Drinking through Coronavirus
Since the start of lock-down we’ve sold A LOT of more ‘affordable’ wine. Is it because supermarkets ran short? Or because people are preparing for lengthy isolation? Maybe a combination of the two. Anyway, it’s prompted us to shout more about our offering of value wines for glugging at leisure.
Below is a list of highlights from our range of wines below £10 per bottle. We’ve deliberately avoided writing lengthy tasting notes, focusing more on the style of the wine. We’d rather let you decide what it tastes like to your palate, and more importantly, if you like it.
You can’t not include a Marlborough Savvy B in a list of gluggables. A style that has captured the hearts of the nation with its combination of exotic passion fruit, citrus zing and grassy edge. The Nika Tiki Sauvignon Blanc is a multi-award winner and very consistent to say the least. Not quite as austere or intense as some of its peers and a true staple.
Pinot Grigio, of course, is another must. While the New World went all exotic with their whites, the Italians stuck to their guns and said: “let’s keep it simple guys, apples and pears”. The whole point is that the wine should be crisp, fresh, and remarkably easy to drink. Vino Delle Vite never disappoints, and being a Venezie DOC, it’s also the real deal!
And rounding off the top 3 most popular white grapes..... the much-maligned Chardonnay. Some are convinced they hate ALL Chardonnay. Give it a chance! ABC (‘anything but Chardonnay’) drinkers are more likely averse to Chardonnay that has had oak staves thrown at it till it’s lost all freshness. The Accomplice Chardonnay is ever so slightly oaked, and all the better for it. Think juicy fresh apples and white peach, with just one knob of butter and a smattering of vanilla spice. Yum.
Chenin Blanc is the workhorse of South Africa that shares a lot in common with Chardonnay. The key distinction between our South African friend and its Aussie counterpart is that Chenin is often made in a slightly off-dry style (I.e. it has the faintest bit more residual sugar). It’s not sweet, and it’s still very fresh, just a tad more.......exotic.
Going off the beaten track here. This blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Verdejo is a real humdinger! ‘Adaras’ is Spanish for ‘rain’, and indeed the label here is an artistic interpretation of it. Why? Well the wine hails from (no pun intended) an area of Southern Spain that is frequently affected by hailstorms – Almansa. This wine has so much citrus freshness you could drink it all day long. Just take a swig (or ten), close your eyes, and picture yourself basking in Spanish sunshine and drinking the juice of the ripest lemons you’ve ever come across.
Now we’re really getting exotic. This time up high in Mendoza, Argentina. Torrontes is Argentina’s flagship white grape, and for very good reason. Wines don’t get much more tropical than this – think pineapple, melon, lychee, honeysuckle, rose petals.... basically, a really elaborate fruit salad. The high altitude of the vineyards means the grapes benefit from cool nights that help them retain that all-important refreshing acidity. Chacabuco Torrontes is a textbook example of that.
Like an Instagram influencer, Argentinian Malbec is a modern phenomenon that gains a larger following by the day. Most pack a punch and are an excellent accompaniment to steak, but this one from Bodega Los Haroldos is unoaked and a much fresher, less boisterous wine as a result. Still with plenty of dark fruit and spice, but toned down a notch, making it more appropriate for the summer.
Chilean Merlot is the red equivalent to Pinot Grigio – nothing too sophisticated, but nothing more reliable. This one is an absolute stalwart for us. The label admittedly is a bit....meh, but the quality for the price is unrivalled. It’s so juicy and fresh that you could drink it by the gallon (seriously though, please don’t).
Pinot Noir. The sophisticated grape. This example from coastal Chile is not exactly Pinot Noir in its finest form - that’ll come with a Burgundian vineyard name on the label, and cost you an arm and a leg - but its definitely Pinot. Light, floral, slightly spicy, and with gentle flavours of wild raspberry and fresh strawberry.
What better French red for the summer than Beaujolais. Like Pinot, its light and floral with plenty of red berry flavours. And better still, its surprisingly nice chilled. The label here may divide opinion, but the juice is a real crowd-pleaser. Plus, it’s a Beaujolais-Villages, which is one rung up in quality from standard Beaujolais.
Like Malbec, you probably know Shiraz as being particularly bold, spicy and meaty. Blockhead Shiraz does tick those boxes, but let’s just say it’s more Muhammad Ali than Tyson Fury. Still packs a punch, but it does so with grace. A great all-rounder that you can crack open whatever the weather and arguably the best cheap red in the range.
Portugal is an absolute goldmine for great value reds. This blend of Syrah (Shiraz) and indigenous Portuguese grapes from the Lisboa area really delivers on the bold dark fruit and spice. It's amazing how much blackberry, plum and liqourice you get for your money here, but by no means overkill.
A rosé list simply has to start French. Unlike Provence rosé, Anjou rosé has a touch of sweetness too it. Still the classic red berry flavours and very refreshing, just with a tad more sugar
Unlike most rosé, which is made with red grapes, Pinot Grigio blush is made with sun-tinted white grapes. Still fairly neutral like its white counterpart, but with that faintest suggestion of red fruit to remind you that the sun is shining. Gluggability factor = 10.
So we may not have a Provence rosé in here, but the Quinta Vista rosé comes pretty darn close to mimicking the style (and is much more affordable!). It may not be quite as light or pretend to have the same minerality as mountain spring water. But it's still strawberries and cream in liquid form and there is nothing not to love about that!
So that rounds off our selection of great value wines. Go on, give them a whirl, you’ve got nothing better to do now that you’ve had to cancel all those early summer parties you’d been invited to.
Don't forget we are offering 10% off orders of 6 or more bottles of still and sparkling wine.
Plus we are offering free home delivery to all 'HR' postcodes for orders over £50! Simply click the 'Free Hereford Delivery' at the checkout.
We look forward to seeing you in the shop again when life gets back to normal. In the meantime, please respect the government guidelines and stay indoors - it saves lives! But at least do so with your favourite tipple to hand.