Wines of the week: Les Pionniers NV Champagne; Casa Silva Reserva Carmenère 2009; Banfi Mandrielle Sangiovese 2009

Terry Kirby selects the best bottles to buy

Terry Kirby
Sunday 01 January 2012 01:00

New Year's aperitif

Les Pionniers NV Champagne

If you are planning on celebrating the New Year and need to stock up on fizz, this sparkler from a retailer whose stores are mostly open today was recently rated a Best Buy by Which? in a test of supermarket champagnes for less than £35. It's not difficult to see why – light, crisply refreshing and with a nice long finish, it would be great for gatherings or as an aperitif with canapés and fishy starters. £17.99, Co-operative stores

New Year's lunch

Casa Silva Reserva Carmenère 2009

A wonderfully soft and smooth Carmenère from one of Chile's most reliable producers. Great aromas of ripe fruits and spices give way to rich, mouth-filling flavours of juicy blackberries, some chocolate and coffee, together with a balancing touch of oak. A great bottle for any roast meats, particularly chicken, and capable of handling Middle Eastern-style dishes. Wine Rack stores are also open today. £9.99, Wine Rack; £8.99,; £9, (2007/08; minimum purchase 12 bottles)

Light dinner

Banfi Mandrielle Sangiovese 2009

Need a little Mediterranean cuisine to make a change from all that seasonal food over the past week or so? And are budgets tight after present-buying splurges? This wine fits both requirements – a good price for a robust, juicy, medium-bodied, straightforward bottle that is perfect for a pizza or a bowl of pasta with tomato-based sauces. £5.99 (each for two bottles, if bought as part of six-bottle minimum purchase; normally £8.99),

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