Last of the Summer wines….

Wow, was that summer?  I read that sales of Rose wine have doubled this summer which I find somewhat surprising in that I can’t be the only one who drinks it when the sun is actually OUT!!

As for me, I have bucked the trend that says ‘It’s summer, you must drink Rose!’ and I have been enjoying some more cold, red wines from the fridge, Cava as opposed to Prosecco and have been re-discovering Vinho Verde and the occasional Sauvignon Blanc!  Majestic has been my favourite wine shop and I am very excited that my local branch is having a makeover soon!

So, my top 3 recommendations to take you into the Autumn:

1/  Love the name ‘La La Land’ – loving even more the label – it’s a Tempranillo from Australia, it’s all ‘cherries, berries, liquorice and spice’ yet light, fruity and refreshing – and only £7.99 @ Majestic.

2/  Rocca Grimaldi Chianti, also 2015, the perfect accompaniment to meats and cheeses – I enjoyed it with a lunch time picnic!   £8.50 from Hennings Wines

3/  Quinta de Azevedo, Vinho Verde, 2015 a ‘green wine’ from the Minho region of Northern Portugal.  Retaining that classic spritz, this is great served as an aperitif.

It was on offer at Majestic and again a great find at under £10.00.




My new best friend Nathalie….

Whilst searching for a suitable wine to serve up to my wine connoisseur friend Nathalie this weekend, I stumbled upon this superb Sauvignon Blanc called believe it or not ‘Nathalie’ – even though as a rule, I don’t do Sauvignon Blanc……

So meet my new friend Nathalie….from Reuilly in the Loire Valley.

She is classic of the Loire Valley with a well balanced blend of gooseberry and lime but the bit that impressed me was the subtle after taste of honey – so not expected but sooo delicious.

Recommended as an aperitif and only 12.5% – I will definitely be drinking this chilled over the summer.  I challenge you not to like it.

Just £9.99 from Majestic.   (Although it doesn’t appear to be on their website, I am sure they will do you a deal for 6)


Whittle on….wines with curry

My husband and I have always been partial to a weekly curry – either in our local Indian restaurant where he insists we go on a regular basis to maintain our ‘VIP status’ as he calls it or a home-made curry – extra hot with chillies if cooked just for the two of us or a mild one if we are entertaining guests.

This weekend we were entertaining and my husband decided to cook Chicken Bhuna and also a Beef ‘Raj’ Curry (a Rick Stein recipe) with beef stock, coconut and sultanas accompanied by Aloo Gobi (a la slim Hairy Bikers) and a dhal preceded by dozens of poppadoms and dips etc and finishing with a delicious home-made kulfi ice cream.

My job was to do the research and find some wines to match (thank you in part Sarah Rowlands, friend, wine writer and educator) so on Saturday afternoon I headed off to Majestic.

The evening was a great success and this is what I came up with and would highly recommend.

To start and with the chicken curry – one of my favourite white grape varieties which I have personally not tried before with spicy food, the not so well known Gruner Veltliner -Austria’s ‘signature grape’ – this one from the Wachau Valley in Austria.   Weissenkirchen Gruner Veltliner Federspiel 2014.  £9.99 in Majestic.

The wine was easy to drink with a slight citrussy ‘tang’, some hints of mineral and a touch of white pepper on the nose.  Definitely a food and guest friendly wine and a bonus for me in that I was reminded what a great alternative it is to Sauvignon Blanc (Refer to Whittle Wine of the Week 22nd Feb ’16).  It is available in most supermarkets but you have to look carefully as there is usually only one variety on the shelf!

With the beef curry – Sarah recommended a Rioja Reserva – specifically one which had been aged in US oak (as opposed to French oak) such that it would give notes of coconut (as opposed to vanilla).  Tra la….I found two excellent wines and both at a good price.

Lagunilla Gran Reserva 2007 – definitely got dried fruits and maybe cinammon- £11.99 but on offer @ £8.99 for 6.  Majestic.

Vina Pomal Centenario Reserva 2011 -100% tempranillo, aged for only 18 months so still quite ruby in colour and fruity to taste.  £11.99 (£9.99 for 6).  Majestic.

Visit Majestic Wine Warehouse

The Periodic Table of Wine by Sarah Rowlands.  Available on Amazon

If you try these wines, please let me know what you think +

PS  Surely I can’t be the only person who enjoys a G&T with their curry too – my current favourite gin which is everywhere at the moment – Silent Pool – watch this space!