Monthly Archives: March 2011

Bottle 4 of 12- Tero Montepulciano D’Abruzzo 2009, Italy

Since the weather has taken a turn for the worse this week, it was about time yesterday to break out the red wines from their Tesco packaging…

Bottle 1 of the 6 reds was a bit of a slow- burner- while my mum drank it alongside her spaghetti bolognese last night, I only had a little taste when I got in from dinner at The Bluebell (a lovely chic little restaurant in Chigwell- definitely worth a visit), since I had given blood just a few hours earlier (low blood volume and alcohol don’t mix!)

This particular wine professes to be ‘a smooth, medium- bodied red with cherry fruit flavours and a hint of spice’ best served ‘at room temperature with pork chops, sausages and mash or tomato based pasta dishes’. For me, at first it was a little tart on the palate, although I was assured that this settled down with the pasta, so I decided to give it another try this evening alongside the winter warmer of sausage, mash and onion gravy we had for dinner…

While, for me, the acidity remained, it did have a luscious spicy scent to it and this went rather nicely with our sausage and mash. I’d suggest keeping dishes to accompany this wine quite simple; steer clear of heavily flavoured sauces or beef to avoid overloading your taste buds.

As one of a case of 6 for just £28, I say give it a try for yourself.


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Bottle 3 of 12- Comté De Belot Buzet 2007, France

For a wine that claims to be ‘vibrant’ with ‘enticing aromas of nettles and grass with mouth-watering flavours of citrus and tropical fruits’, using ‘a traditional Bordeaux blend of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc’, this was something of a disappointment.

This wine was selected (from the 4 remaining in the case of 6 whites we ordered from Tesco) to accompany our roast chicken lunch this afternoon. Since it claimed to go well with chicken dishes, we were looking forward to giving it a go alongside our dinner, however, my mum, my boyfriend, and I, all found this to be a non- starter. With (very) subtle fruit flavours and just a slight crispness to the finish, this wine was bland and forgettable.

In a case of 6 wines that cost just £27, we can’t really complain, but individually, this wine comes in at an overpriced £9 a bottle!

My verdict: opt for the Wairau Cove sauvignon blanc (previously reviewed)- delicious and cheap at £5.24 a bottle.

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An Ark Aperitif

As a pre- drink before a wonderful meal at the Ark fish restaurant in Wanstead with the family, I had a delicious glass of Wairau Cove Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010, from New Zealand. On offer for just £5.24 from Tesco, this wine does exactly what it says on the bottle…

‘This refreshing white wine is bursting with zesty gooseberry and passion fruit aromas and flavours… a perfect aperitif or ideal accompaniment to grilled fish, Asian cuisine and colourful salads’.

I also detected a fruity scent of elderflower, and with a deliciously dry aftertaste, for such a young wine, this was a winner!

I thoroughly recommend!

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Tesco Dine in- 2 for £10

After a pretty stressful week, I really didn’t fancy cooking last night, and my indulgences in cake and chocolate throughout the week made a takeaway a pretty undesirable option too, so on my way home from work, I popped into Tesco to grab a pizza (for some reason I thought this was less naughty than ordering Dominoes!)

Browsing the ready- made aisle, I came across their Finest Dine in for £10 range which includes 1 Main + 1 Side + 1 Dessert + 1 Drink for just £10, so I decided to opt for that. From the quite narrow, but equally delicious looking selection, I chose the Spinach and Ricotta (a combination I can never resist!) filo parcels, with a side of green vegetables and mint butter, and for dessert, Gu Chocolate melting puddings (naughty, yes I know!)

Of the four bottles of wine on offer, there were two which are regularly reduced in Tesco; Dino Pinot Grigio and Dino Sangiovese, but I wanted to try something new. The third option was Leopards Leap Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot, which I have not tried, but it was such a gorgeous sunny day outside, and I didn’t fancy a red, so instead I selected the Tesco Finest Navarra Rosé from Spain. This had a sweetness rating of 2 (so quite dry) and promised flavours of red berries, and a ‘light, crisp finish’.

