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Updated: 19 May 2022

Best red wines

Our expert taste tests reveal the best affordable red wines you can pick up at the supermarket, plus advice on how to choose the best red wine for you
Rebecca Jakeman

Our expert taste tests uncover the best red wines you can buy from the big supermarkets, including Aldi, Asda, Lidl, Tesco and Waitrose. 

From the best red wines for balmy summer evenings, to those that suit autumn nights, we've found some brilliant bottles to bring home, including the cheaper options that impressed our experts.


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Best red wines for summer

Our expert panel tasted 10 red wines from the big supermarkets, including Aldi, Lidl, Tesco, Asda and Waitrose, for the June 2022 edition of Which? magazine. 

We asked supermarkets to nominate own-label or exclusive wines that were suited to summer entertaining, costing up to £12.

Some bottles sparked debate among our expert panel, but they agreed on three Best Buys that really caught their attention. One of these was a bargain wine bursting with flavour.

Only logged in Which? members can view our expert panel taste test results and see which wines we recommend.

If you're not yet a member, you'll see an alphabetically ordered list of those on test. To get instant access join Which? today.

Aldi Specially Selected Clare Valley Shiraz 2018

£8 for a 75cl bottle, vegetarian

Aldi describes this Australian wine as having ‘aromas of blackberry, mulberry, cherry and spice’. But how does it compare with other supermarket wines? 

Log in or join Which? to unlock our test results.

Want to buy without reading our results? This wine is available at Aldi

Asda Extra Special Cru Du Beaujolais Fleurie 2020

£8 for 75cl, vegetarian

According to Asda, this French red has 'expressive aromas of dark cherry and floral notes'. That certainly sounds appealing, but did our expert tasting panel agree?

Log in or join Which? to find out how this affordable bottle measured up in our tests.

Want to buy without reading our results? This wine is available at Asda.

Co-op Irresistible Fairtrade Organic Malbec 2020

£7.50 for 75cl, vegan and vegetarian

Not only is this Co-op wine both vegetarian and vegan, it's also Fairtrade certified. But does that make it worthy of a Best Buy? 

Log in now or join Which? to find out.

Want to buy without reading our results? This wine is available at Co-op.

Iceland Malbec Mendoza 2019

£5.95 for 75cl, vegetarian

Iceland claims that this 'intense and elegant' Malbec will go well with pizza and pasta dishes. But does that mean it tastes delicious on its own too?

Log in now or join Which? to unlock our test results.

Want to buy without reading our results? This wine is available at Iceland.

Lidl Chianti Riserva 2016

£5.99 for 75cl

Lidl's budget-friendly Chianti is the second cheapest on test, but does its 'mature flavour with notes of fruitcake' make it good value for money? 

Log in or join Which? to get the answer.

Want to buy without reading our results? This wine is available in-store only at Lidl.

Morrisons The Best Cahors Malbec 2019

£8 for 75cl, vegan and vegetarian

This French red from Morrisons supposedly has 'blueberry aromas with dark plum, fig and prune flavors', but did our expert tasting panel agree?

Log in or join Which? to find out. 

Want to buy without reading our results? This wine is available at Morrisons.

M&S Found Xinomavro Mandilaria 2020

£9.50 for 75cl, vegan and vegetarian

Is this 'light-bodied' M&S Greek red the perfect accompaniment for an afternoon in the garden? Our panel of tasters tell all. 

You can log in now or join Which? to see how this wine did in our summer line-up.

Want to buy without reading our results? This wine is available in-store only at M&S or at Ocado

Sainsbury's Taste the Difference Maremma Toscana 2019

£10 for 75cl, vegan and vegetarian

Did our experts really ‘taste the difference’ in Sainsbury's 2019 Maremma? Find out where it ranks in our taste test. 

Log in now or join Which? to reveal how it fared.

Want to buy without reading our results? This wine is available at Sainsbury’s.

Tesco Finest Douro 2019

£10 for 75cl

Tesco describes this wine has having ‘aromas of red and black fruits, and subtle spice', with a 'long, concentrated finish'. But did this varied collection of flavours impress our experts? 

Log in now or join Which? to unlock our results.

Want to buy without reading our results? This wine is available at Tesco.

Waitrose Jip Jip Rocks Shiraz 2020

£11.99 for 75cl

At more than double the price of the cheapest bottle we tested, is this Waitrose Shiraz that's 'packed full of ripe fruit' worth paying more for? 

Log in now or join Which? to unlock our results. 

Want to buy without reading our results? This wine is available at Waitrose

Prices and availability correct as of May 2022.


See also: the best sparkling winesbest champagne and the best gin


Best winter reds

Our line-up of winter reds to test had to be perfect for sipping by a warm fire or accompanying a Christmas dinner. We looked for red wines that are affordable, but stand you in good stead when friends and guests drop round, so they cost up to £12.  

