Saturday, June 25, 2011

More cheap Waitrose wine buys

As I mentioned the day before yesterday Waitrose has a 25% off promotion across all its wines until Tuesday night.

Having checked through my notes for the cheapest bargains here are six that are available online and, in most cases, in Waitrose branches though the price may possibly differ there. You only need to buy six bottles rather than the 12 you need to buy online to get the discount though. Prices are adjusted for the 25% discount - all under £6.

Arc du Rhone 2009 Côtes du Rhône £5.99
A good gutsy Côtes du Rhône from the excellent 2009 vintage ****

La Umbra Merlot 2009 £4.49
It's been a while since we've seen Romanian wine on the shelves but this is a really good fruity Merlot that I reckon would be great with robust pasta dishes like lasagne. ***

Vredenhof Cellar Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, South Africa £5.09
A really good lush blackcurranty cab. Terrific for barbies.***

Matra Mountain Pinot Grigio 2010 Hungary £4.49
Yes, I know you can buy Pinot Grigio from Italy but this is a really well made example - brilliant for the price. Wouldn't pair it with French onion soup though. Try seafood pasta or risotto.***

Gran Lopez Airen/Sauvignon Blanc 2010 La Mancha £3.74
A decent basic citrussy white. Fine for a summer party. **

Nederburg Chardonnay/Viognier 2010, South Africa £4.49
Another good buy from South Africa. The lush aromatic viognier element is quite noticeable - not always the case at this price. ***

Friday, June 24, 2011

Majestic riesling flies out!

Who says people don't want to buy German riesling? The limited parcel of Burg-Layer rieslings that Majestic announced yesterday morning are all but sold out. Certainly the ones I would have advised you to buy, so apologies for being away at the crucial moment.

The current trend in the wine trade seems to be for having 'flash sales' - massive reductions that are only available for very short periods. The wine merchant Slurp was offering Taittinger champagne for £21 for about half an hour earlier on today instead of their usual price of £42.95 (which of course is ridiculously over-priced).

The only way to rely on getting them is to sign up for email updates and newsletters. Which is of course exactly what retailers want you to do - and nothing wrong with that. Suspect we'll see a good deal more of it this summer.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

25% off at Waitrose, old riesling parcel at Majestic

A couple of good deals this week to give you the heads-up about.

Waitrose has got a 25% off offer on all its wines until next Tuesday (28th), a great chance to buy slightly more expensive wine than you might normally feel able to afford. It applies if you buy six bottles in store or a minimum of 12 online. Bottles that would tempt me include (reduced prices in brackets)

Domaine Felines Picpoul de Pinet £7.99 (£5.99)
Domain Wachau Terraces Grüner Veltliner already reduced from £8.49 to £6.36 (£4.77)
See Saw Shiraz/Mourvèdre 2009 South Australia £8.99 (£6.74)
Cousiño-Macul, Antiguas Reservas Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, Chile £9.99 (£7.49)
and Chateau Musar 2003 £13.99 (£10.49 - expensive but a great chance to buy this iconic wine at a very good price)

And Majestic has bought in a parcel of mature German riesling which should make riesling lovers very happy. I haven't got my notes with me in France so will let you know what I thought were the best buys tomorrow but I note 3 of the wines are already sold out and that they seem to have already abandoned plans to sell them by the mixed case.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Good value Verdicchio

Following the great response to my article on Italian whites the other day there's a good offer at the moment on Sainsbury's Taste the Difference Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi, the slightly herby white that I pointed out was one of the best matches I'd come across for artichokes - along with other Italian veg and seafood dishes. It's selling for 2 bottles for £10 instead of the usual £5.99, not a huge reduction but (unusually for supermarkets these days) it's not overpriced in the first place. I'm not sure if it's the current 2010 vintage but 2009 would be fine. I'd hesitate if you find it older than that. Rating: ***

The same offer applies at the moment to the Taste the Difference Pinot Grigio saving even more (the usual price is £6.99). A cut above the mass of pinot grigios out there even at the full price - it's got some real character. Rating: ***

The offers apply until the 28th of June. And apparently both are the 2010 vintage I've just discovered from Sainsbury's

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Rioja offers at M & S

Rioja offers are two a penny currently but not all of it is as classy as the Rioja Perez Burton 2007 from Marks & Spencer which currently has a 20% discount on all Spanish and Portuguese wines. That brings it down from £9.99 - already a fair price - to £7.99 and if you buy three bottles you get a further 10% off (£7.20).

It's made by the respected Spanish winemaker Telmos Rodriguez and has a light, graceful, less woody character than many riojas being aged in French rather than American oak. I really like it.

There were a number of other wines that tasted promising but I can't totally vouch for them because they only presented tank (unbottled) samples at the tasting. But I'd have a punt on the vivid fruity Garnacha Tinto Navarra (£6.99 reduced to £5.99 this month)a modern Spanish red which I'd serve chilled and a very decent young Valdepomares Rioja Blanca (2010) - normally £5.99 down to £4.79 until July 3rd. Particularly impressive as it's made without chemical fertilisers or pesticides.

Friday, June 3, 2011

A great offer on Grüner

Austrian Grüner Veltliner has been a bit of a cult wine for the last few years mainly for its food-friendliness (it goes particularly well with Vietnamese food). If you haven't tried it think of other crisp whites you've come across such as Muscadet, Picpoul de Pinet and even Pinot Grigio - but it has a spicy green peppery (peppercorns not green peppers) character that gives it an extra dimension.

Waitrose has got a terrific offer at the moment on the truly delicious 2009 Domaine Goblesburg Grüner Veltliner from Niederösterreich which has been reduced from £9.49 to £6.99 - so good that it's sold out on the website at the time of writing but it is also in 155 of Waitrose larger branches. Snap it up if you find it.

Rating: I don't often give five star ratings but at this price it's a must *****

According to Waitrose who have just pinged me an email it should be back in stock next week.