Aldi Grapevine Rosé

Saturday, August 17th, 2013

Sometimes, something grabs you about a wine: the aroma, the château, the winemaker, the flavour. In this case, my balls were tickled by the price: Just £3.29 – a bottle of wine for the price of a pint of beer. Yes, that’s what I thought, have I woken up in the 1970s? Am I the new Doctor Who’s new assistant?

With aromas of Ribena, Fairy Liquid and white pepper, this is a confected, and far from perfect wine. But, if you are on to your third bottle in the middle of a liquidised summer barbecue, and you don’t want to waste any of your favourite wines on the neighbours, it will float your boat. And you can stock up with cheap beefburgers from the Aldi freezer cabinets, add several bottles of this rosé and still entertain your whole street for £25. Get onto it for the August Bank holiday weekend!

Domaine de l’Arjolle 2008 Viognier/Sauvignon

Saturday, November 28th, 2009

Looking for alcohol to numb the pain of having to watch Strictly Come Dancing, I tangoed across to my wine rack to find something easy drinking, fruity and cheap, like Craig Breville-Toaster

Arjolle - give me some Thongue

I found this Côtes de Thongue from the Wine Society at a mere £4.95.  Made in the increasingly popular South of France, a region that most wine merchants are pushing as recession friendly gluggers, this stands out as something more sincere.  Cheaper than a budgie’s twitter, but tastier than a topless bird on a St Tropez beach, this smells and tastes of two childhood sweets:  Pear drops and pineapple cubes.  Don’t expect fine wine at this price but I’ve tasted many uglier wines at double the Roubles.  And as for Strictly – is it still on?????

Burnmore Reserve 2006 Semillon Chardonnay

Sunday, April 19th, 2009

If you like to listen to something achingly, teasingly left wing, politically correct, family friendly and yet, despite all that, extremely listenable, I can recommend The Chronicles of Modern Life by Henry Priestman.  Clearly I am not that left wing (although I am not 100% sure what that means these days) but I am over 40 and, if you are too, I defy you not to cast a wry smile at Henry’s astute observations on wrinkle gathering.

On the other hand, if you prefer to ignore the effects of ageing and address your sagging brow by drowning your sorrows, you probably drink too much Aussie Chardonnay.  I don’t drink anywhere enough so I was pleased to receive this Burnmore as part of a STWC crisp refreshing whites case (£60) several months ago.

Serious Burns unit - come my lairds and leiges for the cock a leekie is a coolin’

It is difficult to have high hopes of a wine that costs less than a fiver including shipping all the way from Oz.

As a Semillon Chardonnay blend, I suppose it is no surprise that it tastes like 10 parts St Veran and 1 part Sauternes.  Lemon and honey and much better than the price tag indicates.  If you happen to have a bottle in your cellar, I would drink it right now to see if it really will cure your wrinkly neck.

Tesco Finest Barbera D’Asti 2004

Sunday, October 5th, 2008

I have just arrived back in the UK after a short sojourn in the north of Italy.  Driving home from the airport, a Tesco visit was necessary to restock mundane stuff like orange juice and milk, and meaningless luxuries like food.  But I couldn’t resist checking out the wine shelves for few essentials.

In Italy I tried to sample a few local wines, Piemonte being the nearest wine region.  I had a couple of bottles of Grignolino, for example, the common feature of which was a slightly unpleasant salty after taste.  I know what you are thinking ladies – let’s go no further.


Prosecco Mush

Friday, September 26th, 2008

I’m always on the lookout for a bargain but I have had my fingers burnt a few times when trying to shave a few pennies off my sparkling wine budget.  The closest I have come to success is Freixenet Cava (although some maintain that this is only good for washing the dog).  Freixenet retails at less than £6 at places like Costco and Tesco which I think is a bargain….until I spotted an Italian mare at less than a fiver on Tesco’s sparkling shelves!


Colibri Torrontes 2007 Famatina Valley

Saturday, May 17th, 2008

My first experience of buying from the Virgin Wines auction site left me with a case of total tosh to distribute discretely amongst my sorry mates.

But I bravely (some would say foolishly) tried again and this time things look more promising.  This one came from a case of All White Delights and I successfully bid less than £50 including delivery!

Colibri - diversified from cigarette lighters into wine….for some reason

I am a fan of Argie wines – Malbec and Torrontés are my favourites.  The Colibri was typical of other Torrontés I have tried with lime, kiwi and rich apricot flavours.  Simple and unpretentious, I like it.

The insipid colour was paler than an albino’s bikini line, but it is a lively, zingy and decent (but cheaper) alternative to Sauvignon Blancs.  It ticks all the boxes for me.

Auction shows me up as a virgin

Monday, May 12th, 2008

If you were thinking of inviting me to a party in the near future, you might want to think again.

I’ve been experimenting with Virgin Wines and, having built up a bit of a credit in my Virgin Wine Bank, I thought it would be fun to try and spend some of my ill-gotten gains on the auction part of the site.  In concept, it’s brilliant, but as with all auctions, caveat emptor applies, in other words, make sure you know what you are buying…..

In a head-rush, I read about the Marqués de Valencia Gran Reserva 2001 and thought it looked a nice Rioja.  Voted wine of the year 2007 by Virgin members, the retail price was advised as £95.88 per case.  For a Gran Reserva this seemed cheap so I quickly placed a bid of about £65 and an hour later had won the case for less than £50.  That’s cheap for any wine.  When it arrived I understood why.

On opening it smelt a bit odd.  Where is the familiar vanilla/oak?  Why does it taste of petrol?

Marqués de vile emptier


Three Choirs, Midsummer Hill 2005

Thursday, April 3rd, 2008

Do you ever wonder why people insist that Sauvignon Blanc smells like “cat’s piss on a gooseberry bush”?  Exactly how many people have smelt a gooseberry bush, never mind one that a cat has pissed on?  What sort of cat was it?  Was it in season?  Male or female?  What had the cat eaten and drunk?  What variety of gooseberry?  Was the bush flowering or in fruit (or neither)?

I’ve just got in from a motorway traffic jam and I’m astonished by the exercises my brain races through while the car idles.

Can you hear them?  Three choirs…for some reason.


Condes Carpallo 2006

Tuesday, March 25th, 2008

As I sit here contemplating a meaningless friendly against France (meaningless since Signor McClaren failed to qualify England for the 2008 European Championships) I thought I would tip a nod to our new head coach by sampling a bottle of Carpallo.  Now Sr Capello is Italian, whereas this wine is Spanish.  Sr. Capello is a heavyweight, and this wine is a lightweight.  Sr. Capello is serious, whereas my comparison to a wine named Carpallo is inane and trite.  Then again, Sr. Capello has picked David Beckham in the squad which is a bit of a laugh and not exactly building for the future is it?  My final comparison is that Condes Carpallo is dirt cheap, whereas Sr. Capello is very very expensive indeed.  Which one delivers the best value?

Condes Carpallo…isn’t he the new England manager?????


In praise of the Malbec Society

Tuesday, December 25th, 2007

I’ve been most impressed by nearly all the Wine Society’s own brand wines.  Then I saw this bottle by “Hand of God” which seems to be ripping off the Wine Society’s brand – I had to investigate.

Malbec and Maradona