There’s no wine in the house and with only ten minutes to go before the food is ready what can you do? Buying the meal-matching wine from the local village shop or corner convenience store is the best strategy when time is limited.
Small independent shops may only stock around the fifth of the range on offer in supermarkets but you’ll still be able to choose a reasonably priced and tasting wine from one of the 20 or 30 on offer. The choice will be limited to brands you’ve probably never heard of but are cheap, or reliable big-name brands like South Africa’s Kumala and Californian blends from Gallo and Blossom Hill that will cost around £7 a bottle – always expect to pay a couple of pounds more than you would if buying the bottle from Tesco or Sainsbury’s.
Chosen for their ability to sell quickly and appeal to as many customers as possible, these bulk-bottle wines offer pleasant freshness with a light fruity taste that will match almost any dish. The small shop owner will never be a source of specialist wines but what stock there is will match most of their customers’ meals, whether that’s slow-cooked braised beef or take-away haddock and chips.
PG Wine Reviews
Aldi Andarra Chilean Sauvignon Blanc
Creamy pineapple and grapefruit flavours.
Co-op Fairtrade Argentinean Bonarda Shiraz
Light cherry flavours. A good house red that’ll match most foods.
Wolf Blass Australian Eaglehawk Shiraz
Tastes like the final part of a meal with its coffee, damson and cream flavours.
Fetzer Bel Arbor Californian Zinfandel
Fetzer is one of the world’s most popular wine brands so you’ll be able to pick up a bottle of their reliable wines almost anywhere. This red Zinfandel is currently available at Asda at a pretty good price but your local corner shop or garage may also stock it. Expect flavours of raspberry sauce.
Spar Modesta Spanish Red
Dark and fruity with a smoky edge.
Spar Italian Gavi
£6 Spar (offer price)
Simple white stuff that tastes of lemon, apple and pear.
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© Paula Goddard 2015 www.paulagoddard.com