2002 Tesco Finest Californian Reserve Zinfandel; 2002 Knappstein Hand-Picked Clare Valley Riesling; 2001 Volnay Vieilles Vignes

Under a fiver: 2002 Tesco Finest Californian Reserve Zinfandel, £4.99, Tesco

The name may be a bit grandiose for a relatively humble red, but at least this affordable, winter-warming zin from California offers plenty of juicy, ripe spiced plum and cherryish fruitiness, enveloped in a light skin of tannin to provide sufficient grip for everyday comfort food such as sausages and mash.

Under a tenner: 2002 Knappstein Hand-Picked Clare Valley Riesling, £6.99, Majestic Wine Warehouses

This stood out at Majestic's pre-Christmas tasting for its fragrant limey character and full-bodied, citrus-zesty richness with the added tell-tale touch of the riesling grape's slight keroseney character. All-in-all a great value dry white that's just the ticket for spicy, south-east Asian dishes.

Splash out: 2001 Volnay Vieilles Vignes, Maison Folly, £16.99, Oddbins

Joining forces in a fruitful alliance, micro-négociant Nicolas Potel and English merchant Gardner's Folly have produced a string of succulent pinot noirs like this perfumed, raspberryish red Burgundy from the Côte de Beaune. The delicacy and clarity of fruit flavour demands simple but luxurious fare such as roast pheasant.

Comments