Vina Real Bianco 2011, £9.99, Majestic, D.Byrne of Clitheroe


We've all drunk red Rioja wine, but in this country the region's white is not nearly as well known or stocked in large quantities in the shops, writes Nick Nunn .

The grape is 100% what in this part of Spain they call Viura although in southern France and elsewhere is it Macabeo. The taste is clean, quite floral and like the reds there is also some oak. It is different, 13%, quite distinctive and refreshing without the overpowering flavours of more common whites. 

Washington Hills Merlot 2008, £7.79, Co-op


Mention the United States and winemaking to most people and thoughts turn to the sunny state of California. But you don't have to go out west to find fine wines – Washington state has some of its own. This Merlot (topped off with a little Syrah and Grenache) is from a winery founded in Columbia Valley just 23 years ago but it tastes more Old World than new. You have plenty of fruit, 13.5% alcohol and a very reasonable price.