Mentioned in: The Art of the Train Picnic

Tsantali Organiki Cabernet Sauvignon, Private Collection 2005, Greece

£7.99 Waitrose

From organically grown grapes from the Halkidiki peninsula in Greece, this Cabernet Sauvignon is really excellent. Typical blackcurrant and pepper on the nose, though slightly juicier than it’s more Northerly counterparts. The palate is beautifully savoury with a real herbaceous edge. This mintiness pairs extremely well with chicken tikka as it brings the herbs and spices to the fore. The wine isn’t too fruity so goes very well with strongly flavoured foods, and will definitely be my first choice next time I order a curry.

Royal Lochnagar 12 yr old

£28.99 Oddbins (though widely available)

My vote for best single malt in this price range. Just a touch of smoke, with lots of lovely dried fruit and some butterscotch and vanilla. Just a hint of cocoa too, yum!

Mentioned in: Fondue Friday

Tesco Finest Tingleup Riesling, 2008, Western Australia

£7.99 (£7.75 in a case of 6) Tesco

Wowsers. This Aussie Riesling is a real gem. Beautiful aromas of lime and wet stone, and also those rubbery gasoline smells that some (like myself) can’t get enough of. New World Rieslings (especially Australian) tend to be a bit too tropical and far too acidic for my liking, but this one is far more in the style of the German classics. Don’t be put off by hazy memories of 1970s sweet cloying cheapo stuff, I’m talking delicate, soft and brilliantly well balanced wine with loads of interesting (in a good way) aromas and flavours all working in harmony. It’s a good one for anybody watching their units too as it comes in at just 12% abv. I can’t stress enough how lovely this wine is, and it definitely has enough complexity to age for at least another 3-5 years. If you’re a fan of petrol/lime pickle/pebbles (aren’t we all?!) then whack a bottle under the stairs til after the Olympics and you’ll be in for a treat.

Sileni Satyr Sauvignon Blanc, 2008, Marlborough, New Zealand

Available in-store at Tesco, currently unavailable online

Lovely textbook example of Marlborough Sauvignon. Plenty of gooseberry, grass, and tropical aromas and flavours. Good acidity (not excessive like many Marlborough SBs) and a pretty lengthy finish. Does exactly what you want it to, and great to drink on its own as well as with food – excellent to cut through rich gloop (eg. Fondue) but would be perfect with seafood or grilled fish.


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