Winter warmers: Three budget-friendly red wines

Good red wines don't need to break the bank.
Good red wines don't need to break the bank. Photo: Shutterstock

 When the cooler months arrive, it should be everybody's birthright to have a warming glass of red wine with their dinner. Thankfully you don't have to spend a fortune to partake. There are plenty of well-made Australian reds offering character with price tags south of $20. Good tips for value are to look for wines from long-established regions such as McLaren Vale, rather than the new and hip. Or seek out less fashionable grape varieties such as cabernet sauvignon, rather than popular pinot noir or shiraz. And don't ignore the new wave of cheap and cheerful imports either; some are astonishing value.

El Toro Macho Superior Tempranillo-Bobal 2016, $4.99

Score 89

From Valencia in Spain, this is an extraordinary bargain. Honest and satisfying, it has suggestions of raspberry, sarsaparilla, licorice and earth on the nose. In the mouth it's juicy, soft and easy with gentle tannins and savoury balance. Screw cap; 12.5 per cent alcohol.

El Toro Macho Superior Tempranillo-Bobal 2016.
El Toro Macho Superior Tempranillo-Bobal 2016. Photo: Supplied

Ageing? No.

Stockists include Selected Aldi stores.

Chapel Hill The Parson Cabernet Sauvignon 2017, $15-$18

Score 88

Soft, agreeable cabernet from McLaren Vale. It has dark fruit and earthy regional aromas with some foresty notes, while it tastes rather old-fashioned, ripe and rustic, with soft fine tannins underneath. Screw cap; 14.5 per cent alcohol.

Ageing? Drink over three years.

Stockists include BWS Stores; Dan Murphy stores.

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D'Arenberg The Footbolt Shiraz 2017, $17-$20 

Score 89

Young McLaren Vale shiraz with appealing berry, spice and ironstone aromas. The middleweight palate is succulent and chocolatey-rich with a balanced backbone of fine, drying tannins. Screw cap; 14.5 per cent alcohol.

Ageing? Drink over five years.

Stockists include Dan Murphy stores.