It's always good to have a standby wine that will go with virtually everything and La Metropole rouge fits the bill. Sure, the 'ooo-la-la' label isn't going to impress wine snobs but the content - a blend of Syrah, Grenache, Carignan and Cabernet Franc from the Roussillon region of southern France - is more than generous for the £4.99 price tag. They suggest drinking it with rich stews such as Lancashire hotpot or boeuf en daube or with simple grilled meats - I'd add stalwarts like sausage and mash, shepherds pie and lasagne. Just the sort of lipsmacking red you need for everyday drinking.
Although I wasn't overly impressed by the accompanying La Metropole Blanc when I tasted it back in the spring, it may well have settled by now and at the same price it's worth a punt too. It's a typically southern blend of Marsanne, Grenache Blanc, Roussanne and Viognier with a touch of Chardonnay and should work well with robust seafood dishes like grilled prawns with garlic or Spanish-style fish stews.
And while you're in the Co-op you might try a bottle of the Crouzes Old Vine Carignan, which is currently on offer at £4.39. I haven't tried the 2010 vintage but it's a reliable stalwart - a big chunky southern French red that would again work well with dark beefy stews or pies. Or as a base for mulled wine.