FINE wine doesn’t need to cost a fortune as we reveal the best cheap bottles you can buy for under £5.
This is the maximum amount one in three UK drinkers are happy to spend on a bottle of plonk, according to new research from Kantar.
The consumer group says wine lovers are struggling to overcome the “physiological £5 price barrier” when it comes to booze.
In fact, 300,000 shoppers have actually swapped their bottle of wine for a cheaper alternative to avoid paying more than a fiver.
But there’s still lots to cheers about with plenty affordable wines out there under this price range.
Peter Ranscombe, wine columnist and drinks blogger for Scottish Field magazine, scoured the supermarkets for The Sun to find the best bottles for your cash.
He said: “Wine doesn’t have to cost the earth – if you’re looking for a simple, straightforward mid-week bottle then there are plenty of good options for under a fiver.
“The government charges £2.23 in tax on a bottle of wine – plus you have to pay VAT too – so by the time you add on the cost of the packaging and the transport then there are only a few pennies from that £5 to spend on the wine itself.
“But clever wine buyers at supermarkets and independent wine merchants can still find you a bargain at that price if they’ve put in the work and gone out to visit winemakers."
Australian Chardonnay 2018 (Tesco, £4.25 in England, £4.69 in Scotland)
Ticks all the boxes for Chardonnay from Australia, with lots of lemon and peach flavours and just a touch of roundness from the long staves of French oak placed into the tanks in which the wine was made.
Dearer in Scotland due to minimum pricing, but still well under the £5-mark.
Fairtrade Chenin Blanc 2018 (Co-op, £4.85)
If you’re bored with the same old Sauvignon Blanc then this South African white is a great alternative.
It’s got tonnes of crisp acidity for matching with fish and plenty of lemon and apricot flavours too.
What’s even better is that it’s Fairtrade, so money from each bottle goes to help education and community projects.
Winemaker's Choice Riesling (Asda, £4.85)
It's not often you can kind Riesling – Germany's flagship white grape – for under a fiver.
This bottle has plenty of the classic green apple and pear flavours and just a touch of sweetness to go with spicier foods.
Vin de Pays du Gers 2018 (Marks & Spencer, £5)
Vin de Pays can be great value – they’re wines made from grapes grown across bigger French regions, instead of in specific smaller villages.
This example from Gascony really stood out for me, with its freshness, which is balanced by lemon rind and apricot.
Corbières (Lidl, £4.99)
Part of Lidl’s latest Wine Tour limited edition range.
This blend of Syrah, Grenache and Carignan grapes has all the sun-filled flavours of the South of France, from wood smoke and roast meat on the nose to blackberry and blackcurrant on the tongue.
Toro Loco Organic Red Wine 2017 (Aldi, £4.99)
I was very impressed to find an organic wine for under a fiver.
There’s bright red cherry and light wood smoke on the nose and then enough grip to go with beef burgers or lamb chops.
Worth spending the extra 10p to trade up from Aldi’s other Toro Loco Bobal Merlot blend.
Smooth Red (Spar, £5)
Made in Spain using Merlot grapes this is a classic easy-going red, full of red cherry and blackberry smells and tastes.
It’s bright and ripe and really hits the spot on a cold autumnal day.
Vino Tavola Rosso (Marks & Spencer, £5)
One to bring back memories of those bottles you find on holiday in Italy, with its concentrated red cherry and raspberry jam flavours.
This is just crying out for some quick pasta and sauce, or a cheeky takeaway pizza.
Yallaroo Australian Rosé (Aldi, £4.99)
An odd blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Nero d’Avola and Chardonnay, but a real winner thanks to its fresh strawberry and raspberry flavours.
Nice and light at 11.5 per cent alcohol-by-volume too.
Fresh Rosé (Spar, £5)
Rosé isn’t just for summer – this Spanish pink is ideal with Lebanese meze or Moroccan spices during the autumn too.
It’s made from Bobal, a little-known grape variety, and has ripe raspberry and red cherry flavours.
Wine has overtaken beer as the UK's favourite alcoholic tipple, with 81 per cent of adults drinking at least one glass in the past year.
If you're not entirely convinced by your bottle of plonk, here's how you can make a cheap bottle of wine taste better.
And these are the best wine glasses of 2019 including big, small, glam and basic goblets.
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