I’m no wine expert, but we’re starting to know what we like and what we don’t. Here are a few things we’ve tried recently, plus a couple of recommendations for the festive season. Cheers!
Lindemans Bin 50 Shiraz – a lovely soft, easy drinking Shiraz with a bit of spice and plummy fruit. Totally Christmassy (around £8 but currently on spesh at Asda for £5.95)
William Hardy Chardonnay – I’m a huge fan of Chardonnay with turkey – crack this open with your Christmas dinner.(£9.99 Ocado/Tesco/Asda)
Gallo Family Vineyards Pink Moscato – if you have guests that prefer a sweeter wine, try this light, fruity rosé (£6.99 most supermarkets)
£10 and up
J Lohr, Painter Bridge Zinfandel – this lovely Zin was sent to me by VIN2O – a new online wine retailer who support small producers and donate 55% of their profit to clean water projects. We’ll be teaming this with our epic Boxing Day pie – the jammy berry flavours and hint of pepper should be the perfect foil to the creamy pie with little pops of sweetness from the added leftover apple/chestnut stuffing. Yum. (£10.75 VIN2O.co.uk).
Occhipinti SP68 Bianco is our go-to white if we’re splashing out. It’s a Sicilian white which smells amazingly like a sweet muscat, but it’s dry, complex and floral. I know it divides wine lovers but we adore it. If you ever come across it and fancy treating yourself, grab a bottle. (around £18).
Break the bank!
Turkey Flat Sparkling Shiraz 2012 – our favourite wine shop, No 2 Pound Street, recommended this as an alternative choice for drinking with turkey, so we’re going to give it a go (£20, No 2 Pound Street)
Perfect with the pudding
I asked my big bro, who’s a bit of a collector of dessert wines, what he recommends for a wine to drink with the Christmas pudding: ‘you need something quite robust – a Madeira isn’t a bad call – sweet but full bodied’ was his answer. You heard it here first!
Halfwine.com specialises in half bottles (as the name suggests) and sent me a selection of wines based on the wines I’d been writing about on the blog, which I think was really thoughtful. The Wirra Wirra Church Block 2010 Cabertnet Sauvignon-Shiraz-Merlot is a favourite, and they also stock the Seghesio Sonoma County Zinfandel that Mr English and I both love. Order your own selection, or give a tasting pack as a gift. They also have a fab wine club where you receive 4 bottles a month for a fixed amount. I think it’s a great way to discover new wines.
Sipandlearn.co.uk is a new concept and we think it’s an incredibly good idea. Every month, they send out two bottles of wine with a specific theme, together with a really informative booklet, so you can really build on your wine knowledge. They also support small producers and you really get to try (and compare) some incredibly good wines. It’s an inspired gift for a wine lover. (£30 per month).