Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Sainsbury’s TTD Primitivo del Salento

For a recent family wedding I was asked to recommend an Italian red that everyone would enjoy, and that would also go along with the menu they’d chosen. I decided to go for Sainsbury’s TTD Primitivo del Salento, which I first got to taste at a Sainsbury’s press tasting last year.

Produced in Puglia, on the heel of southern Italy, it is actually a blend of the Primitivo, Negroamaro and Malvasia Nero grapes.

The Primitivo grape is one of Italy's oldest indigenous grape varieties, and helps to produce a wonderfully smooth, full bodied, red wine, with aromas of blueberries. On the taste buds to go along with the fruit, there is hint of spice coming through. This, with the low levels of tannin and acidity, all go on to produce a delightfully balanced wine.

A fantastic, fruit driven, yet full bodied red, I would highly recommend it. Even if you’re not a fan of red, try it…it may surprise you. It did my father in law!

By the way, they have recently redesigned the label to the one pictured, however it is still the same wine inside.

Friday, 25 September 2009

Valdo Prosecco di Valdobbiadene Marca Oro

I’ve written about several sparklings before, namely Cava and Champagne, but recently got the opportunity to taste Italy’s offering, Prosecco. The wine in question was Valdo Prosecco di Valdobbiadene Marca Oro, which is available from Sainsbury’s for around £7.

Haling from the North East of Italy it’sproduced using the tank method. For this process the base dry wine is placed with sugar, yeast nutrients, and a clarifying agent in a sealed tank. Secondary fermentation then takes place, resulting in a fresh, uncomplicated sparkling wine, as was the case with this one.

This wine had large, vigorous bubbles, with a straw colour. On the nose it presented aromas of green apples, with a touch of lime thrown into the mix. To taste, the wine was exactly as it smelt. A thoroughly enjoyable drink, there was a wonderful balance between the dryness of the wine, the refreshing acidity, and the fresh fruit flavours.

Recommendation: If you’re looking for a crisp, refreshing, uncomplicated sparkling, go for this one. However, if you’re looking for something a little more refined, without paying the price of Champagne, go for a Cava!

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Guia Real Rioja

I appear to have been drinking rather a lot of Rioja lately, though not by choice. There’s nothing wrong with it, but it seems to be the drink of choice of many of my friends! The wine in question this time is Guia Real Rioja, which can be bought from Virgin Wines.

The wine itself is not an extremely complicated one. The lack of any of the traditional Rioja terms such as Crianza and Reserva in it is due to the wine being left unoaked. The wine maker did have a reason for doing this though, to keep the wonderful fruit flavours of the Tempranillo.

A youthful wine, it has aromas and flavours of red fruit, cherries, and a tiny touch of spice in the background. It’s got a good balance between the flavours, acidity and low amount of tannins.

Recommendation: A good entry level Rioja, which makes it approachable to the masses.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc on the Cheap

Lately there seem to be a lot of offers around for one of my favourite wines, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. The amount of offers and the heavy discounting are quite unprecedented on these wines and led me to wonder if there had been an issue with the 2008 vintage.

Sainsbury’s is currently offering Oyster Bay with a third off, at a fantastic £5.99, to go alongside Makuta Bay and Nobillo which are on half price at £4.99. Sainsbury’s aren’t the only ones, Tesco’s also got Nobillo on half price, offering Wairau Cove on a similar deal, both coming in at £4.99. While at Wine Rack, you can pick up a 1.5ltr bottle of Vila Maria for £9.99, equivalent to £4.99 a bottle.

New Zealand had a bumper harvest in 2008, which made me wonder if this is what had affected prices. Decanter confirmed my suspicions. Due to 2008s abundant harvest many producers still had lots of full tanks and needed the space for this year’s harvest.

I hope the quality is of its usual high standard, but I think I need to taste a couple to be sure…any excuse! Will keep you posted!

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Majestic's Marvelous Money Making Move

The current climate has been particularly hard on the wine industry, forcing many to make cuts, look at their operations and embrace cost saving methods. However, it’s fair to say that the majority of this hasn’t resulted in consumer savings.

Recent news from Majestic though could be great news for wine lovers. In what would seem to be a response to the current economic climate, it has decided to reduce the minimum in store purchase from twelve to six bottles; following trials across the country which unsurprisingly, proved incredibly popular.

For someone like me this is fantastic news. I don’t always want to purchase twelve bottles, I don’t have the storage space, let alone the resources, but I love Majestic. Unlike many supermarkets, it doesn’t stock just anything; it carries some very exclusive wine, as well as the better known, premium brands. For wine enthusiasts, it’s always worth a visit – and even more so now!

Whilst over the internet, you will still have to purchase twelve bottles; you do get free delivery thrown in. Don’t know about you, but I’d much rather peruse the store than sit online (ironic huh?!)

The aim has been to make Majestic more accessible to its current clients, whilst drawing in new customers. I have to say, I think it’s long overdue, and a tactic which will see an increase in sales and new customers. Let’s just hope, that this doesn’t alter their view towards the stock they carry. That’s something I wouldn’t ever want to change!