Terry Kirby selects the best bottles to buy

Sunday lunch

Edmeades Mendocino County Zinfandel 2008

From 50-year-old vineyards in the California hills comes an artisanal and very American wine. Rich, redolent of earth and smoke, baked plums and cassis, it has considerable intensity and structure and, despite the 15.5 per cent ABV, does not feel over-alcoholised. But it needs comparably strongly flavoured foods such as rare roast meats and chocolate-based puddings. £15.75, pauladamsfinewines.co.uk; £16.99, winelibrary.co.uk

Midweek meal

Le Cannon Du Maréchal, Domaine Cazes, 2010

This is an equally distinctive and carefully made biodynamic white from the Rivesaltes area of the Languedoc, in which the Muscat grape is enlivened with parcels of aromatic Viognier. Dry, clean and zesty with big flavours of white peaches and pears, it is a great partner for vegetable dishes, pasta with white sauces and shellfish, but ensure you save some to accompany simple fruits for dessert. £10.10, slurp.co.uk; £10.49, nywines.co.uk

Bargain basement

Marques De Valido Rioja Reserva 2006

Early seasonal discounting delivers great bargains for careful consumers, such as this half-price Rioja reserva. With plenty of depth of flavour from ageing in the barrel and characteristic notes of vanilla and berry fruits, it is full-bodied without being overpowering. An easily drinkable, food friendly, all-purpose wine to put aside for festive gatherings. £5.49 (reduced from £10.99 until 3 January), Co-operative stores