The least expensive expensive wine?

Don Maximiano Estate, Aconcagua Valley, Chile

It is an extraordinary fact that virtually all the wine consumed in the UK retails for less than £5 a bottle.

Hold that thought and then stroll into a wine shop or supermarket and browse the wine shelves looking at the prices.

Even very ordinary wines are well over £5 nowadays, Muscadet and Côtes du Rhône for example, I even noticed a Costieres de Nîmes in Tesco for £9.99 – I assume so that they can artificially discount it later.

So where do people find these sub-£5 bottles? There are 2 sources as far as I can see; the very lowest points of a retailer’s range, or – much more likely – the wines on special offer. Continue reading

Christmas Cheer – QED

When meeting me people often assume that I live a relentlessly hedonistic lifestyle – drinking nothing but the rarest and finest wines.

This is especially true around Christmas, my students often ask me what I am going to drink over the holidays and seem to expect a list of famous wines by way of reply.

It is true that with Christmas approaching my thoughts often turn to the great wines in my collection and I usually start to plan which bottles to dig out. I did it this year, I brought the reds into relative warmth ready to be drunk and planned which wine partnered each dish. Continue reading

Exciting Chile

I attended a Wines of Chile tasting the other day and my impressions from the Concours Mondial wine Competition were confirmed – yet again. I really do believe that Chile is currently a shining star that delivers great quality and value for money wines.

There were many lovely wines at the tasting, some that were nice, simple everyday drinking, but some that were really terrific wines that offered depth, sophistication and elegance.

Here are three of the stand out wines from the tasting, all of which are also new and exciting wines to the UK: Continue reading