z Which Wine to Buy: 2010 Bordeaux White Wine
Who Sells It: Aldi
How Much Is It: £3.99
Why Should I Buy It: Although minds automatically turn to red wines when thinking about Bordeaux, the region has more than 16 000 acres devoted to whites and more than 80 per cent of those grapes are Semillon or Sauvignon Blanc. This easy-to-miss bottle from Aldi blends those major players into a light (11.5 per cent) but balanced “drink any time” wine. Although Semillon produces some first rate dry wine, it is also a major component of the dessert wines of Sauternes It is, therefore, no surprise to find gentle touches of sweetness in this blend that nicely soften the wine’s zesty, lemon and grapefruit based acidity.
z Which Wine to Buy: Cape Crossing Red
Who Sells It: Co-op
How Much Is It: Two for £8 (half price) until August 2
Why Should I Buy It: The recent interest in Fairtrade wine has coincided with a significant leap in its quality. Credit for that is due to guys like the engaging Nicky Versfeld, chief winemaker at South Africa’s Company of Wine People – who own, for example, the ethical wine flagship Thandi. Since they also make a comprehensive range of wines including the Arniston Bay brand, they have blended this presentable, everyday red for the Co-op – a major Fairtrade champion. The wine is a marriage, I fancy, of Cabernet and Shiraz that neatly fuses them into an ideal companion for summer food, given its soft cherry and red plum flavours and smooth, balanced acidity.
z Which Wine to Buy: 2010 The Best Pinot Grigio Trentino
Who Sells It: Morrisons
How Much Is It: £5.49 ((Down from £6.19 until August 21)
Why Should I Buy It: When the world grew tired of Chardonnay, the major beneficiary was Pinot Grigio. As demand outstripped supply, vines began to be over-cropped and planted in new, unpropitious, areas. Consequently, far too many bargain-basement examples are thin, bland and completely unexciting. There are two rules to finding more stylish versions: go for premium branding and head for the hills. This bottle ticks both boxes. As a result of its altitude and steep vineyards, yields are lower in Trentino so winemakers there tend to produce this type of livelier style – with its suggestion of white peach to complement the main grapefruit and lime flavours.
Brian Elliott is a wine judge and writer living the Borders.