Winter wine offers to ‘keep us cheery’: Richard Esling, January 19

Having at last got rid of the rain, now we have fog and frost to contend with, reminding us that spring is still some way off.

At least we have had some fabulous sunny days recently and there are plenty of wine offers around to keep us cheery.

The Wine Society has more than 20 winter savings offers on wines under £12 per bottle, although you need to be quick as wines this good at this price may not be around for long.

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With most of us attempting to lose a pound or two after the excesses of the festive period, lighter meals are the order of the day, with fish and vegetable dishes high on the agenda. Light but flavoursome white wines are the perfect match, with perhaps the odd red from time to time. Two Italian wines from The Wine Society’s offers fit the bill admirably.

From the island of Sicily comes Feudo Arancio Grillo 2020, made from vines grown close to the Mediterranean Sea. Grillo is a classic Sicilian variety making high-quality wines and increasing in popularity. The wine has plenty of body, with aromas and flavours of tropical fruit and grapefruit. A floral nose and good balancing acidity results in a fresh, appealing white wine (£7.25 a bottle).

The other Italian is from the North-east of the country in the Friuli Venezia Giulia region, bordering Slovenia. Made from the ancient ribolla gialla variety, first recorded in 1296, the wine is straw yellow in colour, with aromas of golden delicious apples. Characterful, tangy, medium-bodied, with citrus and lemon curd notes and a dry, fruity finish. Excellent with Caesar salad or spaghetti vongole with baby clams. Ribolla Gialla Friuli Cantina Puiatti 2020 (£9.25 a bottle).

Turning now to a couple of French whites, Maison les Alexandrins in the Northern Rhone Valley, has produced a Viognier of great typicity, with subdued tropical notes, combined with citrus and fresh apricots. Full, mellow, elegant flavours match wonderfully with lightly spiced Thai dishes or roasted grape and lentil salad. Viognier Maison les Alexandrins 2020 (£9.50 a bottle).

From further south in the Pays d’Oc near the fortified city of Carcassonne, comes an appealingly straightforward Chardonnay 2020 made by Domaine de Pennautier. The influence of the Atlantic and Mediterranean climates combine to give a vivacious chardonnay, with great freshness and fruit. Hints of citrus and sultanas give an interesting finish to this dry white, perfect for an apéritif (£7.95 a bottle).

The 17th century Chateau de Pennautier is one of the top producers in the Carcassonne region, also producing delicious reds in the Cabardès appellation. With its unique geographical location, the chateau uses a combination of cabernet and merlot grapes, with syrah and grenache, underpinning the influence of two different climates. A deep, intensely coloured fruity red, the body is medium with fresh, plummy fruit and a touch of spice. Crying out for a chicken pasta bake. Cabardès Chateau de Pennautier 2019 (£8.25 a bottle).

All the above wines are currently on offer at very good discounts when bought by the case of six or 12.