Cambridge Wine Merchants do some great southern French reds for under a tenner - their current big seller is a really well-made and crowd-pleasing old vines Carignan from Mont Rocher.
This wine proved so popular at a tasting I organised for colleagues that it is now our house red at work (see here for details).
Cherry Hinton Road is CWM's newest branch and has a slightly different offering from the others as, not only do they sell wine to take home, they also have a seating area where you can have a bottle of anything from the shop with a selection Italian antipasti from local deli Bolzano (corkage charge is a very reasonable £5).
On a warm Sunday afternoon, things were fairly quiet there, but manager Steve Hovington (who previously fronted a rock band in the '80s) explained, they have a loyal group of regulars and on some nights, it's pre-booked places only.
As to the wine, it is made from a clutch of fairly typical southern French varieties - some noble, some blowsy. There is good, ripe berry fruit on the nose. The palate shows typical aromas of bramble fruit, prunes and blueberries with good balanced acidity some gentle tannic grip on the finish.
It's well made and good value at the price; easy to enjoy in a New-World sort of way, it also has an Old-World degree of restraint and balance, and would work as both a quaffer and with food.
Match with salami or herby sausages - or try CWM's recommendation of creamy macaroni with sage.
As Steve explained, with the support of an in-store tasting, a wine like this flies off the shelves and there is now only a relatively small number of cases left in stock.
£6.10 from Cambridge Wine Merchants.
Cambridge Wine Merchants - http://www.cambridgewine.com/