A wise person once told me that the best way to understand and appreciate wine is to drink, a lot. Bursting with excitement at the challenge 2018 fast became the year of drinking wine in abundance. I’ve learned a lot this year from four main sources.
- This wine book that my best friend Roop purchased for me last year for Christmas – Wine Folly.
- Janet – My boyfriend’s mum – I’ve never met anyone who can better navigate the top shelves of Sainsbury’s 25% off 6 bottles
- Guillaume – our epic wine tour guide in Chateauneuf-du-Pape who taught me all the wanky but logically things you need to know about tasting a wine for the first time
- Vivino app – mainly to help me understand what notes and flavours are in the bottles I’m drinking. WARNING – don’t scan in a restaurant. It hurts to know you’ve just paid £50 for a £8 bottle of wine…
As an absolute and complete novice – the best advice I’ve been given (by Stuart’s mum) is that at the end of the day the price tag is nothing. A good wine is defined solely by whether or not you like it. So with that check out my top three choices below . Disclaimer – they go up substantially in price and I’ve only had one bottle of the spenny ones…I’ll do a blog post on my fave bottles under £20 but for now these are my favourites of all time…
Recommended to me by Janet, I’ve not met a wine drinker that hasn’t liked this reco upon sharing on. It’s easy drinking on it’s own or great with rich food, beef, game. Vanilla, oak, chocolate, berries and a bold spice brought to you by the Zinfandel grape. At only £9 a bottle and available in Sainsburys and Tesco, it’s worth picking up if you want something lush to sip on at the weekend. If you’re not a fan of red you may be convinced by this…Picky Stuart was!
If anyone finds this please let me know. Tried this sexy number in the infamous River Cafe in London and it’s by far the best white I’ve tried. I mean this was the one that made me realise I LOVE wines that have been aged in oak barrels. There’s something about that flavour that gives it so much body and marries well with light fruits. This wine is described on Vivino as: butter, oak, vanille, peach, apple, honey. I mean what a DREAM of a white, amirite? It’s sold online for £43.99 but I’m hoping to come across it in a store for cheaper. The hunt is on…
Believe it or not, Rosé was considered by French winemakers as something that could not compete with the traditional reds and white fruits of the land. It wasn’t really until the early 2000’s that premium Rosé became popular enter Garrus – a blend of the finest quality of Grenache, Vermentino and Syrah Grapes – 90% free run juice (no pressing). My favourite Rosé is brought to you by the same wineamkers of the iconic Whispering Angel. After visiting Chateau D’Esclans in September – one sip of this and I was on a rosey cloud nine – for me, it’s the oak barrels that really make this peachy, creamy delight. Stuart and I bit the bullet and split the hefty £102 cost. It tasted that much sweeter with a view of the french alps on a hot day. Save this bottle for a special occasion, folks. Worth every penny.
Happy drinking and if you have any reco’s PLEASE share below!