Under £5

2009 Asda Valpolicella

The dependable Cantina Valpantena in the Veneto has come up with a classic spag-bol valpol whose cherryish fruit is full of flavour, freshness and texture, while a savoury fresh twist on the aftertaste makes it the perfect pasta partner. £3.98, Asda

Under £10

2009 Tesco Finest* Roussanne

Not a million miles from the same producer's fine 2009 Bellingham The Bernard Series Roussanne (£9.99, Sainsbury's), this ripe Cape dry white is lightly flecked with a spicy oak backed by a citrusy twist. £8.99, Tesco

Splash out

2007 Les Ollieux, Corbières Boutenac

Vivid and intensely spicy with aromas of angostura, this is a Christmas cracker of a southern French red whose dark berry flavours are dusted with a chocolatey bitter-sweetness. £19.99, case price £15.99, Oddbins