Some people think that Southwold, that tranquil seaside town in Suffolk, is hopelessly middle class. So what? I love it. I like staying in the Swan hotel, with its great gilt swan on the outside, eating from the adventurous menu in the Crown, walking on the eccentric pier, admiring the strand of beach huts, and I really enjoy going to the Adnams Cellar and Kitchen Shop, one of those stores where you want to buy everything.
Especially the wine. Adnams’ choices match, I believe, the tastes of Spectator readers, being full-flavoured while subtle, piquant yet satisfying, altogether delicious. To draw you in, they have knocked a generous tenner off the price of the brilliant sample case. The first white is Basa 2011 (1), from the Rueda region of northern Spain. It is grown by Telmo Rodriguez, from two local grapes plus a dash of Sauvignon Blanc, and it’s lovely — full of depth and richness which would work perfectly with fish or roast chicken, yet delicate enough for an aperitif. Believe me, £8.50 is a bargain.
Hard to imagine a decent white Burgundy at £8.99, but this Les Liards 2009 (2) from the Mâconnais is exactly that. Mâcon wines can be on the weedy side, but not this; the vines have an average age of 45 years, they are kept almost free from sprays, and the result is delectable. A Burgundy you can afford to drink every day.
And a claret, too. A good red Bordeaux for under a tenner! This Château de Crécy 2010 from Entre-deux-Mers costs a mere £7.50, and it is a smasher, too, being a velvety blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc — often the poor relation in claret, but here giving lightness and poise. My late father-in-law loved claret, and it is a great regret to me that I cannot now send him a case.
Finally a remarkable wine from Wellington, South Africa. It’s called Phambili, a Xhosa word that means ‘moving forward’, and it’s made by a co-op of formerly disadvantaged wine workers — black South Africans. You may think this sounds like a worthy, Guardian-reading (or in my case, Guardian-writing) thing, but I promise you I would not recommend this if I did not think it was delicious. It’s made from the famous South African grape, Pinotage, with a splash of Viognier. A serious wine, for a modest £7.99.
Delivery is free, and the discounted sample case has three of each wine.
Prices include VAT and delivery on the British mainland. Payment should be made either by cheque with the order, payable to the wine merchant, or by debit or credit card, details of which may be telephoned or faxed. This offer, which is subject to availability, closes on 22 February 2013.
Click here to take advantage of this offer (subject to closing date)