Paula’s Wines of the Week – 17 August 2020

Paula’s Wines of the Week – 17 August 2020

The £5 a bottle and under category is expanding

Last week’s review of Marks and Spencer’s £5 This Is range shows that it’s not just the discounters, like Aldi and Lidl, who are embracing this budget end of the market. Waitrose too have a £4.99 range while the rest of the UK supermarket giants are jostling for attention with a whole host of £5 and under wines – starting at just £2.99 from Lidl.

When you consider that the average spend on a bottle of wine in the UK is now £6 (an estimated rise from £5.93 at the beginning of 2020 by the wine trade association WSTA who predicted the average bottle price would exceed £6 by June 2020) then it could be easy to dismiss this less-than-average segment – but for every statistic that is an average there must always be those spending less than the average and those spending more.

Spending less than £5 is actually easier than you might think – Aldi has 9 of its 39 white wines priced at under £5 (their Italian Pinot Grigio Sauvignon Blanc blend is £4.39) and 19 of their 36 current reds at under a fiver – including a Bordeaux and Chianti at £4.49.

Big name wine brands are also represented in this £5 segment too – McGuigan’s Private Bin Merlot at Asda for £4.60 and Black Tower Smooth Red is also at Asda for £5. Waitrose stocks Gallo’s Summer Rose for the amazing price of £4.85.

Premium wine retailers are also dipping their toes into budget wines – Virgin Wines’ cheapest wine (as of August 2020) is their VinobyVana Pink Grapefruit (a blend of French rose and natural fruit flavourings) at £5.49 and 8% alcohol (down from £5.99). Majestic have two wines at £4.99 – but you only pay this price if you buy at least 6 bottles in total – while top end retailer Berry Bros & Rudd’s lowest priced wine is the Stellenbosch Waterford Estate Chenin Blanc at £6.64.

If such a By Royal Appointment wine retailer as Berry Bros is welcoming customers with less than a tenner in their pockets then where will it end? Perhaps the face on the tenner will pop around to the St. James’s Street store when she needs something to wash down the haddock and frites.

Paula’s Wine Reviews from

Aldi Exquisite Collection Australian Shiraz 2018
£5.79 Aldi
5 star rating
This is a complex red with aromas of sweet cherry, earthy plum and smoky chocolate. If that wasn’t enough then the flavour adds spice and a minty finish. You get a lot of flavour for the money.

Marques de Valido Rioja Reserva 2015
£9 Co-op
4 star rating
This dark red aged Rioja has aromas of spicy plum and liquorice with some burnt toast too. The flavour is light and juicy with blackberry fruitiness and some pencil wood creaminess for balance. It would be nice if this had a slightly more fruity flavour but when a wine gets a few years old these types of characteristics start to fade.

Jules rose Cotes de Provence
£10.38 Cambridge Wine Merchants
4 star rating
All the aromas and flavours of a white wine except it’s pale pink. Apple, pear, pineapple and almond greets your nose and then simpler flavours of apple and pear come next. There is a little creaminess among the thirst-quenching acidity. So close your eyes and drink as a white.

The wine rating system uses a maximum of 5 stars:

5 star rating (outstanding – the top rating given by
4 star rating (very good wine)
3 star rating (good wine but over priced)
2 star rating (a disappointing wine)
1 star rating (little to offer)

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© Paula Goddard 2020