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A BBQ bargain for under a fiver!

I always experience pure happiness when I find great wine under 拢10. So imagine how I feel when I find one for under a fiver! 馃暫馃徎馃帀馃嵎

That’s exactly what happened when I tried this Chilean Merlot from Lidl.

It gives aromas of plum and black cherry with a hint of vanilla. The flavours match that with the dark fruits taking the main stage and hints of vanilla with a layer of smokiness too.

The tannins are right in the middle here which make it tasty to drink on its own, however if you paired it with a burger it would taste velvety smooth!

For me this wine belongs at a BBQ! It’s delicious, fruity and easy to drink which is sure to be a crowd pleaser (and a wallet pleaser too!

At 拢4.99 this wine punches way above its weight!

Olas del Sur Merlot Reserva, 拢4.99, Lidl

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A cheap wine for the sunshine 馃尀

We’re finally having a strong spell of good weather in Yorkshire (touch wood that it stays for longer!)

This means, al fresco dining, lighter meals and therefore lighter wines!

The wine I want to share with you this week is great, refreshing, alternative to Sauvignon Blanc and perfect for a sunny evening!

Zibibbo is an Italian grape variety that’s part of the Muscat family. Most often used to make dessert wines but they also make a lovely dry wine, like this example from Aldi!

Smelling the wine will take you to the island of Sicily with fresh stone fruits and orange peel. To taste you get more of the stone fruits, like ripe peach and then lemon zest. There’s great acidity to this wine but not quite as tongue tingling as some Sauvignon Blanc’s can be.

The Zibibbo is a really crisp and refreshing wine that would match grilled salmon or any light chicken dish.

If you like Sauvignon, you should give this wine a try, it’s a really nice, cheap alternative and potentially more versatile with food!

拢5.99 Aldi 7/10

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Picpoul De Pinet, The Exquisite Collection, Aldi

One of my favourite things about writing this wine blog is that I’m constantly challenging myself to try new wines. I’m learning so much more about wine and also discovering some new favourites (Riesling is the best example of this!)

Picpoul De Pinet is one of those wines that a year ago I wouldn’t have even glanced at, but I’ve heard some good things so I thought I’d give it a proper try.

It comes from the Languedoc region in France (the biggest wine producing region in the world) but the Picpoul grape is also found in the Rh么ne, Spain and even in Arizona!

This Aldi version comes from one of the top producers in the region and is another of their ‘Exquisite Collection’ that I’ve been impressed with.

On the nose you get lemon skin, lemon zest and floral aromas. This is backed up on the palate with some tongue tingling lemon, fresh cut flowers and herbaceous notes. It’s high in acid and bone dry.

Due to the high acidity I’d recommend you have this with some good fats, particularly fish because it’ll soften that and bring out more of the floral, but I found it crisp and refreshing just on its own.

For me this is a great alternative to Sauvignon Blanc but maybe slightly too acidic for some some. At this price though, you should definitely give it a go!

拢6.29 Aldi 7/10

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Underwood Oregon Pinot Noir

We’re finally getting some sun this week which immediately makes everything better! (Apart from the fact I’ll have to start mowing the lawn every week)

It also calls for a move to lighter, more refreshing wines. I’m not quite ready to break out the Ros茅 and ice buckets yet but I’m taking a step in the right direction with this Pinot Noir, perfect for a spring evening!

This Pinot from Oregon is super tasty and refreshing. Freshly picked raspberry, blueberry and strawberry are the dominant aromas and flavours with a little bit of sour cherry. There’s a light earthiness and mineral edge to the wine too which gives an extra level of complexity. Mid tannin and high acidity make this wine great for a warm evening.

All round this wine is delicious, it’s at the top end of our weekday wine budget but well worth it for a treat and to try a wine from a region that we don’t see much of in the UK!

拢15 M&S

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Pardon My French, Ventoux, Aldi

Aldi’s ‘Pardon My French’ range is a light-hearted, fun introduction to different French wines. The Fitou, or ‘Fit-You’ as they named it was one of my favourite supermarket wines of 2017, so I thought I’d share another wine from that range. Ventoux, or ‘Want To’ as they’ve called it.

The label is a nod to the cycling world, for who Ventoux is a mountain that commonly features in the Tour de France. Inside the bottle is a blend of Grenache, Carignan and Syrah.

