Dear Jessica, I am looking for a wine that comes in a large enough amount to use in punches, is cheap enough to throw into my cooking but is still nice to sip by itself.

I like to have a glass or two while I'm making the punches and food for parties to get me in a party spirit. Can you recommend anything that meets my needs Jessica Uncorked Anything's going to be better than the cooking sherry our mothers were famous for drinking while they were catering for the perfect party I recommend you open up your wallet and spend a little more money.

Get a cheap box wine for the punches and food (you can get a three litre box of Country Manor Perry for £4.47 a Sainsbury) and treat yourself to a crisp and complex Yalumba, Viognier, and Eden Valley 2007 (don't let your guests know that this fills your glass, or they will all want a taste).

You can pick the Yalumba up a Waitrose for about £10, keeping your overall expenditure under £15. (No including petrol going to both stores!) However, if you really want to stick to one wine, either for time, expense, or simplicity go with the Banrock Station Colombard Chardonnay. It comes in bottles or the more economical three-litre bag in a box.

The wine is the colour of golden straw The aroma is sweet and citrus, like lemon blossoms. The flavour starts with a hint of sweet grapefruit and builds to a creamy almost buttery finis with a slight touch of oak. Banrock Station picks the grapes in the evening to keep their sweet flavour. Even though they are fermented in steel, a small part of the wine is exposed to oak, giving it that French taste.

You can get Banrock Station Colombard Chardonnay absolutely everywhere. It's a little over £5 a bottle, or about £16 for a 3 litre box, however right now Sainsbury's has the box on special offer for £13.59.

If you need a recipe for punch, try my favourite 8L white wine 750 ml brandy 1 bottle lemon high juice 2L club soda 500ml of dark ruby Fruit (strawberries, lemons, apples oranges are best for soaking up the alcohol) Serve over lots of ice because this is extremely potent, but very tasty.