Popping the cork on a good red wine in the midst of winter is one of life’s pleasures. We enlisted a panel of wine experts to discover the best supermarket reds for £10 and under, and we’ve found some cracking bottles.
Whether you prefer your wine to be sweet, oaky, spicy, light or rich, we’ve tested something for everyone. We identified three Best Buys from three different supermarkets, and scored seven others, including a bottle that costs just £6.75.
See our rundown of the best red wines for winter drinking.
What and how we tested
We asked supermarkets to nominate great-value wines for £10 and under. They needed to be ideal for hunkering down with a glass (or several) throughout winter.
We tested bottles from ten supermarkets, including Waitrose, Marks & Spencer, Spar, Aldi, Lidl and more.
Our expert panel was made up of five wine experts including authors, restaurant consultants and Masters of Wine.
Thanks to coronavirus, for the first time ever, our autumn wine tasting was held remotely so it could be socially distanced. Three of our experts joined us outdoors from a garden, another two joined us from their homes.
We were in our homes too, studiously recording their scores and comments while running the blind test.
What made the best red wines stand out?
Our three best red wines for 2020 had a fair amount of diversity in taste and character between them.
One was spicy on the palate with an edge of coffee, and it was savoury enough to pair with all sorts of cheeses, as well as a good chilli con carne.
Another was fruity and soft, sure to win over a crowd, and perfect for a vegetarian Christmas dinner.
The third Best Buy was herby, with fresh tannins and a hint of sweetness that made our experts’ palates dance without being too saccharine.
We also tested eighteen bottles of bubbles to find the best champagne for 2020, finding two incredible value Best Buys.
How to choose the best red wine for Christmas
If you love the zing of cranberry sauce with your turkey, bear in mind that its fruity sharpness can be a real wine killer.
The key is choosing something fairly acidic, but not overly sweet, to balance this out. Our experts thought a cabernet sauvignon would be best to pair with your turkey if you’re having cranberry sauce.
More traditional accompaniments, such as bread sauce, are less overpowering, so you’re best going for a wine that naturally pairs well with turkey.
A well-aged wine should do the trick, as the tannins are likely to be less overpowering. Try a mature claret or rioja. If you prefer white wine, stick to a round, full-bodied chardonnay.