On the nose there’s bright, fresh red fruits which show on the palate with juicy red cherry and red berries. The vibrant fruit is backed up by hints of liquorice. This is a light-medium wine with a medium finish. This makes it really versatile for food and would probably match anything you put infront of it.

A great mid-week wine that’s perfectly drinkable and would probably please most palates and at under a fiver, a bargain!

(The Fitou is still my fave though…)

拢4.99 Aldi 7/10

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Wines for your Easter Sunday lamb

Lamb is one of, if not, the most wine friendly foods their is. A glass of red wine and any cut of lamb just work so well together! This makes Easter Sunday (a day that you would traditionally eat lamb) one of the most exciting meals of the year for me as a wine lover.

I’ve picked out 3 of my personal favourite pairings as a guide to help you decide what to put on your table this weekend, with links too! Continue reading “Wines for your Easter Sunday lamb”

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A lesson on The Rh么ne and tasting a Lirac

The Rh么ne is a region I find delicious and fascinating! It’s made up of four different ‘quality’ levels that adhere to different rules and villages in the area. It’s easy to see which Rh么ne Valley wine you’ve picked up from the label and this quick run through here:

C么tes du Rh么ne AOC

This is the entry level of wine from the valley, you can pick up a great bargain with these wines, but expect to drink them young and without much complexity. You’ll tell this wine because it’ll say C么tes du Rh么ne and nothing else on the label.

C么tes du Rh么ne Villages AOC

This is the next level up and offers a bit more complexity and wines that can age well. Keep your eye out for these as you can find some real treasures! Again spot by the name!

C么tes du Rh么ne (named) Villages AOC

The third level is a Rh么ne Wine that tells you that it comes from a specific village, which signifies quality. If you spot one of these names, you’re likely in for a treat.

  • Visan
  • Puym茅ras
  • S茅guret
  • Saint-Gervais
  • Suze-la-Rousse
  • Cairanne
  • Chusclan
  • Gadagne
  • Laudun
  • Massif d鈥橴chaux
  • Plan de Dieu
  • Roaix
  • Rochegude
  • Rousset-les-Vignes
  • Sablet
  • Saint Maurice
  • Saint-Pantal茅on-les-Vignes
  • Signargues
  • Valr茅as

The Crus

The tip tier is the Cru wines. These are the cream of the crop, adhere to the strictest rules and often command a much higher price tag. The pay off can be huge though with, arguably, some of the nicest wines coming from these places. Look out for these names, some will be familiar!

  • Beaumes de Venise
  • Chateau-Grillet
  • Ch芒teauneuf-du-Pape
  • Condrieu
  • Cornas
  • C么te-R么tie
  • Crozes-Hermitage
  • Gigondas
  • Hermitage
  • Lirac
  • Rasteau
  • Saint Joseph
  • Saint Peray
  • Tavel
  • Vacqueyras
  • Vinsobres

The wine I’m drinking tonight is a Cru from Lirac (via M&S)

See the big Lirac on the label? They do make it obvious!

This was really tasty, it has bold aromas of blackberries, cherries and raspberries. This comes through on the palate with delicate pepper spice and some leather too.

It has a real Ch芒teauneuf-du-Pape feel with a wonderful balance of power and delicacy. Super smooth and long finish and well balanced.

We’re having it with pulled beef burritos 馃尟 but this would be great with hearty casseroles or bangers and mash!

You’d be hard pressed to find a better value Cru wine at this price.

拢10.50 Marks & Spencer

8/10

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The tastiest New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc?

Sauvignon Blanc is what put New Zealand on the map as a wine producing nation. People the world over love it’s crisp, citrus and herbaceous style and is a defining factor in why Sauvignon Blanc is the most purchased wine in the UK.

There are loads of OK to Good examples on your supermarket shelves, but I’m after finding the great ones to share with you.

Here we have Villa Maria Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc. Pour your self a glass and it’s easy to see why this Sauvignon is one of the most highly rated examples. Lovely crisp aroma with citrus fruits. The taste is classic with heaps of lemon and grapefruit with some passion fruit that follows. It’s crisp and refreshing with a zippy acidity.

It’s perfect on its own, it’s perfect with fish or with a light goats cheese salad.

