Camper Vin is wine for campers and festival-goers. But what’s it like?

camper vin wine review boutinot

Camper Vin is one of those things you wish you’d thought of first.

I spend many a summer’s day in a wet field in a rain-battered caravan.  It’s no wonder then that Camper Vin – a box of wine new on our shelves – caught my eye.  

I’ve often laboured long and hard – gritting my teeth through the pain – of tasting wines and writing about them while rain needles play percussion on the caravan roof of our north Wales bolthole.

camper vin doggie
But mum it’s wet outside …

Camper Vin (13% abv, £13, Asda) is a box of wine marketed towards people who enjoy festivals, camping, caravans and  picnics. I like the word play and the box is designed with the image of a camper van. If you enjoy camping, caravanning, or getting wet at festivals, then what’s not to love.

Sadly I made a right performance of opening the thing – I’m one of those people who rips apart Christmas presents and puts together gadgets without reading the instructions first.

After  bit of a palaver (and this was probably just me being heavy-handed) I was all set up.  Now then –  about the wine.

Well it’s a box of  2016 chenin blanc produced by  Boutinot’s wine-making team in the Western Cape, South Africa. It’s a pale straw colour and the aromas are quite simple – apple and citrus – then to taste,  citrus zips along and is nicely refreshing. Not a mind-blower but good for a wet field.

The box (2.25 litres, the equivalent of three bottles of wine) is available in Asda from August 25  for about six weeks.

  • Pop your postcode into  this link to find out where you can buy Camper Vin near you.  Good luck!!

camper vin wine boutinot

Camper Vin: Some camping stats

  • According to the Caravan Club of GB, there are today around 130,000 camper vans and motorhomes on the UK roads (Caravan Club of GB).
  • A Visit England GB Tourism Survey says that 10.6 million camping and caravanning trips were enjoyed in England between January and September 2015.
  • There are over 1,000 UK-based festivals listed on efestivals.com this year.

Rioja wines: Some whites and a rosé for good measure

rioja wines reviews

If you think about Rioja wines, I bet you imagine a glass of smoky red rioja with lots of vanilla and cloves and spice. Who can blame you, as 75 per cent of the wines from the Rioja region are red.  

Let’s turn the tables and try a handful of Rioja wines but not red ones … some whites and a rosé too for good measure.

Rioja wines: Aromas of a herb border

Marqués de Cáceres Rioja Blanco 2015 (12.5% abv, £7.99 or £6.99 in a buy six deal at Majestic) This wine is produced from viura grapes – also known as macabeo which is a key grape in cava.

Marqués de Cáceres Rioja Blanco 2015 rioja wines
Marqués de Cáceres Rioja Blanco 2015

The wine has apples and pears on the nose and a subtle aroma of a herb border. A good sip and there’s more apples and pears and a refreshing acidity which just takes the edge over the fruit flavours.  

Rioja wines: A white with personality

Fincas de Azabache Tempranillo Blanco 2015 (12% abv,  RRP £10.99 www.sandhamswine.co.uk)  This unoaked white is made from a relatively new grape variety, tempranillo blanco, a mutation of the red tempranillo grape which is the backbone of red  rioja wines.

Fincas de Azabache Tempranillo Blanco 2015 rioja wines
Fincas de Azabache Tempranillo Blanco 2015

I loved the shape of the bottle; a wine with personality before I’d even opened it. Once poured, aromas of green apple, citrus and floral dance together above the glass, then in the mouth it is well-balanced and fruity with a bright citrus finish.   

Rioja wines: Concentrated flavours

Contino Blanco 2014 (13% abv, RRP £25.45, www.waitrosecellar.com, hedonism.co.uk, The Wine Reserve) With one sip, you can tell this is an elegant well-crafted wine and yes, the price suggests that. It is a blend of three grapes – viura (80%) with malvasía and white grenache in supporting roles – from old vines which deliver more concentrated flavours.

Contino Blanco 2014 rioja wines
Contino Blanco 2014

It is partially fermented in French oak barrels then aged on its lees for six months.  The winemaker’s hard work pays dividends in creating a fresh, complex,  fruity wine, with a citrus nose and a good blend of fruit and spice which leave a pencil-sharp juicy memory on the tastebuds.

Rioja wines: A pink to make you think

Muga Rosado 2015 (13% abv, RRP £9.99 at Waitrose, Majestic and The Wine Society)  Mmmm.  One of the nicest rosés I’ve tried all summer. The grapes? Viura and tempranillo are back again, but the mainstay is garnacha (60%) which is never backward in coming forward.

Muga Rosado 2015 rioja wines
Muga Rosado 2015

It delivers a summer fruit compote of aromas, though not sickly sweet strawberry syrup; but clean, fresh, breezy and uplifting. Ooo there’s a subtlety of fruit tart pastry and a hint of spice too; then to taste the red fruits stir the senses alongside a squeaky acidity which keep the mouth a-watering.

First published in Raise a Glass, Trinity Mirror regionals August 2016

Liverpool Echo – South Wales Echo – Daily Post Wales – Huddersfield Examiner – The Chronicle, Newcastle – Teesside Evening Gazette – Birmingham  Mail – Coventry Telegraph – Paisley Daily Express