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Six good wine buys from Sainsbury’s
Two months to Christmas and the supermarkets are already into the swing of their 25%-off offers if you buy six bottles. I know a lot of people in the wine trade feel these sell themselves and it’s a disservice to independent wine merchants to flag them up.
I see it differently. First of all there are people who can’t afford to spend a lot on wine for whom this is a real opportunity to buy better wine than they can normally run to. Many people don’t have a good wine shop nearby. You could say they could buy online from an independent but for some a £70-80 layout is well beyond the weekly budget. I’m constantly urging people in my Guardian column to band together and share the cost of a case but that takes some organisation and it can be difficult to extract money from colleagues and friends.
It’s also an opportunity to experiment - for which reason I’ve avoided the New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc offers in this selection which those of you who are addicted to will go for anyway ;-)
You need to be aware though that supermarket prices are pitched for across-the-board discounts of this kind - and the infamous ‘better than half price’ offer - which means that some of the original prices are higher than they should be.
That said, at these prices the wines below are well worth buying. Note a number are stocked in a limited number of branches and not all are available online.
My pick of the Sainsbury's offers
La Patrie Galllac Perlé 2011 (£7.99, down to £5.99. 425 stores)
A curiosity from south-west France - a light (12%) pretty, floral white with a slight spritz made from obscure grape varieties Loin de l’oeil and Mauzac. Should appeal if you enjoy Riesling or Torrontes. Drink as an apertif or with slightly spicy food.
Evans & Tate Split River Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2011, Western Australia (£9.99 down to £7.49. 237 branches)
I love the combination of Semillon and Sauvignon which smoothes out the sharper more aggressive edges of Sauvignon Blanc but still retains its citrussy freshness. This also contains a smidge of Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay which fills it out still further. Light (12.5%), lush and delicious with Aussie-style (i.e. Asian-influenced) seafood. Think Donna Hay and Bill Granger.
D’Arenberg The Hermit Crab Marsanne Viognier 2011. South Australia (£9.99 down to £7.49. 116 branches)
One of my favourite sub-£10 Aussie whites. Deliciously rich and opulent - would be great with crab (obviously) but also with mildly spiced or creamily sauced chicken dishes.
Marques de Montino Rioja Joven 2011 (£6.99 down to £5.24. 484 stores)
Rioja is generally associated with mature reds but here’s a very young, vivid, fruity example, interestingly made by a Chilean winemaker. Great everyday drinking with gutsy pasta sauces, sausages or stews.
Kanonkop Kadette 2010 (£9.99 down to £7.49. 137 stores)
A South African classic - a blend of indigenous Pinotage with Cabernet Sauvignon and a little Merlot and Cabernet Franc creating a sort of ballsy Bordeaux. Very smooth and satisfying - just perfect for a roast leg of lamb.
Sainsbury’s Blanc de Blancs champagne (on offer at £14.99 - the six bottle discount brings that down to £11.24)
I seem to remember a time, not so long ago when this excellent own brand champagne from Duval-Leroy was about £16.99. Now it’s ‘normal’ price is £22.49 so this is a pretty good deal, better than the cheaper offers on bought-in champagnes. Elegant, classy fizz.
*This offer finishes on Sunday 28th October and does not apply in Scotland.
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