February 1, 2006

Wine Blogging Wednesday #18: Wine Shops.

By Andrew Barrow In Uncategorized
The UK is blessed with a plethora of specialist wine merchants. At the last count, before UKWinesOnline was closed, the listings counted nearly 400. These range from the internet only merchants covering individual product areas (such as Champagne) or more likely countries (Spain, regional France and Italy are popular) through to general wine shops with an on-line presence and on to supermarkets and the national wine chains. A vast majority are happy to deliver nationwide thus offering a simply massive range of wines, beers and spirits to us all. Something many American residents will look upon with envy.

For day to day drinking I tend to frequent my local Oddbins and Waitrose supermarket. But for Wine Blogging Wednesday I wanted to try somewhere new; although it is supposed to be your favourite wine shop I selected a totally new establishment.

Philglass and Swiggot (geditt?) have a basic website that is tricky to locate and is not updated that often and operate three stores across London (Battersea, Richmond and Marylebone). The latter is the newest opening and the one I nipped into, seeing as it is located just behind Marble Arch tube station.

It’s posh. It’s upmarket. And you could spend a fortune. Little under £10 with the majority over £20. Premium wines from California, Australia and New Zealand dominate and there are some very, very tempting stickies too. In a locked glass-fronted (temperature controlled?) cabinet were a collection of top clarets and I spotted a bottle of Grange in there too.

A request for a red and a white for ‘around ten pounds each’ raised not a flicker of derision, which I tend to expect in up-market establishments, and a friendly guide through a few wines in my price bracket, of which I purchased two. The white I have yet to broach, but the red is superb…

Wine Tasting Note: Le Roc Des Anges Segna de Cor, 2004, Côtes du Roussillon Villages, France.
Purchased from Philglass & Swiggot £9.99.
Resplendent in a long necked bottle with a simple, stylish label, this tenners worth of red holds all I desire from a wine. Quite a dark colour and an aroma that changes from sweet brambly perfume to a more subtle and complex savoury edge. The palate is full and ripe, almost New World in richness but holding an edge that is distinctly French in its mingling of flavour, fine tannins and black-fruit acidity. The richness of the fruit is well countered by the tannins. The finish has an edge of liquorice and a port-like sweetness the high alcohol is noticeable, perhaps adding to the port-like feel. Made from 60 – 80 year old Carignan blended with Grenache and Syrah.
Scribblings Rating – 94/100

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