For me, this is one of the best I’ve had from a supermarket, even if it was lacking some of those classic grassy notes.

8/10

拢7.50-拢9.50 Tesco, Asda, Morrison’s, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose (everywhere!!)

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The perfect pizza wine!

You know how it goes; it’s Wednesday, you’ve made it half way through the week. You’ve worked hard, maybe even been to the gym or eaten a salad. But now you’re flagging. You deserve a little treat to get you through to the weekend. Which is where we turn to pizza 馃檶 馃崟 馃崟. It gives us the sustenance for those final two days!

Add to that the perfect bottle, and you’re in for a mighty fine mid week evening!

Tesco Finest Montepulciano D’Abruzzo

A really comforting wine. Juicy dark fruit flavours of blackberries and cherries with hints of black pepper. There’s a real rustic feel to this wine that transports you to the Italian hillside and the finish is long lasting with a savoury, almost like pepperoni, edge.

A real delight to drink, nothing to complex or thought provoking, but truly delicious and relaxing.

Perfect with pizza (as the title suggests!)

Tesco 拢6.50

7.5/10

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Valle del Rapel Cabernet Sauvignon

Lidl Wine can be split into two sides; the continuous stock wines and the seasonal wines that come in and work on a ‘when it’s gone it’s gone’ basis. It’s always worth trying the second type because there’s some excellent wines to be found in these parcels.

This Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon is one such wine.

Continue reading “Valle del Rapel Cabernet Sauvignon”

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Wines for Valentines – the best of the meal deals

I’m just putting it out there that I love Valentine’s Day!

Whether you’re going out for something special or simply having a night in on the couch, it’s amazing to be able to spend time with your significant other and show them how much you love them.

This post is for the night in folks, taking advantage of the fantastic meal deals that the supermarkets have to offer.

Hope these wine suggestions help set the mood for a night of romance!

Tesco Finest Faugeres

This red wine that’s part of the Tesco Finest meal deal will definitely set the romance with layers of dark cherry, red fruits and some enticing spices that make for an incredibly well balanced, rich and seductive red wine. Perfect with the slow cooked pork shoulder or flat iron steaks.

Marks & Spencer Fruili

I’d recommend the white wine over red with the M&S deal. This Italian Sauvignon Blanc is a lovely white wine that’s herbaceous, with grapefruit and elderflower. Crisp and refreshing and match with their romantic looking Salmon Roses or the Salmon and Cod fish roast (which sounds amazing!)

The Bubbly

It wouldn’t be a Valentine’s Day without some champers! This Abel Charlot is currently half price in M&S at 拢17 and has flavours of apples, all butter shortbread, and hazelnut. A bargain at full price but an absolute steal at half!

Sending you all love for your V day! Have a good one.

(All recommendations also suitable for chugging a bottle on your own whilst watching Eat Pray Love)

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Aldi Exquisite Collection, Ribera del Duero

Ribera del Duero is a wine region next to Rioja in Spain. Both regions make wine using the same Tempranillo grape and have the same restrictions for ageing in oak. You’ll be surprised to hear then, that despite the similarities, these wines taste distinctly different. And that’s down to the drier climate and different soils which’s play a huge part in developing the flavour of the grapes. (Seriously try the two side by side, you’ll be blown away!) Continue reading “Aldi Exquisite Collection, Ribera del Duero”

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Codice Citra Passerina, Tesco Finest

I always enjoy finding wine grapes that I’ve never heard of before. Which, considering there are nearly 1,400 different ones, it’s surprising how often you see the same 10-15 major grapes wherever you shop! So when I saw this Passerina in Tesco, my curiosity was suitably piqued.

Continue reading “Codice Citra Passerina, Tesco Finest”

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Original Series Stellenbosch Shiraz/Cabernet Sauvignon

Ahh Aldi, the German supermarket that’s taken the nation by storm. A place that’s aimed at people who want a no-frills, cheap, food shopping experience. But also may want a power saw.

Aside from the ‘mystery’ aisles, Aldi also have an ever improving wine selection. I’ve been realy impressed by a lot of their wines in the Exquisite Collection, which I’m excited to share with you over the coming weeks! Continue reading “Original Series Stellenbosch Shiraz/Cabernet Sauvignon”