'Tis the Season to be 'jolly'...
There is a whole WORLD of wine out there, and I remember well adopting that rather 'glazed over' look after 20 minutes of weighing up the 'deals' on offer in the wine aisle..
So, to save time, money, and bad choices, head to grapesmith.co.uk
- Southern Italian Reds (Nero D'Avola for instance) or Spanish Garnacha or Tempranillo are cheerful, easy drinking reds, around the £8-12 mark.
FOR CHRISTMAS TURKEY
- RED - go classic, go classy, go GOOD red Burgundy. My house favourite at the moment is the ethereal Michel Juliot Mercurey.
- If you want a little more muscle, Mas d'Alezon Faugeres is spicy and sexy and warming. Grrr.
- WHITE - Pouilly Fume is divine and delicate. Mineral, green fruited, aromatic, and steely. Tres elegant. If you want a little more in the way of 'guts' then a Chassagne Montrachet should hit should hit the spot. Multifaceted pleasure, and a finish so long you'll still be tasting on Boxing Day! Be prepared to put your hand in your pocket though (well it is Christmas!)
OTHER NEED-TO-KNOW TIPS
- Nearly £3 on every bottle of wine is TAX. Add shipping cost, bottling, labelling, etc. etc. and it quickly mounts up to a fair figure. As soon as you spend over approx £6 on a bottle of wine, you are getting proportionately better 'wine value' The difference between an £8 bottle and a £10 bottle is probably the best £2 you can spend! If you spend over £12 the 'wine value' doubles again and then you're really on to something...
- The 'Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc' is a saturated market these days.. If nothing else, check the back to see if it was 'Imported and bottled in Guildford (for instance)' - if so, it's not worth the 'half price' offer it claims. Better still, try something from Casablanca Valley or Elqui or Limari (all in Chile.) Amazing wines and great value to be found.
- If you like full bodied, gutsy and fabulous red wines, but need a break from Argentinian Malbec (or Australian Shiraz)! then Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon from the Colchagua region should float your boat. Mid-range Primitivo from Puglia is also a big bear-hug of a wine, and often organic (which is a good thing). Don't forget the Rhone though! Good Cotes du Rhone Villages can offer stunning value. in this style.
- Spanish wines from other regions than 'Rioja' are often very good and just as delicious, for less ££, Try Garnacha from Terra Alta or one of the central regions around Madrid such as Gredos. For something Pinot noir-esque, try Mencia (grape) from northern regions, such Bierzo or Ribera Sacra. These aren't wines you'll find in the supermarket - go visit your local indie wine store.