If ever there was a good way to start the week, it's with a wine tasting. On Monday night, I was asked to do one for a lovely group of people at Soho House's West London outpost, High Road House. I picked a line up of current favourite wines from local shops and supermarkets, all delicious and mostly under £12 apart from the Champagne, which was just under £20. We swirled, sniffed and sipped our way through them, with more swallow than spit action than is strictly necessary on a Monday night. As well as tasting, there was lots of talking and laughing, which is a very good way to start the week. Now, next week is English Wine Week (full details here). If you're yet to visit a vineyard, then now's the time to do it. They're generally nestled in beautiful countryside, with wine on tap. Jackpot.
in the fridge: Cotes du Rhone Boulas Rose 2013
, £7.99, M&S
This is a rose with guts, made from a typical blend of Rhone grapes including Grenache Noir, Cinsault and Syrah. We're more used to seeing the reds from this region on our shelves but honestly, some of the most lovely wines I've tasted from the Cotes du Rhone recently have been pink, rather than red. And that's not just because we've had some sun. Expect strawberry fruits and a gentle kick of alcohol. And it can deal with pretty big flavours when it comes to food, including spice. We had it with harissa-coated grilled chicken and it was gaw-jus.
in the rack: Taste The Difference Chateau Tanunda Basket Press Red 2012
, £12 (but currently 25% off if you buy 6 bottles or more on all wines!), Sainsbury's
This is from a really smart producer in South Australia's Barossa Valley. What they've done here is blend Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec and even a bit of Petit Verdot. By putting the grapes through a basket press, the idea is that gentler pressing produces a wine with no harsh edges. Big tick: this is soft as a duck down pillow, with really juicy, sweet black fruits. There's a note of oak, too. One for anything that's beefy and been near a barbecue.
Peace out, winos x
Labels: Australia, Barossa, cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon, cinsault, Cotes du Rhone, grenache, Malbec, Marks and Spencer, Merlot, petite syrah, red wine, rose wine, Syrah