Supermarket wines to lighten the mood | Alistair Gibson

I write this week’s wine column while I am, like the rest of the country and much of the world, under lockdown.The way we live our everyday lives has certainly changed, but to me the companionship and sustinence that can still be found around the kitchen table are one of the pleasures that will keep us all going through these strange times.

Cederberg Chenin Blanc 2019
Cederberg Chenin Blanc 2019

So beginning this week, I’ll be looking at wines available in individual supermarkets where I’ve managed to shop, starting this week with Waitrose.

I have to be honest. it was the label that initially drew me to Tierra Sagrada Antigua Blanco Organic 2018, VdT Castillo (Waitrose £6.99).

But the real point of interest is that Spain is one of the fastest growing countries with regard to the increase in production of organic wine, and encouragingly here is another example at this entry price point level.

Albert Road Pinot Noir

A blend of verdejo and sauvignon blanc, this is really fresh with notes of pink grapefruit, lime and pear skin, followed by a crisp, zesty palate with a refreshing dry finish.

This is a simple, pleasing, dry white wine and it would work really well with grilled fish.

Or, if you are using some store cupboard ingredients, how about a salad niçoise with tinned tuna?

Strangely enough, I should have been in Cape Town these past two weeks on a wine tasting trip.

Tierra Sagrada organic white

It was sadly not to be, but it’s probably the reason for me choosing the next two wines.

Waitrose No.1 Foundation Cederberg Chenin Blanc 2019, Western Cape (Waitrose £7.99 on offer from £9.99 until April 14) is produced by the consistently impressive Cederberg winery and profits from this wine go back into community and educational projects.

This is very smart wine, with ripe pear, melon and peach fruit on the nose, followed by a nicely textured palate with fresh acidity and a long, juicy finish. I served with a fish pie and, while on special offer, this is fabulous value for money.

I’m not sure about the name, but Albert Road Pinot Noir 2017, Western Cape (Waitrose £6.99 on offer from £9.49 until April 14) is made by two of the finest winemakers in South Africa – Duncan Savage and Thys Louw – and, it has to be said, the pedigree shows.

It’s rare to find interesting pinot noir under £10, particularly from the Cape, but this is really lovely and light with red fruits, dried herbs, some earthy notes and just a nice twist of spice.

Again, on special offer this is great value and we served it with a simple roast chicken.

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