Tierra de Castilla - Spain
From the bottle
'A yellow colour with greenish tints, clear and bright. Typical Airen aromas on the nose with hints of greenage. On the palate teh wine is smooth, complex and persistent witha crisp finish. A well balanced full bodied wine that is very versatile with food.'
Price £5.13 (Brought from Budgens with 25% off deal)
Whilst it's true to say that evidence of humans making and drinking wine can be found to go back thousands of years (check out my brief history of wine posts for more accurate facts and figures with which you can wow your friends) the technology with which we use to make this glorious liquid has evolved somewhat. This includes amongst other things pesticides to keep the vines from being ravaged, chemicals used in filtration to make the wine clear and more appealing and preservatives so that all the hard work that nature and winemaker have crafted together does not fade away too quickly.
Now I, like most people, prefer to have the least amount of human intervention when it comes to food and drink, but this is even more so wine. Why? I hear the more inquisitive of you ask. Is it because I am against the slightly shady operation that means wine is not subject to the same labelling laws as other beverages? No, although this is a subject post worthy in itself, it is more important than that. Quite frankly the less stuff done to the contents of my glass means I can adequately rationalise to myself that wine is just fermented grape juice. Grape juice comes from grapes, which is a fruit. Ergo, I have just ticked off one of my five a day.
However, I also like things to taste nice and this unfortunately is where many an organic wine falls down. This, sadly one of these said wines. Actually be that might be a bit harsh. It isn't unpleasant in anyway but it isn't tantalising either.
In the glass it has a slight green tinge and aromas of green apple, grapefruit and melon come out of the glass. Nuances of grapefruit and melon can be tasted on the palate but it lacking anything striking. Feels clean and soft with an almost buttery mouthfeel. Would not be a good match to any creamy foods, due to the lack of acidity to cut through, but as a middle of the road wine would probably go okay with lots of other things. Good but not great.
Rating - Wouldn't turn down a free glass
From the bottle
The Cabernet Sauvignon grapes for this wine were picked from a select small vineyard located at the Judean plain. A rich fruity bouquet with hints of cherries, plum and a touch of mint accompany the oak and eucalyptus flavours. This full bodied wine benefits from soft tannins that contribute to its roundness on the palate. THe maturing of this wine in French oak barrels add complexity.
Price £13.99 (Available from Budgens and Tesco)
As a non Jewish person, the only time I remember noticing Kosher wine was when I was buying a bottle of two buck chuck from Trader Joes (a liquor store in America) and they were giving out samples. I don't think I took a sample as I was too concerned with getting my 2 dollar buzz on and that was that.
So when I noticed some in my local supermarket, I was all intrigued. What type of soil do they have in Israel? How does the weather affect the grapes? So, of course I had to buy the bottle.
Primary aromas of plums and black cherry, with a background of herbaceous characters. Eucalyptus, wet leaves and an overall forest smell could be noticed, which I didn't find particularly pleasant, but it wasn't off putting.
Dark fruits were tasted on the palate with slight tannins and a bit of heat, although overall it is well rounded and smooth.
I would probably give this wine a rating of wouldn't turn down a free glass, only because I feel there are probably better wines out there at this price point to scrap your pennies together for. Although if you do particularly require a Kosher wine, then this would be a good choice.
Western Cape, South Africa
From the bottle
Style - This rich, supple red displays flavours and aromas of spicy red and black berry fruits, together with a touch of vanilla oak, to give a vibrant red wine with a long, smooth finish
Serve - This deeply fruity wine is soft enough to enjoy on its own or...(with)...steaks, chops, sausages and other grilled meats
Price £9.99 brought on offer for £4.99. (Available from Budgens)
With a little elephant on the label this wine seems quiet fun on the shelf and urges me to pick it up. I do, and on the back I find that it is South African. Regular readers will know that I am not a big fan of SA wines, they just feel a little unrefined or something, but I am on a self proclaimed mission to find at least one bottle I like, and as such off to the till I pop.
Once safe at home, and poured this wine gives off aromas of black fruit, spicy pepper and oak. So far so good. I take a sip and am disappointed with the lack of fruit. It feels as if the grapes were picked a tad too early and therefore not given enough time to fully develop in flavour. Smooth tannins are observed however the mouthfeel is thin, and it is slightly too hot (i.e. you can notice the alcohol)
Rating Wouldn't turn down a free glass
From the Bottle
Dark red colour with well integrated aromas of ripe fruit. The palate is balanced and well structured. Serve between 14-16c
Price £4.99 (Available from Budgens)
Rioja seems to be one of the new darling wine of the moment. The one people ask for if they want to seem a little bit more 'knowledgeable' about wine and not just order a standard Merlot or Cab Sav. Even my dad has told me that Rioja is his current favourite, a fiftyish year old, 6ft4, Jamican born in Birmingham, not that you need to know that, but it tickles me when I think of him going into a bar and specifically ordering a bottle of Rioja. Anyways, this particular one is a blend of Grenache Noir and Tempranillo grapes, which combine to give a bouquet of lush fruits, slight spice and a hint of vanilla (from the limited time spent in oak). The taste mimics the fruity smell and there is slight acidity that balances well. Supple tannins are observed with a slight heat to the back of the throat.
Rating - Worth scraping your pennies together for
D.O Valle Del Maule - Chile
From the bottle
This noble wine is made from Sauvignon Blanc grapes. Heavy rains were experience during the late harvest of the grapes, bringing as a consequence a higher level of sugar than normal in these. The result is a wine with complex taste of honey, together with a special feeling of mature fruit.. Perfect appetizer and accompanies all sweets and desserts. Serve at 10c
Price £5.99 (Available from Budgens)
On the nose this wine gives off aromas of tropical fruits, peach and even a hint of candied orange peel., and as expected with a late harvest the smell of honey makes a welcome appearance.
Dessert wines are usually known for being very sweet and having a sticky mouth-feel, however this wine is actually quite light. This alongside the fact that it was slightly more citrus than the aroma would lead you to believe, made it surprisingly fresh. This was drunk with honeycomb and clotted cream ice-cream, however after tasting, this wine would actually be best suited to pair with something like a fruit tart... A good choice for those who don't like their dessert wine too rich or overtly sweet.
Although we are aware that you technically get less your your money, It is usual for dessert wines to be in half bottles and more expensive due to the harder process to produce a bottle.
With a taste rating of 7 and cost rating of 9 the overall rating is 7.5 buy the bottle.
South Eastern Australia
From the bottle:
'This soft, medium bodied wine has notes of citrus and peach with a fresh, lingering finish - Enjoy with creamy pasta dishes'
Price Brought on half price offer. Usually £11.19 (Available from Budgens)
I will be honest with you all dear readers and say that I am currently more of a red wine drinker. I started my wine drinking days, many years ago, with white wine and then graduated through rose to red. I have to say though that it was probably less to do with the colour of the wine and more to do with the fact that I was drinking basically vinegar. So, I promise in the interest of fairness that I will rekindle my love for all colours, and what a better way to start than with this wine. The aroma of thise conjures up memories of fruit salad sweets., with hints of citrus. The taste lives up to delicious smell with a refreshing acidic finish. Soft with a lovely lingering finish just as the bottle suggests.
Rating If you see this on offer, then stop what you are doing and empty the shelves.