Great Value Red Wines for Under a Tenner

Great Value Red Wines for Under a Tenner

For me, the world of red wine is one of the most exciting things about the wine world. There’s so much variety and character from juicy fruity to complex, oaky and mature. You don’t have to pay through the nose for great quality reds either.

One of my friends in the wine business once told me that the best “drink now” reds you can buy are pretty much always in the £8-£15 price bracket. I agree – but I think we can do even better than that, so here’s five stunning reds all at under £10.

Food-matching pro, Triade Negroamaro/Primitivo 2012

Triade Primitivo wine label - Ben Franks WineThis beautifully coloured purple-ruby Primitivo is mixed with local varieties and the end result is something really special. It goes so well with food as well, which I’m confident is one of the things Italy does best.

Its grown in Puglia, mid-East Italy – a really warm climate that can sometimes make the Primitivo grape taste a little jammy, but here the local varieties mellow it out and make it a great all-rounder. Fruity and vibrant, with even a bit of complexity on the nose, it’s quite an exciting wine.

I was so impressed, I recently gave it one of my highest ratings – a highly recommended 80%|BFWR.

Best of all though is that you can pick it up at only £8.99 from Waitrose, and it’s even on offer at the moment for £6.69. Really something for that value.

The always consistent Barefoot Merlot NV

Barefoot Merlot NVA rare example of a non-vintage red wine, this is a surprisingly consistent Merlot blend from the multi-award-winning producer Barefoot. However, don’t mistake the usual stigma of poor quality and mass production with this wine – it is a truly enjoyable, decent table red.

The wine is fruity, soft and mellow, which goes well with a lot of food because, really, it’s inoffensive and easy drinking. It’s a nice wine to enjoy with meat and two veg meals.

As well as this wine’s versatility, it’s another great value plonk at only £7.09 (Waitrose, March 2015). It’s also a safe bulk-buy if you like it, so give it a try and see what you think.

Awesome value house red Cuvee Chasseur Vin de France 2013

Cuvee Chasseur Vin de France 2013Here’s one of those famous Grenache and Merlot blends that are made to make cheap, bland and unappetising plonk (most of the time, generalising here). However, Cuvee Chasseur have done an amazing job with their 2013 house red and produced a superb wine for only £4.99 (Waitrose, March 2015).

Grown and made in the South of France, this is a red of moderate alcohol level – especially for Grenache – but a refreshing intensity of juicy fruit flavour. The finish is short but not sharp, so it’s got some versatility for food-matching as well.

On the nose you mainly get cherry, perhaps a little strawberry as well, but there’s that trade mark sharp red berry aroma as well; the sharpness isn’t really there in the palette which is good news!

Pair with casserole.

Full, earthy and Organic red: Tsantali Cabernet 2011

Tsantali Organiki wine labelMoving to more premium but keeping it under a tenner is this beautiful example of Greek wine-making, the Tsantali Organiki Cabernet is just shy of a tenner at £9.49 (Waitrose, March 2015). The wine combines a leafy and herbaceous character with some really tasty, succulent blackcurrant fruits.

On the nose you get a lot of cherry flavour and some cedar wood, which foreshadows great integration. This is a wine to drink now, rather than cellar, but if you decant for an hour after opening you’ll get a bit more fruit coming through on the palette.

Might be a little oaky for some, but all-in-all this is a well-structured red that will go great with lamb, especially dishes like moussaka. Grab the 2011, which I gave a recommended 77%|BFWR, quick – it’s a very good vintage.

Beautiful and spicy Heredad del Rey Reserva 2012

Heredad del Rey Monastrell Syrah Seleccion 2012A Monastrell/Syrah blend with unbelievably great character that encompasses the best of oak, blackberry and spicy notes. There’s cinammon, smokiness and pepper laced over black fruits and a staunch flavour of plum. Perhaps quite a bit of wood on the nose but these tannins soften easily if left to decant for a little while before drinking.

The wine usually retails at £8.99 (Waitrose, March 2015) and is grown in Yecla, Spain. It makes a fabulous alternative to Rioja where you would have to pay quite a bit more to get a wine of the same quality. If you don’t drink Spanish, the closest fine wine in character to this Syrah Seleccion is, surprisingly, a St Emillion – in the same way there’s a softness of blueberry fruit over the black fruits that give way to some vanilla in the finish.

Try the 2012 for yourself!




I’ve picked some delicious white wines at great value too, check them out here.