Mosel - Germany
From the Bottle
'A crisp, fruity and refreshing Riesling from the mineral-rich slate soil of the Mosel valley. It is an ideal companion to midly spicy stir fry dishes and Indian curries or simply serve as an aperif'
Price £6 -£7 Available at Asda and Sainsburys
First and foremost let it be known that 'I LOVE SWEET WINES!'
It's not really fashionable to be seen to like anything but brut in wine world and I've never really understood why. Off dry, demi-sec and full on syrupy thick dessert wines can be absolutely fantastic if they have the right amount of flavour and acidity to match the residual sugar.
Not only do they tickle the taste buds, but they also match so well with foods dry wines just can't stand up to.
On the nose this wine has gorgeous aromas of honeysuckle, lime, mandarin oranges and stone fruits and what I love is that all of those flavours come through on the palate as well! There is obviously some sweetness observed but there is lovely lively acidity that follows to perfectly balance it.
Although recently changing, most people think that you get more bang for your buck the higher in alcohol a wine is. Firstly, I guess it because it gets you drunk quicker (but hopefully we don't just always just drink to get drunk.) Secondly, I imagine it's something to do with the mouthfeel. Alcohol is one of the things we take into consideration when we talk about the body of the wine. More alcohol (and other things) equals more body. This wine at 8.5% is pretty low in modern standards but let me tell you now this does not mean that this wine feels thin and like you haven't got value for money!
This little beauty would be a perfect accompaniment to fruity and spicy dishes like mango/avocado salad with a chilli and lime dressing or a maybe a nice bit of chicken with a slightly sticky sweet glaze.
Rating - Buy it now!
Malborough, New Zealand
From the bottle
'... zesty and vibrant with tropical fruit, kaffir lime, lemongrass and herb aromas. The palate... generous fruit, juicy acidity and fresh dry finish'
Price £6.66 -£9.99 Available from Ocado, Tesco, Sainsburys Majestic* (*cheaper when two bottles brought in same offer category)
A recent survey by Laithwaite's Wine declared that Sauvignon Blanc is Britain's favourite wine grape. (Although I might take this data with a pinch of salt as I'm not sure their customers represent a truly typical cross section of society.) This grape variety originated from the Bordeaux region in France with the name coming from sauvage "wild" and blanc "white" however, these days New Zealand is probably more synonymous with it.
This particular expression smells of grass, lime, hay and mango. The taste is zesty, grassy, juicy and dry with mango hints. There is noticeable acidity and a slight spritz which arises from this, which might be a tad too much for some, although would be good to cut through something slightly creamy like chicken thai green curry.
Worth scraping pennies together for on the cheaper end of price scale.
From the Bottle
Expertly blended from the juiciest grapes of California's sun drenched vineyards. This soft., mellow red is bursting with berry flavours, delivering a smooth, fruity finish.
Price £4.99 (Available from Tesco, Sainsburys, Morrisons)
Blossom Hill is definitely not a brand that the wine buffs will ever talk about, but for the ordinary drinker, I think they are pretty damn good. They have made their name on producing very easy drinking, affordable, every day wines and this light bodied, smooth red is exactly that. This blend of Barbera, Carignan and Ruby Cabernet grapes, results in ripe berry aromas emanating from the glass. The taste lives up to the smell with the contents of the bottle exactly matching the label 'soft and fruity'. Ideal for those who like their tipple slightly sweet, cheap and cheerful., which is basically me.
Rating - Stop what you are doing and empty the shelves.
From South Eastern Australia
From the bottle:
'....our careful selection of grapes grown across the region has delivered wine with rich fruit flavours of plum and blackcurrant. Shiraz is a great food wine and this smooth, full bodied red has a warm spicy finish that is a great match for lamb and beef or tomato -based pasta dishes'
Price £7.99 (Available from Tesco, Sainsburys, Majestic Wine)
On the nose you get the spicy black pepper followed by the lovely fruity undertone of blackcurrants. Coming to the taste the spice is there as you would expect with a Shiraz with the fruit holding well. The acidity comes through slightly afterwards to balance. A medium bodied wine, with nicely rounded tannins.
Overall Rating - 7 Recommended