Festive fizz and great value supermarket reds to see in a Happy New Year

28 Dec

The festive season started with some extraordinary fizz for The Wine Wanderers, continuing with a few excellent red wines which have reminded us what spectacular value the high street can offer.

 
First, the fizz – and none are more festive to look at than the exquisite hand-painted bottles and flutes which distinguish Perrier Jouet(pronounce that Jou-ETT), the favourite Champagne of Grace Kelly and Coco Chanel.   The brand has just taken over the Winter Garden of The Sanderson, one of London’s buzziest drinking destinations, for a season of old-fashioned fizz served the old-fashioned way.   For £65 a couple can enjoy a glass each of the spectacular Belle Epoque 2007 with a taste of Oscietra caviar, a pairing that always works.   The non-vintage Grand Brut is only £15 a glass, but frankly no match for the spectacular Belle Epoque.

We saw in Christmas Day with more fizz, another spectacular vintage bottle from Veuve Cliquot, but the star of our feast was inevitably a rich red wine.   Sainsburys  Taste the Difference 2012 Amarone made a spectacular partner for our turkey and is worth grabbing while on promotion at £14 until New Years Day.   Had we feasted on beef, we would have paired it with the Waitrose In Partnership Reserve Shiraz from St. Hallett, an elegant drop at £11.99.

It’s hard to beat supermarkets on price for still wines, given their buying power, and the quality you can get for under £10 is staggering.   One of the best reds we’ve tasted this year was pinotage from Morrisons. The M Signature label was worth every penny of £6.99 for a rich red which Decanter rightly awarded Gold, and the everyday value version which just picked up its own medal in the International Wine & Spirit Competition is ridiculously good value at  £4.  This is a store whose own-label wine(like its meat department, also to be recommended) should be regularly checked out – out of nine new medals they won in the IWSC, seven were for wines costing less than £5; they include the excellent Morrisons own-label South African merlot which took Silver.

 
Lidl is no longer a well-kept secret, especially for lovers of affordable luxury, and we’ve greatly enjoyed being able to buy Californian zinfandel, one of our favourite grapes, there for £4.99 a bottle, less than half what a red this good should cost, while stocks last.   The only problem with Lidl wines is that when they’re gone they’re gone, but their huge buying power means a great new raft of fine wine bargains will always follow; this store also had its fair share of IWSC winners.

 

Of course judging wine is subjective, and what shocks the experts can still please the punters.   The Wine Wanderers’ guilty supermarket pleasure of the year was Apothic Red, a blend of zinfandel, merlot and petite syrah which has been sweetened up in production by industrial wine-makers Gallo, but to us seems the essence of the California we once lived in enjoying affordable but well-made homegrown wines, whence this blend came.  Six out of seven Sainsburys shoppers who reviewed it loved it too( though one agreed with wine critics who deplore the added sugar), and it’s on promotion there at £8 till New Years Day.  You may also find it at ASDA and Tesco.

Advertisements

One Response to “Festive fizz and great value supermarket reds to see in a Happy New Year”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Festive fizz and great value supermarket reds to see in a Happy New Year | thewinewanderers - December 28, 2015

    […] Source: Festive fizz and great value supermarket reds to see in a Happy New Year […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: