What to drink this week
House red wines
The concept of the house wine is usually associated with restaurants, which donõt always honour it by choosing examples of lower-priced reds and whites that enhance the reputation of the cuisine with real quality and typicity. All too often, restaurant house wines are bland quaffers bought simply on price, then subjected to a hefty mark-up. It doesnõt have to be like thatñand the concept of house wine can extend usefully to the home.
Why you should be drinking them
Every well-stocked cellar should have some hearty everyday drinking winesñfor medium-sized informal gatherings, perhaps, or to accompany low-key kitchen suppers. They will probably be on the robust side (especially the reds) and not especially subtle, but then, itõs not every evening that you want to be unpicking the secrets and nuances of a grand cru Burgundy.
What to drink
Iõve selected some very good value southern French reds from the Bunch, the group of independent merchants that champions Ôthe causes of individuality and diversityõ. Costi•res de N”mes Domaine de la Cadenette 2015 (below, £7.99; www.adnams.co.uk) is purplish in colour with velvety depth and spice: itõs excellent value. For something slightly wilder, with the garrigue quality of the high Minervois country, try L'ostal del Souquet Carignan Vieilles Vignes IGP Coteaux de Peyriac 2015 (£8.50; www.corney andbarrow.com). Showing remarkable class for the price is Le Mas, Domaine de Clavel, C™teaux du Languedoc 2015 (£9.50; www.tanners-wines.co.uk): mostly Grenache, but with some spicy Syrah, this has surprising elegance.