It’s a curious fact that the recession has increased sales of the more expensive wines. Merchants put this down to people being unwilling to pay for restaurant meals — and for restaurant wines, which can be three or four times the retail price. So they cook at home, and make the meal special with a good bottle. Most restaurants believe that the mark-up on wine is the only thing that keeps them going, but I rather admire those who charge, say, a flat £10 or £12 above retail, so that while a house white at £17 might seem pricey, for £25 you can get a really good wine.
That said, we still need wine for glugging at home, in quantity, and this is where our offer from Tanners of Shrewsbury comes in. All these wines are priced very nicely for what they are, and Robert Boutflower has wrung out extra discounts from his bean-counters. These are wines for parties, for everyday drinking, or for a quick restorative when you get back from work.
I loved the Argentinian Viognier 2012 from Altos Pampas (1), which is a little richer and fuller than its European equivalent. And at £6.25, a 50p reduction, it is terrific value. This would be great with seafood, or with Chinese, or as a cheering aperitif.
Soave, as I always say, is the standby of every old-fashioned spag bol restaurant, and is often entirely flavour-free. But the 2012 Classico (2) made by the Zeni family, is of a different order: ripe, fruity, yet terrifically refreshing. A delicious drop. Reduced by £1 a bottle to £7.20.
Now the reds. This Angel’s Flight NV (3) is made near Los Angeles (the Angel’s Flight is a railway that runs above the city) and it comes from the long-established Delicato family. Unlike many cheap American wines this is the real thing: deep, plummy, spicy — delicious with a roast chicken. And reduced by £1 to a mere £6.30! Gorgeous.
And you will also like the dignified Spanish Marius 2009 (4), a full, deep, damson and cherry-flavoured, discreetly oaked Tempranillo from near Valencia which speaks of cool bodegas sheltered from the blistering sun. This too is reduced by 50p to £8.
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