November 25, 2013

Favourite Wintertime Wines

By In Articles, Food and Wine, Wine Notes
A challenge – pick three wines (one red, one white and a sparkling) as your ‘Favourite Wintertime Wines’ with the stipulation that they must all retail for under £10. So I took me off to Waitrose…

The sparkling was perhaps the most problematic. Most under-a-tenner bottles of bubbly I wouldn’t drink; I really don’t rate many. And those I do enjoy are annoyingly just above that £10 rice point.

On offer last week (and I believe until a few days into December) is the Excelsior Cava 2011 from Freixenet. Unlike their famous and distinctive, black-bottled, Cordón Negro Cava, the Excelsior is a single vintage wine. Everyone needs a glass of something sparkling – either as a party wine or to toast in the New Year. No it doesnt have quite the cache of a ‘proper’ Champagne but most will just enjoy the froth, the fizz and the fun that a glass or two will impart. This would also be grand with party canapés especially those seafood or fish–based. It also does a fine job with fish and chips.

Photo Gallery: Favourite Wintertime Wines

The white wasn’t any problem at all in selecting; I’ve been banging on about this Italian Pecorino Terre di Chieti on twitter for months. Its usual price is £8.75 I think (or there abouts) but I’ve seen it on offer for 2 for £12 earlier in the year.

This has the mouth-weight and body to enjoy with all manner of foods. I’d be happy to drink this with the main-event Turkey or Christmas Eve fish dishes. Equally with Boxing Day leftovers or creamy pasta dishes created to use up the last of the Turkey. The only thing I don’t really care for is the cartoony label.

Pecorino is also the name of a cheese and comes from the Italian ‘pecora’ meaning sheep. Local legend is that sheep would often eat the grapes while moving through the vineyards, and that is how this full, floral and delicious wine got its name!”

I went for a New Zealand Pinot Noir for the red bottle selection. A vibrant, almost velvety palate and a punchy, raspberry-edged juicy aroma are to be found within the Ara Marlborough Pinot Noir, 2011 bottle. Again this is on offer at the moment to bring it way under a tenner and even at full price it isn’t going to bust the wallet. Again a versatile wine when it comes to food – some prefer a red for the Turkey (this would be grand) or roast beef or duck but also consider for matching with cold meats and pies, meaty pizzas and cheese-based pasta dishes. Divine!

Three wines all under that important £10 a bottle price limit. You might have to be quick to secure the Pinot Noir and the Cava at that price but even at ‘full’ price I don’t believe you will be disappointed.

The Favourite Wintertime Wines challenge was set by Most Wanted, the lifestyle magazine from the UK’s #1 voucher site, Why Waitrose? Simply because they have a good range of wines, and it happens to be the only supermarket within walking distance of where I live!

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  1. Darren Lavert January 15, 2014

    The Ara Marlborough is a great recommendation from the vine capital. Wife birthday was today and we truly enjoy it… worth every penny (and the price was ridiculous…, but don’t tell her!)



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