Vallade Gavi – update

  Tesco was selling a ‘Finest’ Gavi which has gone from their shelves to be replaced by this. It’s not as good as their own ‘Finest’ Gavi, or the Araldica Cortese available at Majestic. Girelli are another big Italian producer and their wine is usually good. ‘DOC’ or ‘DOCG’ on bottles are perceived as being…

Araldica Cortese

Widely available, but at Majestic at £6.99 or £5.99 as part of their 6 bottles offer. The Cortese grape is famously used in Gavi, which has risen in popularity/availability in the last 20 years, but can be overpriced. This is a good alternative from a large but respected producer. Tasting Notes: Grown in the foothills…

Louis Jadot Macon Villages

  Tasting Notes: Big burgundy producer, the kind of bottle to take to a party/prospective in-law as it’s recognisably good wine. And probably expensive. This can cost up to 50% more in the wrong shop… I liked it, very much, but I’m afraid I can now do slightly better for the money, from M&S, from…

The Siren Chenin Blanc

  Tasting Notes: Wine from the developing world should in my opinion be fairly traded and this one is. The wine makers attempt to improve the lot of the people in their local communities, not in this case with clean water or farming equipment, but with wifi. Crisp, dry, fruit forward. Region of Origin Western…

Les Dauphins Cotes du Rhone Reserve

  Tasting Notes: When I was at university our local off licence sold a terrible, cheap red called ‘Cellier du Dauphins’, which we bought occasionally and laughed at the idea that the princes of France might put their name to it. This wine bears a passing resemblance to Clos l’Oratoire Chateauneuf du Pape. It contains…

Parra Alta Malbec

Tasting Notes: Vibrant, inky red. Full bodied, good tannins. Had a period in oak, which gives it a vanilla aroma. Met the winemaker, Maximiliano Ortiz in Mendoza, Argentina in November 2016. I tasted this, sold elsewhere in the world as Trivento Tribu, their entry level Malbec. I thought it was very good, my wife preferred…

Famille Castel Grande Reserve Chardonnay

Tasting Notes: This was a bit of a steal. I’ve seen this elsewhere for £16 and was worried that there was a reason why it wasn’t selling and was being offered so cheaply. However it was good chardonnay, and offered a good alternative to white burgundies which I often find overpriced, particularly Macon Blancs &…

Campo Viejo Rioja – Tempranillo

  Tasting Notes: Campo Viejo  means ‘Old Field’. Often retails at £6, and when Tesco run their 25% off for 6 promotion this comes down to £4.50. At this price it is fab; soft tannins, fruity, great with Sunday lunch. Despite being owned by Pernod Ricard, Campo Viejo are fiercely Spanish – and their 3…

Arbol de Vida Pinot Grigio

Tasting Notes: Arbol de Vida means ‘Tree of Life’. A while back I bought a Hungarian Pinot Grigio in Waitrose. By mistake. They had craftily sectreted in amongst the Italian wines. It looked Italian. It sounded Italian. It tasted awful. Since then the thought of anything other than Italian Pinot Grigio has been an anathema….

Hardy’s Varietal Range Chardonnay

Tasting Notes: Actively unpleasant. Suitable for inducing a migraine. Picked up from a large wall of identical bottles in a rush. Boasts of having won lots of medals. Had an awful aftertaste and for £6 I could have done sooo much better. Buy literally any of the other wines reviewed here (except Cima Rosa Chardonnay…

Cimarosa Chardonnay

Tasting Notes: Revolting. This wine tasted of halitosis. The budget supermarkets have some very good, keenly priced wines. This was nasty. It had a cork closure – but it wasn’t corked; that makes a wine smell like a mildewed cagoule I once had. I read a few months ago that Jancis Robinson, in Mendoza for…

Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Soave Classico

Tasting Notes: Fresh, light and zesty. Hint of effervescence. Soave is easy drinking, everyday wine – but at £1 less you can get some nasty stuff. This, however is pretty good! Region of Origin Veneto, Italy Wine Colour White Price £6 Where do I get it from? Sainsburys Current Vintage 2016 Producer Type of Closure Screwcap…