Food & Drink

The best affordable South American wines to stock up on now

South American wines are a tour de force (Alamy/PA)
South American wines are a tour de force (Alamy/PA) South American wines are a tour de force (Alamy/PA)

South American wines have so much to offer.

A showcase for diverse styles, grapes flourish at high altitude where abundant sunshine and ideal growing conditions bring out the best of the best.

The fact that Argentina and Chile were top scorers in The World’s Best Vineyards 2023, finishing first and third respectively, illustrates how these neighbouring countries are a tour de force on the wine scene – both for tourism and world-class wines.

Here’s a wine lover’s guide to some of the key grapes…

1. Tesco Finest Torrentes 2022, Salta, Argentina, £8, Tesco

Tesco Finest Torrentes 2022, Salta, Argentina, Tesco
Tesco Finest Torrentes 2022, Salta, Argentina, Tesco (Tesco/PA)

A floral-edged white to have on your radar, torrentes may not be in the top 10 of best-known grapes – but there’s lots to love about the variety’s aromatic intensity, and it’s fast becoming Argentina’s signature white. Fragrant, fruity and blossomy, this is a delicious example with ample flavours of lychee and orange peel, balanced by crisp citrus fruit and refreshing acidity.

2. By Amazon Our Selection Chilean Sauvignon Blanc 2022, Aconcagua, Chile, £7.45, Amazon

by Amazon Our Selection Chilean Sauvignon Blanc 2022, DO Aconcagua, Chile, Amazon
by Amazon Our Selection Chilean Sauvignon Blanc 2022, DO Aconcagua, Chile, Amazon (Amazon/PA)

Amazon’s new ‘by Amazon’ range sits between the £6 to £10 mark and features 10 value-driven wines from across the world, chosen by a master of wine. Sauvignon blanc is cited as Chile’s flagship white with its freshness and fragrance – and this one’s all you could want from a New World savvy blanc. Vivid and expressive with grassy, nettly aromas, the zesty freshness continues on the fruity palate with lemon, lime and ripe passion fruit flavours, focused acidity and lively finish.

3. Trivento Reserve Malbec Rosé 2022, Mendoza, Argentina, £9, Ocado

Trivento Reserve Malbec Rose 2022, Mendoza, Argentina, Ocado
Trivento Reserve Malbec Rose 2022, Mendoza, Argentina, Ocado (Trivento/PA)

Made from Argentina’s signature red, this malbec rosé highlights how beautifully fresh the wines can be when you’re in the mood for something pretty and full of life. With pink grapefruit and raspberry freshness, it’s flowing with bright, juicy summer fruits underpinned by cherries, hint of vanilla, balanced acidity and lovely sustained finish.

4. Asda Extra Special Carménère  2021, Colchagua Valley, Chile, £8, Asda

Asda Extra Special Carmenere 2021, Colchagua Valley, Chile, Asda
Asda Extra Special Carmenere 2021, Colchagua Valley, Chile, Asda

Over in the red corner, carménère  is Chile’s calling card – originally a Bordeaux variety, it thrives in warmer temperatures and long hours of sunshine. For classic carménère enjoyment, try this plummy, sweetly spiced red. With aromas of cassis, blackberry and plenty of dark brambly fruit that’s enriched by oak-spice and subtle herbal note on the finish.

5. Cabernario No 8 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon, Maipo Valley, Chile, £13.99, Waitrose

Cabernario No 8 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon, Maipo Valley, Chile, Waitrose
Cabernario No 8 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon, Maipo Valley, Chile, Waitrose (Waitrose/PA)

A key grape for Chile, if you love a hint of oak and deep concentrated cab sav, this is the red for you. Beautiful and bold with expressive blackberry and blackcurrant aromas, a forest floor of seductive fruits cascade onto the palate, supported by soft, round tannins and lingering kiss of blackberry on the finish. In a word: gorgeous.

6. Bodega Norton Malbec Reserve 2021, Mendoza, Argentina, £15.99, Waitrose

Bodega Norton Malbec Reserve 2021, Mendoza, Argentina, Waitrose
Bodega Norton Malbec Reserve 2021, Mendoza, Argentina, Waitrose (Waitrose/PA)

This super delicious malbec comes from well-known producer Norton and is a gorgeous example of how Argentina’s signature grape welcomes you with open arms – and it’s hard to resist its full-bodied charms. With an appealing violet bouquet, this one cloaks the palate with velvety smooth blackberry and blueberry fruits, touches of sweet spice, lavender, smooth tannins and a plush, persistent finish.