In her second selection of wines for under five pounds, Times wine writer Jane MacQuitty’s focussed on reds. Her choices included eight French wines, but also a good range from across the rest of the world, both old and new. Disappointingly, however, only three of the selection were normally priced at less than £5, the remainder being on special offer at the time the article was published. However, once again, she suggested wines to suit a variety of palates, from across the supermarkets.

I’m currently enjoying exploring southern Rhône reds, so picked up a bottle of 2008 Coteaux du Tricastin, Cuvée Traditionnelle, Cellier des Dauphins (Waitrose, down £1.50 to £4.49). MacQuitty describes this as a ‘ ripe, racy, Grenache based, unoaked Rhône, dominated by a seductive, spicy, peppery dollop of Syrah.’ Coteaux du Tricastin is one of the northernmost appellations in the southern Rhône.

Cellier des Dauphins, Coteaux du Tricastin

The wine was surprisingly thin and pale for a Rhône and, whilst I’m not sure it was either ‘racy’ or ‘seductive’ when I tasted it, it was full of red fruit, particularly raspberries, with a hint of cedar and pepper on the finish. A straightforward, soft red for midweek drinking.

In summary, Jane MacQuitty may have convinced me to abandon some of my prejudices about sub-£5 wines, but I think both the red and the white that I sampled illustrate nicely that a few more pounds, carefully spent, would probably buy something a bit more complex and interesting flavour-wise.

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