If you have ever met me, follow me on Twitter or seen me eat in a restaurant you will know one thing: I like wine. White or red (but not really Rosé unless it’s super dry), still or sparkling, it all floats my boozy boat. I don’t drink LOADS of it but I do enjoy a little glass after a difficult day, maybe sharing a bottle over dinner with a friend or opening something really lovely for a special occasion. It’s a nice hobby to have.
I like to think I know a little bit about wine and don’t just drink blindly. I really do put some thought into the wines I buy and when I eat in restaurants I pour over the wine list. I have my favourites – Beaujolais and Marlborough Sauv Blancs – and my not-so favourites – Pinot Grigiot – and learning about wines is always fun, right?
Having spent a lot of time buying wines, looking at tasting notes and attending wine tastings lately I’ve come up with something of a list of my favourites. Obviously I haven’t been doing much in my week off except going to the gym, getting massages and drinking to excess, so why not share my newfound knowledge with you all? Here’s what I’m drinking when I’m tweeting about my hard day…
In the winter my absolute favourite thing to do (handsome men please take note) is to sit in front of a fire in a nice pub and share a bottle of red wine with someone interesting. Aside from the inevitable red teeth – not so worried about this since I got an electric toothbrush for Christmas – it really is a wonderful way to spend a weekend afternoon. My favourite reds are deep and spicy with not too much fruit…
1. Waitrose Beaujolais, Waitrose, £5.35 (on offer – usually £6.69) – Waitrose describe this as a ‘lively’ red and I’d probably agree with them, though I’m more likely to call it ‘quaffable’. I reckon it’s a really lovely drinkable red on the more budget end of the scale, somewhere between a light and heavy red wine. If I’m cracking open a bottle of red mid-week, this is usually it.
2. The Anvil Old Block Red 2011, Virgin Wines, £7.79 (on offer – usually £12.99) – Bespoke Offers spotted me discussing vino on Twitter and very kindly sent me a mixed case to try: this was one of them. From Australia’s Barossa Valley, The Anvil is a really gorgeous wine that’s more peppery and earthy with just a touch of fruit. Again it’s totally quaffable but I bloody love it with a steak. This is a wine for those slightly more special evenings… and do have a look at the Bespoke Offers site for some great New Year wine deals!
3. Cono Sur Bicicleta Pinot Noir 2012, Ocado, £7.49 – I wouldn’t normally look to Chile for my Rouge Vin but this is an exception. I really like Cono Sur wines: yes, they are a big brand but I always feel like you get really good quality when you’re purchasing one of their bottles. Blossom Hill this ain’t. This wine is subtly spicy, just the way I like is and has a lovely rich finish. Yummy.
In the summer my absolute favourite thing to do (handsome men take note) is to sit outside on a sunny day and share a gorgeous bottle of white with someone interesting (are you noticing a theme here?). My white of choice is Sauvignon Blanc from the Marlborough region in New Zealand, and though we fell out slightly last summer – boredom more than anything else – it will forever be my one true wine love.
1. Explorers Vinyard Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2011, The Co-op, approx. £7.50 – In my opinion this is the absolute DADDY of supermarket Marlborough Sauvignon Blancs. Over the last couple of years I’ve made it my mission to try as many of these SBs as I can and I consistently come back to this one. Moderately priced, not too dry and full of flavour, this is literally my favourite wine in the whole world. Oh, and it’s vegan too!
2. Nicolas Potel Pouilly Fuisse 2011, Waitrose, £15.99 – So this label says lots of things in a curvy font that I don’t quite understand but I bought this wine as a bit of a special treat for Christmas day. It was really lovely; dry with an oaky finish, it got the thumbs up from everyone. It really benefited and opened up after an hour or so breathing time, so keep that in mind if you’re buying it. It went brilliantly with the Christmas smoked salmon.
3. Springfield Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2013, Waitrose, £10.99 – I first had a version of this wine, the 2011 vintage, on my birthday with a cake in John Lewis’s Espresso Bar (much to my mother’s distaste… it was like 2pm OK?!). I’m yet to find the 2011 vintage anywhere so the 2012/13 is the next best thing. f I’m ever drinking a Sauvignon Blanc that wasn’t from the Marlborough region this would be it, beautifully dry with flavours of passion fruit. Apparently it matures beautifully after 2-4 years but really, who keeps wine that long without drinking it?