A recent study claimed that we couldn't tell the difference between cheap wine and expensive wine. When asked to decide which was which, only 50% of respondents got it right. Weird, because in my experience, give someone a £5 bottle and a £10 bottle and most people can differentiate. We might not always prefer the more expensive wine, but can tell the difference between the two. I tested this out on a few friends last week (I promise I am not always this dull) with a £5 bottle of Pinot Grigio and a £10 bottle of Gavi. Both Italian white wines, both delicious: tasted 'blind' the Gavi was easily picked out as the more expensive wine, with better weight and flavour. Go above £10 - not something I do very often, tbh - and it becomes a question of personal taste as much as anything. The average price of a bottle of wine in the UK is still under £5. Spend a few quid more and you'll get much better value for money. Spend over £10 and I'll be asking you round for dinner.
This week's white in the fridge: Araldica, La Monetta Gavi di Gavi 2009, £9.99, Waitrose
This is the very same wine mentioned above. I liked it so much, I bought another bottle at the weekend. Made from the Cortese grape grown in the Gavi region in Piedmont, Italy. It is a really sunny, crisp wine; refreshingly different from Chardonnay and more interesting than the ubiquitous Pinot Grigio. I drank a glass of this whilst deciding how long I could put off packing. As you can see, I chose posting over packing.
This week's red on the side: Chateau Montesquieu 2008, £8.55, The Solent Cellar
A frequent dinner guest, this is a brilliant example of how spending a few extra quid gives you much better value for money at this level. This good-looking red is from the Cotes du Roussillon region in the South of France, 50% Grenache, 30% Syrah and 20% Carignan. Sometimes the sum is greater than the parts: the Grenache has great fleshy fruit, the Syrah adds backbone, depth and tannin and the Carignan brings colour to the party. Aged in French oak for 10 months, this is a little smarty-pants of a wine. Brilliant with Shepherd's Pie. Ketchup essential.
Chin chin x
Labels: 2008, 2009, carignan, France, Gavi, grenache, Independents, Italy, red wine, Syrah, Waitrose, white wine