Whilst I admit to being hopeless at embracing the more thrifty aspects of the student lifestyle, at this most bleak time of year I firmly believe that extravagance is not only justified, but should be encouraged.

You’ve left the comfort of the real house and real food for a mould-ridden hovel, Lidl and Lambrini. As if this weren’t enough, you’ve formal warnings, burst pipes, perpetually gloomy weather and the hassle of house hunting to contend with. In short, the novelty of being back in York has thoroughly worn off.

Happily, however, your misfortunes provide the most perfect excuse to indulge yourself. What better way to cheer yourself up than by exchanging that bottle of Tesco vodka for one of the small extravagances below?

2007 Grand Ardèche Chardonnay Louis Latour (13.5%; £7.99 each for two, Majestic) Full-bodied and smooth with notes reminiscent of exotic fruits and vanilla spice imparted by the oak.

2006 D’Arenberg The Footbold Shiraz, McLaren Vale (14.5%; £9.95, The Wine Society) Sweet berry fruit, spice and a hint of pepperiness.

2008 Domaine du Pré Baron Sauvignon Blanc, Touraine (13%; £6.49 each for two, Majestic) Notes of grapefruit and blackcurrant followed by tropical fruit and peach.

2006 Ben Marco Malbec, Mendoza (14%; £10.99 each for two, Majestic) Cherry, black raspberry and leather. Classic Argentinean Malbec. Well worth the price.

2002 Vina Alberdi Reserva, La Rioja Alta (12.5%; £14.95, Berry Brothers and Rudd) A traditional Rioja with cedar, spice, and red currants.

2007 Vieux Remparts, Lussac Saint-Emilion (13%; £6.99 each for two, Majestic) Rich and full-bodied. Black fruit followed by a smoky flavour. Great with cheese.

2008 Jackson Estate Stitch Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough (13%; £9.49, Waitrose Wine) Gooseberry and kiwi fruit. A good New World alternative to Sancerre. A perfect aperitif (i.e. pre-lash).

2008 Majestic Peaks Pinot Noir, Otago (13.5%; £7.99 each for two, Majestic) Wild berries and raspberries. Slightly rough around the edges, but Great value for an Otago Pinot.

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