Skip to Content


February Mini-bar

13 February 2013

2:46 PM

13 February 2013

2:46 PM

Around twice a year, I visit the Swig world HQ (an office in Chiswick, west London) and taste some of the most delicious wines known to humanity. Next day I consult my notes, and realise that it is going to be almost impossible to make a choice. They are too good, too delectable and such amazing value that anyone would want to snap up cases of them all. But maybe if you try this selection — two South African and two Italian wines — you will be tempted to browse Swig’s catalogue and find even more treasures.

Take this delicious 2012 Sauvignon Blanc made in Constantia, South Africa, at Hussey’s Vlei (1). You will have to buy it by mail order, because few of us could pronounce its name, Buitenverwachting, meaning ‘beyond expectation’. It is like a combination of the finest French and NZ Sauvignons, having the steely firmness of the one and the deep fruitiness of the other. A wonderful wine, wonderfully reduced by more than £30 a case to £9.95 a bottle.

Even more stunning is Moment of Silence 2011 (2), a blend from the Cape. This includes Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay and Viognier, and is very lightly oaked, just enough to bring out the luscious creaminess which offsets the peach and citric, tangerine flavours. It is dry and perfectly balanced. It is — I hate to use this word, but sometimes you have to — elegant. Glorious. There’s a wax seal on the neck, but don’t let that put you off. Reduced by almost £18 a case to £13.50 a bottle, and worth every penny.

Cabernet Franc is a minor part of claret, and a major part of some Loire reds. On its own it is slaty, almost like sucking a pencil. But it can be juicy and fleshy, as this terrific Terra Musa 2010 (3) shows. It is a plumptious, velvety wine packed with flavour, perfect with roast meats and casseroles. Reduced by an amazing £36 a case to just £8.50.

Finally, few people here realise that Valpolicella, once the staple of the wine list in moderate Italian restaurants, is in fact one of the world’s great wines. This Monte Santoccio 2009 (4) from Nicola Ferrari is made by the ‘ripasso’ method, which means giving the wine a secondary fermentation through contact with warm Amarone grape skins. It is then aged in oak. The result is deep, dark, with flavours of plums and sour cherries and spices. Another wonderful drop, and reduced by over £42 a case to a frankly incredible £14.95.

Delivery is free, and there is a fabulous mixed case including three of each.

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 15 March 2013.

Click here to take advantage of this offer (subject to closing date)

Show comments