After last week’s fantasy wines column, I thought it might be fun to try sourcing the cheapest wines on the market but sadly the idea lasted only as long as it took me to taste the first samples.

They really were dire affairs, with the whites either like water with alcohol or so sweet your own dentist would sue you for drinking them.

The reds fared no better with a merlot from Australia that tasted so thin and astringent, the winemaker should have been jailed.

Seriously, folks, you have to be a complete and utter plonker to make a bad merlot. Then I tried a cabernet that left my tastebuds wondering if I had licked my way home after a bad night out and a shiraz that was so gloopy, it made me want to vomit.

All of the wines I tried were under £6 a bottle, leaving me to remind you of something I said last year, which was – please do try to stay above a tenner a bottle if you really want to appreciate wine.

The golden spot for wine is still £10 to £20 a bottle in my humble opinion.


Duque Míralta Rioja Reserva

Appealing aromas of ripe berries on the nose leading into a soft almost creamy palate well honed by 24 months in oak.

Marks and Spencer £13


Cotes du Rhone Rouge, Guigal 2019

A truly lovely wine from an exceptional vintage with warm autumn fruits and a spicy finish.

The Wine Society £10.50