Only logged in Which? members can view our taste test results and the overall test score as a percentage, plus wine and food pairings, tasting notes and advice on how to serve more tannic reds from the experts.

If you're not yet a member, you'll see an alphabetically ordered list of the red wine on test. To get instant access join Which?.

Aldi Cocodrilo Malbec 2020

£10 for 75cl, vegan and vegetarian

Aldi Cocodrilo Argentinian Malbec 2020

Aldi describes this Argentinian wine as having ‘aromas of black fruit and fresh plum’. But how does it compare with other supermarket wines? 

Log in or join Which? to unlock our test results.

Want to buy without reading our results? This wine is available in-store only at Aldi. 

Asda Extra Special Old Vine Garnacha 2019

£6 for 75cl

Asda Extra Special Old Vine Garnacha 2019

This wine is from the ‘sun-baked’ Spanish vineyards of Aragon. ‘Its intense flavour comes from the 25-year-old vines’, according to Asda. 

Log in or join Which? to find out how this affordable garnacha measured up in our tests.

Want to buy without reading our results? This wine is available at Asda.

Co-op Irresistible Fairtrade Organic Malbec 2019

£7.50 for 75cl, vegan and vegetarian

Co-op Fairtrade Irresistible Malbec 2019

Co-op claims that this malbec is produced by one of Argentina's most respected winemakers. But is it worthy of a Best Buy? 

Log in now or join Which? to unlock our test results.

Want to buy without reading our results? This wine is available at Co-op.

Lidl Baturrica Tarragona Gran Reserva 2015

£5 for 75cl

Lidl Baturrica Tarragona Gran Reserva 2015

Lidl's budget-friendly red wine is the cheapest on test, but does its taste make it good value for money? 

Log in or join Which? to get the answer.

Want to buy without reading our results? This wine is available at Lidl.

Morrisons The Best Marqués de Los Rios Rioja Gran Reserva 2014

£9 for 75cl, vegetarian

Morrisons The Best Marqués de Los Rios Rioja Gran Reserva 2014

This Spanish red from Morrisons is the joint most expensive supermarket wine we tested, but is it worth paying more for? 

Log in or join Which? to find out. 

Want to buy without reading our results? This wine is available at Morrisons.

M&S Classic Lomas del Marqués Rioja Reserva 2015

£9 for 75cl, vegan and vegetarian

M&S Classic Lomas Del Marqués Rioja Reserva 2015

Is this M&S Rioja the perfect tipple for a cold winter's evening? Our panel of tasters tell all. 

You can log in now or join Which? to see how this wine did in our winter line-up.

Want to buy without reading our results? This wine is available in-store only at M&S or at Ocado

Sainsbury's Taste the Difference Pays d'Orc Pinot Noir 2019

£11 for 75cl, vegan and vegetarian

Sainsbury's Taste the Difference Pays d'Orc Pinot Noir 2019

Did our experts ‘taste the difference’ in Sainsbury's 2019 pinot noir? Find out where it ranks in our taste test. 

Log in now or join Which? to find out.

Want to buy without reading our results? This wine is available at Sainsbury’s.

Spar Ursa Maior Rioja Reserva 2017

£8 for 75cl, vegan and vegetarian

Spar Ursa Maior Rioja Reserva 2017

This is produced in Northern Spain and reasonably priced, but is Spar's rioja a winning red?

Log in now or join Which? to unlock our results. 

Want to buy without reading our results? This wine is available at Spar.

Tesco Finest The Trilogy Malbec 2018

£12 for 75cl, vegetarian

Tesco Finest Trilogy Malbec 2018

At more than double the price of the cheapest bottle we tested, is Tesco's malbec worth paying more for? 

Log in now or join Which? to unlock our results.

Want to buy without reading our results? This wine is available at Tesco.

Waitrose No. 1 Foundation Cederberg Syrah 2019

£12 for 75cl, vegetarian

Waitrose No. 1 Foundation Cederberg Syrah 2019

Waitrose describes this wine has having ‘rich red fruit flavours of mulberry and ripe, juicy cherries’ that are ‘balanced with elegant oak and a touch of freshly ground black pepper’. But did this varied collection of flavours impress our experts? 

Log in now or join Which? to unlock our results. 

Want to buy without reading our results? This wine is available at Waitrose

Prices and availability correct as of May 2022.