The wine had a beautiful deep blush colour to it and there was definitely an aroma of strawberries present, although it was slightly heady, which made me think of vodka jellies (sweet and alcoholic!) The taste was slightly acidic but this didn’t linger and the finish was rather dry, with a hint of liquorice (remember strawberry laces?)

The wine did go pleasantly with the filo parcels and the Gu puds which we demolished while watching Toy Story 3 (great film!), and I can imagine it would work well in a summer picnic basket. For me, though, it’s one of those wines I’m not entirely sure about.

Having said that, the food was yummy and it all cost just £10, so I can’t really complain!

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Bottle 2 of 12- Spencer Bay Chardonnay 2009, South Africa

While I’ve always had a bit of a ‘Marmite’ relationship with Chardonnay (I’m not a lover!), there was one bottle in the case I ordered from Tesco, and I was determined to keep an open mind.

Last night, when my sister and her boyfriend came round for dinner, since we were having a spicy meal of jerk chicken and coconut rice, we decided to give it a try. Given that the chicken dish contained my mum’s own home- grown chillies (which just about blow your head off) I didn’t think my taste buds would be up to much wine testing, however, the subtle hint of apples and the creaminess that was present in the first sip, complemented both the spiciness of the chicken and the silkiness of the coconut rice perfectly. The flavours really cut through the heat where other wines would have been lost and there was none of the unpleasant oakiness I usually associate with Chardonnay.

The bottle recommends that you accompany this wine with ‘smoked salmon, roast chicken or lunchtime salads’, however, unless you enjoy Chardonnay as your default white wine, I would have to disagree. If, instead, you maintain to anyone that will listen, that you don’t like Chardonnay, I recommend giving it a go alongside spicy dishes such as the jerk chicken we had (I think the recipe can be found in Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals), or with a nice hot Indian curry.

One disclaimer, at 13.5%, I would go easy on the number of glasses you consume!

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Bottle 1 of 12- Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico 2009, Italy

Having cracked open the two cases we received through from Tesco on Friday, after a little browse through our stash, we (my mum and I), decided to open this particular bottle simply because we fancied a white wine, and it was such a novel shape!

Having chilled it all day in the fridge, upon removing the cork, I was hit with a slightly oaky, almost Chardonnay scent straight away. This initially turned me off since I’ve never been a massive fan of Chardonnay, yet the taste was completely surprising; a deliciously fruity hint of pineapple combined with the subtle nuttiness of almonds, with a dry, yet creamy and elegant aftertaste.

There was no reverse label on this bottle, but Tesco state on their website that ‘Fans of Sauvignon Blanc will love this elegant, floral-scented Verdicchio from central Italy’ and (being an established Sav fan) I would have to agree!

We thoroughly enjoyed the silkiness of this wine, and felt it went excellently with the pork stroganoff we had for dinner. Whilst this wine is well suited to easy drinking, in terms of food pairing, I’d recommend a creamy dish such as a carbonara (sticking with the Italian theme), or an easier mid- week favourite, macaroni cheese.


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Tesco’s cheapest

My dad, in his infinite wisdom, thought that if I was not to be a wine snob, I should review one of the cheapest wines he could find me in the supermarket… so last week he brought home a £3.39 bottle of (simply named) ‘Australian red wine’.

On Sunday evening, after my mum had baked a delicious olive loaf (needless to say, I keenly tore off a slab to dip in balsamic vinegar and olive oil), we decided to give it a try.

Whilst the smell was pleasantly spicy, the taste was pretty sharp and acidic, making me swallow quite quickly. The aftertaste, however, was somewhat pleasant with the sweetness of red berries left behind. On second tasting, a lot of the bitterness had gone away and the rest of the glass proved to be rather enjoyable.

The label describes this wine as ‘a smooth, medium- bodied red with berry fruit flavours’. While I wouldn’t exactly use the term ‘smooth’, and I have yet to pin down exactly what berry I can detect, at that price, for easy drinking alongside a spag bol, you can’t really go wrong. While it isn’t the greatest wine I’ve tasted, I have certainly tasted worse for double the price.

My verdict…
Cheap and cheerful!

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