Thursday, 9 July 2015

AWEsome wines - or how to buy better wines

How do you know if you’ve paid a fair price for the bottle of wine you’re drinking?

Supermarkets, some online retailers and High Street multiples like Majestic have fed our appetite for discounts to such a degree that we no longer feel we know what the “real” price is of many of the wines we buy.

Read on and I may be able to help.

When I am not writing about wine, I am, very broadly, educating people about it. I am a member of the Association of Wine Educators (AWE), a grouping of 90 or so professional wine educators primarily based in the UK, but with members as far away as Hong Kong and Brazil.

We have just published a list of 100 AWEsome Wines (see what we did there?) – 100 wines chosen by our members on the basis of quality and value for money. These are wines that we, with our combined many years of wine buying, tasting and enjoying experience, are happy to recommend.

Quality and value don’t necessarily mean cheap – we have some bargain wines in the under £10 red and white wine sections, but also wines for more special occasions in the £10-25 bracket, as well as some sparkling wines.

Here are a few wines from the list to whet your appetites. You can download (and print if you wish) the entire list from the AWE website here:

Domaine de Mandeville Viognier, Pays d’Oc 2013, France – £8 from Marks & Spencer
M&S continue to quietly slip interesting wines onto its shelves. Viognier needs good winemaking to show off its perfumed intensity and soft, rich palate. Domaine de Mandeville introduces the grape brilliantly at a price that continues to amaze. (chosen by Kevin Ecock, Republic of Ireland)

La Grille Pinot Noir 2012, France - £8.99 at selected Majestic stores
Delicious and affordable fruity and fragrant Pinot Noir, bursting with redcurrant, strawberries and zippy acidity. Wonderful lunchtime red; light bodied, uncomplicated wine that can be enjoyed chilled. (chosen by Lindsay Oram, UK)

Hatzidakis Santorini 2013/4, Greece - £12.99 from Waitrose
Lemony, minerally, floral nose, dry with mouthwatering acidity, an excellent example of Greece’s best white grape Assyrtiko from the extraordinary volcanic island of Santorini. A perfect match for fish and seafood. (chosen by Christos Ioannou, UK)

Philippe Michel, Crémant du Jura, France - £7.29 from Aldi
100% Chardonnay, this clean, crisp, apple and lemony sparkler has great flavour and persistent bubbles. Quite possibly the best value sparkling wine in the UK. (chosen by Laura Clay, UK)

Download the full list and all your wine purchases can be AWEsome!

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