My nearest supermarket is Morrisons. Second closest is the Co-operative. Yes, I’ve thought about moving, but it’s easier just to shop elsewhere. To be fair, both do have some good wines, the Co-operative notably more than Morrisons, but distribution is patchy. If you’re doing some eleventh-hour stocking up at either this coming week, I hope you’ll be able to find these.
2008 Nicolas Potel Montagny 1er Cru
This wine needs to breathe to soften its sharp, tangy-lemon acidity, so decant it into a jug or pour small amounts into large glasses and give a good swirl. Once you’ve done that, you’ve got classic chardonnay from Burgundy – nutty, waxy and appley in flavour with just a touch of oak in the background. Subtle and satisfying. 13% abv.
£9.99 (until 4 January 2011, then back to £14.99), The Co-operative
2009 L’Oustalet Réserve Côtes du Rhône
Succulent, supple red Rhône, full of southern warmth and bonhomie, yet full of appetising freshness too. Ripe berries, spicy black-pepper flavours, a rich velvety texture – and great value at the offer price. 13.5% abv.
£5.99 (until 4 January 2011, then back to £10.99), The Co-operative
2010 Vasse Felix Sauvignon Blanc Semillon, Margaret River, Australia
Fresh and aromatic, lightly oaked sauvignon-semillon blend – Western Australia’s answer to white Graves. Zesty fresh herb, melon and grapefruit flavours rounded out with soft, coffeeish oak; dry, medium-bodied, nicely incisive but not aggressive. 12.5% abv.
2008 Vasse Felix Cabernet Merlot, Margaret River, Australia
An enticingly aromatic, richly fruity, dry red from Western Australia. Smoky, minty and leafy on the nose, with intense cassis fruit, dark chocolate and a roast-chestnut richness, sweetness and smokiness from ageing in oak. A perfect balance of freshness and roundness for drinking now. 14.5% abv.£10.99, Morrisons