I dislike Lent. 960 hours of self-imposed, self-righteous misery. To inflict cravings upon yourself for 40 days only to return to your bad habits immediately afterward seems a little daft. Lent is, however, already upon us and you’ve probably already chosen something to give up. Considering the unlikelihood you’ll manage to tackle the abstinence, some might suggest you throw in the towel now.

If, however, you’re determined to try, you may find a little booze essential for any success you may have. I suggest indulging in a few of the bottles below:

2007 Fairleigh Estate Chardonnay, Marlborough (13.5%; £5.99 each for two, Majestic) Creamy with tropical and citrus flavours.

2008 Doña Paulina Merlot, Chile (13.5%; £4.50 each, The Wine Society) Soft and plumy. Great value for money.

2008 La Motte Sauvignon Blanc, Western Cape (13%; £6.99 each for two, Majestic) Zesty with notes of apple followed by gooseberry.

2007 Dourthe Barrel Select, Saint-Émilion (12.5%; £9.49 each, Waitrose) Typical Saint-Émilion. Dark berries with a full-bodied palate.

2007 Vinalba Reserva Malbec, Mendoza (14.5%; £8.99 each for two, Majestic) Full-bodied typical Argentinean Malbec. Blackcurrant and plum with a hint of vanilla.

2006 Clos d’Yvigne Le Petit Prince, Côtes de Bergerac
(13.5%; £8.99 each for two, Majestic) Mostly Merlot with some Cabernet Franc. Plum and cherry on the nose with strong tanins and some spice.

2008 Errazuriz Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc, Casablanca Valley (13.5%; £7.49 each for two, Majestic) Grapefruit, mandarin and grassy aromas. Great with seafood.

2007 The Society’s White Burgundy, Macon-Villages
(12.5%; £7.50 each, The Wine Society) Delicious, fruity unoaked chardonnay. Good with seafood or on its own.

2008 Ned Pinot Noir, Marlborough (13.5%; £9.99 each for two, Majestic) Plums, chocolate and spice. A personal favourite.

2002 Gran Vendema Gran Reserva Rioja (14%; £7.49 each for two, Majestic) Fruits of the forest with a touch of vanilla. Warm and rich. Great value for such a big Rioja.

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