z Which Wine to Buy: 2010 Freeman’s Bay Sauvignon Blanc
Who Sells It: Aldi
How Much Is It: £5.49
What Does it Taste Like, WHY SHOULD I BUY IT: Wine over £5 at Aldi is usually worth a second look and, as its array of awards testifies, this Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc is no exception. The quality and complexity on show are a cut above many similar versions at this price, giving you all the customary bright gooseberry flavours but supplementing them with nicely rounded and tangy touches of lime. Both 2009 and 2010 produced good quality wine in New Zealand and the signs from the 2011 harvest, completed about a month ago, suggest that the results could be even better – and plentiful.
z Which Wine to Buy: 2010 Vina Maipo Gran Reserva Shiraz
Who Sells It: Sainsbury
How Much Is It: £5.49 (half price) until May 31
What Does it Taste Like, WHY SHOULD I BUY IT: Although oak has been skilfully used to add smoothness to this wine, Gran Reserva is a marketing term in Chile and not a strictly applied indication of its barrel time, as it is in Spain. Nevertheless, this is excellent stuff with lively acidity that adds zip to its juicy, plum-centred and soft, black cherry flavours. Shiraz (sometimes using its French name, syrah) is doing especially well in Chile and producing some real gems. This half-price offer gives you the chance to judge for yourselves how much progress has been made.
z Which Wine to Buy: 2010 Domaine Mandeville Sauvignon Blanc
Who Sells It: M&S
How Much Is It: £4.99 (reduced from £6.99 until May 31
What Does it Taste Like, Why Should I Buy It: If you thought screw caps were a daring innovation, look at the shorter, lighter synthetic (PET) bottles M&S uses for this wine. Although this brings transport costs down significantly, the wine inside is unaffected. It provides more restrained gooseberry flavours than the Marlborough Sauvignon at the top of this column but, here, the complementary fruit is zesty lemon with touches of grassiness. This is another example of the massive improvements Languedoc has made with imaginative producers such as Olivier Mandeville, who makes this wine, leading the way.
Brian Elliot is wine correspondent of Scotland on Sunday and lives near Chirnside in the Scottish Borders