Drinks of the Month
My top drops in October.
October was a bumper month for supermarket tastings, my recommendations from which will be filtering through over the next few weeks. I also went to Beaujolais for a few days and came back even more in love with the region so it obviously has to head up my selection this month
Red wine of the month - Julien Sunier’s Fleurie
I’m still sifting through my tasting notes (look out for my Guardian column on the 17th) but one of the highlights of the trip was meeting Julien Sunier whose Fleurie I’ve always admired so I’m going to single out that. It’s gone up a lot in price since I first bought it (the 2021 vintage is currently £31 at Robersons) but it has a fantastic purity of fruit that is everything you want from Beaujolais. Berry Bros & Rudd has the 2020 for £25.95 a bottle which is worth snapping up.
Budget red of the month
There’s so much incredibly good value Bordeaux around right now including this robust, spicy Pavilion La Tourelle Bordeaux Supérieur 2019 which is £6.99 if you buy any six bottles at Majestic. (There will be more Majestic buys in this week’s Friday 5 for those of you who are subscribers to my weekly newsletter Eat This, Drink That)
White wine of the month: Chignin Bergeron Chez Les Béroux 2020, Jean-François Quénard
I was introduced to this wine by Patricia Michelson of La Fromagerie who also sells it. It’s a beautifully precise mineral white, but better still, it turns out to be the best match for Vacherin Mont d’Or I’ve encountered so far - and I’ve tried a lot! You can buy it from Vinatis for £19.34.
What are the best wine pairings for Vacherin Mont d'Or?
Budget white of the month: Morrisons The Best Soave Classico 2021
Soave may not be a wine you buy regularly but it’s a really adaptable Italian white that goes with so many dishes including creamy pasta sauces and risottos. This example from Morrisons is particularly good value and it’s just 12%. And if you buy 3 at the moment you can save 25% on them.
Sparkling wine of the month - and, surprisingly, it's prosecco!
I don’t often find myself recommending a prosecco but as you may have noticed from Match of the Week a couple of weeks back there’s a new breed that is made in a much drier style. Not that that will necessarily endear them to prosecco lovers for whom its touch of sweetness - and modest price - constitutes its appeal. The new wave proseccos are a good deal more expensive. If you’re after a bargain and like a slightly drier style I suggest The Wine Society’s own fresh, appley Prosecco for £10.95
Sweet wine of the month - Tokaji
There are always more dessert wines for sale in the run-up to Christmas but this year’s selection seems especially strong. I particularly like Tokaji at this time of year and came across a great one in Tesco, the St Stephan’s Crown Tokaji 2014 which has a gorgeous deep dried apricot flavour that would be great with one of those lighter Christmas puddings - or a chunk of Stilton come to that. It’s £18 in Tesco which isn’t cheap but good value for a wine of this quality.
Oddball of the month: Soif! Les Funambules 2020
There doesn't seem to be that much of this drink, a quirky blend of grapes and apples that isn’t quite like wine or cider but exuberantly bright and refreshing and at 8% modest in alcohol. You can buy it for £20.50 from The Good Wine Shop, or £21.50 Natty Boy Wines, and it's imported by Vine Trail in Bristol. Soif is the perfect name for it.
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