How to choose the best red wine

There’s no substitute for trying wines out and keeping a note of those you liked and didn’t. But in the meantime, you can use our guide to the most common varieties to get you started:

  • Malbec goes well with meat, especially beef. Its taste varies greatly depending on where it’s grown, but plums, berries and spices are common flavours. It’s sometimes blended with other varieties, but is often a soloist in Argentina. 
  • Merlot is versatile and soft, making it easy drinking for those new to wine. 
  • Pinot noir varies enormously, depending where the grapes are grown. Goes well with lamb, duck, guinea fowl, burgers, haggis and many cheeses. 
  • Cabernet sauvignon is blackcurranty, sometimes grassy, usually full bodied and often tannic (which has a drying effect in your mouth). Good with lamb and goose.  

When choosing a red wine this summer, our experts recommend opting for something lighter or fruity such as a beaujolais. If you're cooking sticky barbecue food, you'll need to go with a 'bigger' red, such as a shiraz.

As a rule of thumb, if something 'grows' together, it probably goes together. This means that Italian wines work well with Italian dishes, and so on. Any wine heavy in tannins will work well with nice fatty food, but for items such as oily fish you're better off with a low-tannin option such as pinot noir.

Our experts advised looking at wine pairings like a sauce – think of the headline flavours in your dish, and try to match the ingredients and intensity as best you can.

Discover which red wines go best with different foods.

How not to waste corked wine

Even if a wine is corked, vinegary, oxidised or sulphury, you can almost always cook with it. As long as you cook it through to alcohol evaporation, the faults disappear with the alcohol.

Watch our video guide for more expert tips, including when to serve wines that are high in tannins (more bitter tasting) and how to revive a bottle of wine you've just opened that tastes a bit off.

Choosing a sustainable wine

Unfortunately, it’s not easy finding out the eco credentials for every wine in the supermarket, but we’ve rounded up a few tips to help you buy more sustainability:

  • Organic wines can be better for the environment because they use less pesticides, but this isn’t a stamp of approval, nor is it the only factor to consider. For example, the amount of water and the packaging used when creating wine will also have an effect. 
  • Look out for a sustainably certified logo (including the Sustainable Wines of Great Britain logo, pictured below) these wines must meet certain standards for their energy and water consumption, and in some cases soil health and packaging too. Unfortunately, these logos aren’t hugely common in supermarket aisles, but it’s worth keeping an eye out as it’s becoming more mainstream.   

Be aware though, that smaller producers may not have applied for a sustainability certification due to restrictions in time and resources, but this doesn’t mean that their wine isn’t a sustainable option. You’ll need to do your own research into these smaller producers.

Some producers have their own initiatives, so it's worth swotting up if you're keen to choose a sustainable option. For example, Laithwaites, which is owned by Direct Wines, claims to offset its carbon emissions that come with deliveries through major reforestation projects, as well as recycling 95% of all its waste at their Gloucester Distribution Centre. Waitrose has launched its Waitrose Unpacked initiative, which aims to reduce its packaging use by asking customers to bring in empty bottles that can be refilled with wine.

To find out more on understanding wine labels, check out our guide on how to read a wine label.

How we test red wine

For our summer red wine taste test, conducted in March 2022, we asked supermarkets to nominate own-label or exclusive red wines priced between £4.50 and £12 (excluding special offers) that were widely available to buy and particularly good for drinking in summer. They could be non-vintage or vintage.

Each bottle was concealed in a bag, so that it could be tasted and rated fairly by our panel of experts. Each expert tasted the drinks in a different order, before discussing their ratings and agreeing on Best Buy red wines.

Our experts were:

  • Helen McGinn International wine judge and award-winning author
  • Peter McCombie Master of Wine, restaurant wine consultant, speaker, writer and critic
  • Sam Caporn Master of Wine, consultant, speaker, writer and co-chair of the IWC

For our winter reds taste test, published in November 2021, we ran a similar test, asking supermarkets to nominate own-label or exclusive red wines priced between £4.50 and £12 (excluding special offers) that were widely available to buy and particularly good for drinking in winter. They could be non-vintage or vintage.

Our experts were:

  • Kathryn McWhirter Wine expert and co-author (with Charles Metcalfe) of The Wine and Food Lover's Guide to Portugal
  • Charles Metcalfe Speaker, author and co-founder of the International Wine Challenge
  • Sumita Sarma Wine writer and founder of wine consultancy Sumilier
  • Peter McCombie Master of Wine, restaurant wine consultant, speaker, writer and critic

Recycling wine bottles

Glass bottles can usually go in your household recycling bin. If your council doesn’t accept them, you can take them to a local bottle bank.

The recycling process can vary depending on where you live, so make sure to check with your local area if bottles require rinsing first and whether metal screw caps should be replaced or recycled separately. 

Natural corks can’t go in your recycling bin. You can recycle natural corks through Recorked UK, either by posting them or dropping them off at your nearest collection point.

Synthetic corks, which are made of plastic, can’t be recycled. They should be disposed of in your general waste bin.