After all the over-indulging and New Year naughtiness, it may go against the grain to be thinking about replenishing the wine rack, especially if you’ve decided to give up the booze for a while.
But with so many supermarkets and wine merchants offering discounts and savings, deciding to dip into the wine fund during the dark days of January will make that glass of vino all the more enjoyable when the right time comes around…
1. Champagne Charles Lecouvey Brut NV, France (£16.99 from £25.99, January 3 until January 21, Waitrose)
Popping the cork on a bottle of bubbly is certain to blow away those January blues, especially if you prefer to spend on sparkle, rather than splurge. With a crisp, citrusy character and light toasty notes, this is a small price for French class in a glass.
2. The Waterfront Chardonnay Viognier 2019 Western Cape, South Africa (£5.99 from £7.99, January 3 until January 21, Waitrose)
In the crowded aisle of cut-price South African whites, this one stands out for its pretty postcard label, depth and balance of juicy pear and tropical fruits with honeysuckle and white peach aromas, and mouthwatering finish to boot.
3. Garganega Pinot Grigio 2018, Garda, Italy (£6 from £7, January 3 until January 27, Marks & Spencer, in-store)
A crowd-pleasing pinot grigio with a lovely peachy, lemony freshness and bright, citrus finish, this pristine white sees no oak influence and has versatile foodie dinner party white written all over it.
4. Finest Passerina 2018, Abruzzo, Italy (£6 from £7, January 2 until January 20, Tesco)
A real peach, Decanter magazine awarded this charming white a “highly recommended” 90 points tasting score (previous vintage) and there’s more wealth of fruit than you’d expect from a little-known grape – from a region synonymous with its juicy reds. Here we have fresh florals, ripe peach, pleasing lemon, well balanced acidity and a burst of summer sunshine.
5. Quisco Carménère 2018, Rapel Valley, Chile (£4.99 from £5.99, Aldi)
A smooth and mellow carménère at less than a fiver, what’s not to love about its dark plummy and raspberry flavours overlaid with smoky, spicy tones, even if the faintest hint of herbs or green pepper notes fall under the radar?
6. Santa Julia Malbec 2019, Mendoza, Argentina (£7.50 from £9, now until January 21, Sainsbury’s)
Still on the South American trail, this mighty malbec offers generous aromas of cherries, violets and plums that follow through with integrated oak adding texture and spice, ending with supple tannins on the finish. Bring on the burgers.
7. Mastoberardino, Mastro Aglianico 2017, Campania, Italy (£11.50 from 16.50, January 2 until January 31, Berry Bros & Rudd)
A suave Italian that’s cloaked in ample cherry, fine strawberry and raspberry fruit, the wine is enhanced by gorgeous aromas of violets and roses with a succulent, fruity mouthfeel and fine tannins. An elegant red from a top-notch producer to bring some extra pizzazz to a plate of pasta.
8. Nelson Estate Cabernet Merlot 2012, Paarl, South Africa (£12.25 from 17.95, January 6 until January 31, Corney & Barrow)
Simply stunning, this Bordeaux blend speaks with a South African accent and offers sumptuous flavours of blackcurrant and blackberry in spades. Complex and layered with an enticing bouquet and touch of dark chocolate, thanks to proper bottle age it’s in the prime of its drinking window and a star buy.