Aldi Pardon My French groupTop Ten Wines in the £6 and Under category of 2017 this week.

And in the remaining weekly columns in the run up to Christmas they'll also be seasonal present ideas for wine lovers, Top Ten Whites plus the Top Ten Reds of 2017. They'll also be an essential list of ten wines that'll match all tastes and foods for Christmas Day. So there's lots to come.

No one supermarket or High Street supplier dominates the Top Ten Wines in the £6 and Under list – although SPAR is coming in strongly with its very recently revamped own-label list with prices at just £5 and £6, and Majestic shows it's still worth considering in this price bracket with its Carlino wines. Aldi's Pardon My French range have come down in price to just £4.49 a bottle and would have dominated the proceedings but got pipped at the post by another Aldi wine (Animus Douro) and the ever-present Co-op with their fine range of wines.

Despite rising prices there are still good wines to be found at £5 and under – with more appearing this year than than ever before. So it is possible to find good everyday wines that make the meals we eat even more enjoyable.

Well here they are:

Top Ten Wines of 2017 £6 and Under


789 Pinot GrigioEdizione 789 Italian Pinot Grigio 2015
£4.75 Sainsbury's
Flavours of creamy apple pie with hazelnut and peach.


SPAR Crisp White, South African
It does what it says on the label, being 'refreshing and dry' (but not so dry it takes the enamel off) with flavours of apple, pear and melon and a bit of bubblegum. Match to fish and chips.


SPAR Fruity White, South African
Flavours of pear and melon pie.


Finca Las Moras Argentinean Olas Torrontes Pinot Grigio 2017
£5.49 Co-op (down from £6.49 from Nov 22)
A lovely floral and fruity white with flavours of peach, pear, lemon, apple and roses. Sophisticated.


Carlino Bianco, Italy
£5.99 Majestic
A great wine to match with food as its fresh straw edge cuts through any richness in a sauce. Flavours of creamy pear, apple and fresh pineapple.


Pardon My French 'Want-to' Ventoux, French red
£4.49 Aldi
A light and creamy red with flavours of plum and milk chocolate with a little apple sharpness.

Aldi Aniumus Douro7

Animus Douro 2015, Portugal
£4.99 Aldi
Four grape varieties and four dominant flavours: creamy damson, milk chocolate, violets ans almonds. A great blend.


Carlino Rosso, Italy
£5.99 Majestic
A red wine that matches anything with flavours of blackberry, coffee, toffee and cocoa.


SPAR M Merlot, France
A juicy red with flavours of plum, cherry and liquorice.


SPAR PN Pinot Noir, France
Raspberry and milk chocolate.

This article also appeared as Paula's Wines of the Week on

raisins and sugarSherry, whisky and freshly squeezed orange juice are sipped this week as I get started stirring the Christmas mincemeat. Recipes for this booze-soaked Christmas preserve always say you should let it 'mature' for at least a week before you use it. But home-made pies (individual or one large ‘un) will still taste wonderful if the minced fruit and nut mixture is spooned straight into pastry cases as soon as the alcoholic moistness testing has ceased.

Nisa Heritage ChardonnayA staple of many local shopping parades, the Nisa (pronounced Nice-a) store is easy to over look as just another always-open store that's useful for getting in tomorrow's breakfast milk. But wander around to the drinks section and you'll find five great value wines all labelled as the Nisa Heritage range.

Autumn leavesIt’s decidedly chilly. And it gets dark before the day has properly begun. Which means we now have to turn the light on when admiring the colour of that pre-supper glass of red wine. Shorter periods of daylight send a signal to our brain to reject the lighter hues of summer and seek out dark reds and browns of winter. So leave the light-green Sauvignon Blancs unopened and pick up a bottle of its red cousin Cabernet Sauvignon instead.