner Cellar, £12.99

Reds

2002 Montana Estates Terraces Estate Pinot Noir Marlborough

Who needs burgundy? You can get all the sumptuous raspberry and cherry fruit flavours of the pinot noir grape at village- burgundy quality level and at half the price, as in this excellent value Kiwi pinot. Whisper it loud. This red has the opulence to cope with roast turkey, beef or duck.

Oddbins, £12.99

2002 Pago Real, Rioja

Along comes Telmo Rodriguez, the gifted Spanish winemaker, with this cracker of a young tempranillo and garnacha blend. It bursts with ripe, sweetly spiced cherried fruitiness. This wine's firm backbone needs the rich, strong flesh of duck, game or goose for company.

Marks & Spencer, £11

Dessert wine

2001 De Bortoli Noble One Botrytis Semillon

Australia's number-one sweet-wine icon oozes luscious apricot and peach fruit, its honeyed richness crying out for the savoury accompaniment of a creamy blue-veined Saint Agur or Fourme d'Ambert.

Oddbins, Majestic, Unwins, half-bottle around £13.99

Fortified wine

1995 Dow's Quinta do Bomfim Vintage Port

For not much more than £20, you can lay your hands on a vintage port just starting to get into long trousers. With nearly a decade's age, the spirit is calming down and framing an aromatic vintage port with immensely rich, clove spice, nut and plum pudding fruitiness - a dessert in itself. If you can squeeze any more food in, try it with Stilton, or Cashel Blue or the wonderful Beenleigh Blue.

Tesco, £21.09

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