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Posts Tagged ‘Morrisons’

When my grandfather passed away a couple of years ago, I ended up inheriting from him a share in the Wine Society – this is the John Lewis of the wine world: a mutual that ploughs its profits back into making good wines available at decent prices. If you are interested to know more, just have a look online.

Before Christmas, a friend of mine and I went to one of the Society’s tastings in London – exploring the wines of Portugal. It was interesting and informative – primarily because there are lots of indigenous Portugese grapes that I had never heard of. There were also a wide range of Madeira wines and Ports to try.

Verdelho is one of the four main grape varieties grown on the island of Madeira, and it is famous for making a medium dry fortified wine. So it caught my eye on the label of a South East Australian dry white on offer in Morrisons at the moment.

Rosemount, one of the bigger Australian producers, has created a (2009 vintage) Semillon, Verdelho, Chardonnay blend. It is less than half price at £4.99, until 26 February.

A medium lemon colour, the wine has immediate aromas of pear drops, apples and lychee; and after a swirl in the glass it has real cleanliness and freshness, and a bit of a tropical fruit rush.

It is a well-balanced wine in respect of alcohol and acidity with limey citrus flavours, and is evocative of fresh cut grass and summer days. Even though it’s the middle of winter, it’ll go beautifully with your favourite fish pie.

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By the time you are reading this we will be in December and on the countdown to Christmas.

If you are anything like me, schooled in the ration-book ways of dear departed grandparents, you will gradually be picking up treats for the holidays in the preceding weeks.

So it’s with a fond memory of Grandpa Perry that I’ve chosen a favourite red of his that will go very nicely with the Christmas turkey.

The appellations of Burgundy are famous for their cultivation of the Pinot Noir grape, and the wines pair with white meat dishes just brilliantly.

At Morrisons until 31 December there is a five quid discount on Maurice & Fils Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Beaune – a

£7.99 at Morrisons until 31 December

snip at £7.99. (I can’t work out if this is a clever joke, or the winemaker genuinely is France’s own Maurice-sons!)

A light, going-on-garnet colour, this 2009 vintage is young on the nose with fresh strawberry and cherry aromas.

Red plums on the palate, with a sherried tone every now and then, it has an earthy flavour, bringing to mind cold wintry woodland walks. The wine will complement (for my taste) the Christmas cake just as well as the turkey.

It’s an ideal choice for those of you who prefer a lighter but more complicated red.

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Here’s the column that should have made it into The Resident this week – sorry if you missed out on this little beauty…

Back to Morrisons this week folks, with quite an unbelievable bargain to be had.

I haven’t reviewed a Sicilian wine in the column before, but this one is a belter, given the price.

Inycon is probably one of the most famous brand names amongst the Sicilian wines available in the UK. And their President’s Selection 2010 Shiraz Viognier is reduced by a staggering six quid: from £9.99 to £3.99 until 13 November.

As it says on the label, these grapes are famously found in the Rhone Valley, France (read Syrah for Shiraz there), but there is also an old (nineteenth century) Australian tradition of blending Shiraz and Riesling grapes to give a similar effect – a very fragrant wine that smells much fruitier than it tastes.

When I attended the Dandelion Vineyards event at Ian Jarman’s Cooden Cellars hub on The Ridge earlier this year, winemaker Zar Brooks told the story of an English critic at a recent international wine competition saying about Zar’s Shiraz/Riesling that it smelt like a lady’s handbag and tasted like a gentleman’s wallet.

I think you get the same sort of effect with the Inycon Shiraz Viognier. A medium ruby colour, this has quite intense aromas. A heady mixture of red plums, pears and elderflower on the first nose, and then, after a swirl in the glass more spices – liquorice and black pepper.

No great impact in respect of acidity or tannins; and it felt quite balanced in the mouth; but it was far drier to drink than the aromas suggested.

This is a wine that will be quite flexible with different types of food, and will develop as it aerates, over the course of a meal.

On the palate there was a strawberry thing going on; vanilla too, and a leathery aftertaste.

Not a long aftertaste mind, but there was a very pleasant smokiness to savour.

What a bargain.

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The usual business of this column is to give you a hot tip from the latest offers round about.

But sometimes as a result of roaming the shelves, I come across wines that are such good value for what they are, and so drinkable, that it’s worth you knowing about them, even when they’re not on offer.

I picked up a couple of bottles for myself of this week’s recommendation during the recent Morrisons’ 25% off six or more French, Italian or Spanish wines – watch out for these half-case bonanzas by the way…

But even at the full price of £6.99, the Barbera D’Asti Superiore from Bricco Garelli is a snip.

The name is a good example of the ‘grape and place’ model that you find in lots of Italian wines: this one is 100% Barbera, and hails from the town of Asti in Piedmont, North West Italy.

Light ruby in colour, it has aromas of blackcurrants and vanilla. After a swirl in the glass the fruit is still fresh – there are cherries, both red and black – but there is also a woolly, lanoline smell, which suggests the wine is starting to age (its 2007 vintage) and get more complex in the bottle.

On the palate this is dry with good acidity. And whilst having a shortish after-taste (or length), it’s super-fruity.

Very easy to drink, it’s perfect to have with pizza, good friends, and just a little bit of gossip!

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So the first column that I submitted got lost in an editorial crisis at The Resident (nothing of News of The World proportions you understand).  I think that, in fact, the inaugural piece went out this Wednesday, but I haven’t seen a copy, so I can’t confirm it 100% yet.  Can you?!

Apologies to those of you who are diligent SWL followers – you might recognise some recycled copy…

I chose a red from Morrisons.  Lovely and round with lots of jammy fruit – here’s the piece:

If you’ve been waiting for a wine column in The Resident, well pop the corks! I’ll be here every week, giving the inside track on what’s out there in our local area for all you winelovers-on-a-budget.

I’ll be reviewing one wine per week – ranging around styles and locations. It’ll more than likely be on offer. And I’ll give a suggestion for food to go with.

If you don’t buy online, or head up to Cellar2Glass on The Ridge, then you’ll probably buy at the supermarket.

The trouble is that you can’t taste beforehand. So if you’ve got lots of knowledge already, great. For those that don’t, there’s time for a quick scan at the label before you’re on to the next aisle and the yoghurts. It can be hit and miss.

There are various factors that will influence whether or not the wine will be a good one – grape variety, soil and climate; vintage; classification; the winemaker’s choices about making and ageing the wine; and of course, your own tastes. Choosing well is about being clear about what you want out of your choice.

I’ve started at Morrisons, because that’s where I do my food shopping. I picked the Turning Leaf Vineyards Zinfandel 2009. This is a red wine from California, priced at £5, down from £7.79 – until 17 July.

Ruby in colour, it has blackcurrant and black cherry aromas with some sweet spice too. It’s soft on the mouth and well-balanced – dry, with good acidity and jammy fruit. Will go beautifully with a barbecue, or a lazy Sunday afternoon!

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