Raising a glass to the best wines of 2015

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It’s January 2 and you’re reading the wine column! Have you no shame? Or do your resolutions start next week? Well, tipplers, you’re not alone.

To assist (or perhaps insist?) that I observe my own New Year resolutions my darling wife, the redoubtable Madame G., has helpfully locked the wine cellar at our lovely home, Rose Cottage, and hidden the key in a very private place. Nonetheless, my livelihood dictates that I continue to direct any wine-gleugging reprobates out there who can still cobble together the price of a wee swallow towards some decent bottles. And not just any old wine; today I dish out the gongs for the best wines I tasted in 2015. Drum roll, maestro.

BEST RED WINE (under £10)

The soft, mellow and exuberantly juicy 2015 M&S Cotes du Rhone Villages (£8, M&S). An opulent palate contains a generous abundance of mulberry and blackcurrant flavours which mingle most pleasantly with backnotes of toffee and spice before a gently oaked, lingering finish. One for roast beef or game.

BEST WHITE WINE

(under £10)

The delightfully dry, zesty and mineral-rich 2014 Koening Riesling (Lidl, £7.49). Light and crisp with gloriously refreshing apple and lemony flavours on a citrussy palate which is enhanced by vibrant scents of white blossom and quartz before a tingly, discreetly acidic finish. We enjoyed ours with my Madame’s legendary Thai Green Chicken Curry.

BEST SPARKLING WINE

(under £10)

The fresh, fragrant and fabulously fruity Society’s Prosecco (£9.50 from The Wine Society, visit wwwthewinesociety.com or telephone 01438-741177). This Italian fizz is packed with smooth, zesty citrus and orchard fruit flavours which are expertly complemented by beguiling backnotes suggestive of lemony biscuits. A light body and complex palate lead to a brisk, clean finish in this bone-dry, elegant and sophisticated sparkler.

You’ll notice that all today’s recommendations cost less than £10. That’s because I’m mindful of the fact that most you will be hopelessly skint after the excesses of Christmas and probably the only reason you’re still drinking is to distract yourselves from the awful misery of your dire financial situation. Sorry for reminding you. Rich folk, please tune in next week when I’ll have a few luxury recommendations which are literally just for you. And me. All that remains is for me to seduce my Madame and persuade her to reveal the whereabouts of that cellar key. Till next week, tipplers, sante!