Under a fiver: 2002 Santerra Muscat, Valencia, £3.49, Sainsbury's, Morrisons, Asda

A cute little number, this dry Spanish blanco made from the muscat grape. Its fragrantly scented, cleansing juiciness and refreshingly crisp, dry finish marks it out as a much better everyday white for food or sipping on its own than the ubiquitous and more sickly-sweet moscatel from the same region.

Under a tenner: 2001 Michel Laroche Bourgogne Chardonnay Barrique Réserve, £5.98, Asda

Barrique stands for barrel and this dry, white burgundy has the unmistakable oaky, buttery vanilla scent of the oak casks in which it is fermented. At the same time it's a lively, full-bodied palate of fresh, almost lemon-crisp chardonnay that goes down a treat with pasta, risotto or dressed crab. Only one quibble: why is the back label illegible?

Splash out: 1998 Dominio de Ugarte Rioja Reserva, £11.49, Waitrose

You don't pay more just for an unusual label - though the drinking window chart on the back of this bottle is eye-catching. More importantly, it's a delightfully perfumed, modern rioja. Poised, smoky oak and raspberry undertones and a nicely evolved palate of juicy red berries are enhanced by a refreshing, food-friendly acidity more often associated with Italian reds.

Comments