Five of the greatest inexpensive, autumnal wines on the shelves this week.
2011 El Tesoro, Monastrell/Shiraz, Jumilla, Spain (£4.95, The Wine Society tel. 01438 741177). Autumnal cooking demands hearty, no-nonsense reds to glug alongside. Even better if these, robust heart-warming fellows give you some change from a fiver. Meet El Tesoro – a brilliant, chunky, black-fruit-stuffed hero! Get on the blower right now.
2010 Viña Fuerte, Garnacha, Calatayud, Spain (£7.99, reduced to £5.99 until 30 October, Waitrose). With a little less brawn and more suave red fruit notes than the El Tesoro and with a heavenly, herbal, cherry-kissed nose, Viña Fuerte is a stalwart addition to your entertaining schedule. I have followed this wine every vintage for a decade. It is a true star wine.
2011 Carignan, Vieilles Vignes Les Archères, l’Herault, France (£6.99, Totnes Wine Co. tel. 01803 866 357, Waples Wines tel.01799 586 279). The grapes that you harvest from old carignan vines are potent ingredients when it comes to making a rich, lusty red wine. This bottle might have a dull label, but it contains magical liquid. I adore the layers of berry fruit and pepper and you will find this the perfect companion for wintry comfort food.
2010 Man Vintners, Pinotage Western Cape, South Africa (£7.95, Great Western Wine tel. 01225 322810, Noel Young tel. 01223 566744). This bright, cheery, plum and cherry-scented pinotage is a beautiful creation with a heavenly, ruby-red texture and a moreish cinnamon oak-spiced palate. Thoroughly modern and irresistible, I drink it with lamb curries, crispy duck or butchers’ sausages!
2011 First Cape, President’s Selection Chenin Blanc, South Africa (£8.29, reduced to £5.49 until 30 October, Waitrose). You too can be President with this gorgeous, silky-smooth chenin in your glass. With hints of pineapple, honey and green apple and a lovely, long, languid finish, this is one of the most exciting white wines that you can find for a fiver.