Wine diet. Well not quite. Wine and a diet? Perhaps.

Wine diet wine reviews

I’m on one of those diets that allows you to eat lots of meat, pasta and rice. I’m also allowed  limited ‘treats’ and mine’s a four letter word.  Wine.  A wine diet. 

I’m not really on a wine diet. I’m on a diet with glasses of wine.  But I guess you know what I mean. Dieting and wine isn’t the best combo, but on our mutual journey of discovering wine I still have to be a passenger information service. It’s my duty to keep on trucking. 

Now then, if you’re calorie conscious, here’s a thought.

A large glass of 13% abv wine (250ml) could be as much as 228 calories. If  you can’t visualise 250ml, it’s a third of a bottle. That’s an eek! and worth remembering when you glug wine into a glass after a long day at work.  

Think on. The NHS says the average wine drinker takes in about 2,000 calories in alcohol a month; and drinking five pints of beer a week adds up to 44,2000 calories a year.  To check out calories of your favourite tipple,  the NHS has some basic guidance  here.

Here’s some wines I sampled with my diet meals. They’re NOT low-calorie wines.  I refuse to drink faddy low-calorie wines.
My heart sinks.  Where’s the ‘treat’ in that? Enjoy nice wines, I say, just enjoy them with one sensible eye on the calories.

My wine diet reds:


Château Lalande AOP Cabardès 2013 (
13% abv £6.99 selected Co-op stores) This red from the south of France is a blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot, syrah and grenache. On the nose there’s plum and cherry fruits, a brush of lavender, a dabble with kirsch. Vanilla? Yes lots of it. It’s a nice drop of red but the aromas win out as in the mouth the spice and acidity zip past the fruit flavours.
(My slimmie wine-match meal was schezuan pepper steak with couscous  – pictured at the top of this blog with baked sweet potato strips.)

Château Pey la Tour Réserve, Bordeaux Supérieur  (14% abv, £11.50 www.thewinesociety.com)  A deep ruby red wine from Entre Deuxs Mers, it’s a typical Bordeaux blend, with  merlot leading from the front with a small amount of cabernet franc and cabernet sauvignon.  This réserve wine is aged in oak for 12 months, some of it new, which adds to the flavour intensity. Aromas of fresh plums, splintered wood and vanilla don’t dilly and dally; they have you hooked from the off, before leading you into soft flavours of ripe fruits with spicy flecks.
(My slimmie wine-match meal was lamb, baked with garlic, rosemary, leek and potatoes.)


My wine diet whites:

Reuilly Cuvée Nathalie 2014 (12.5% abv Majestic, £11.99 or £9.99 in a Buy Six deal) I just so loved this wine. This is a sauvignon blanc from Reuilly in the Loire and is made by Nathalie Lafond who took over the vineyard from her father. Sauvignon blanc sings here, but it’s not belting out signature tunes on full blast like some New World sauv blancs. The wine has lime and citrus oozing out of the glass, with a peep of apricots.  Crisp citrus fruits water the palate with an upright backbone of minerality. Delicious.
(My slimmie wine-match meal was baked cod with pea risotto.)

Most Wanted Sauvignon Blanc (12% abv RRP £8.99, Nisa, Booths, McColls and www.tesco.com) The team from Most Wanted has a vision to “get everyone to enjoy the world’s most wanted wines” at decent prices. This sauvignon blanc is from Hawkes Bay, New Zealand, and zipped and zinged as these NZ sauv blancs tend to do, with tropical fruits weaving in and out of the senses alongside citrus. It’s not an in-your-face sauv blanc which is good  if you don’t like your wines like that.
(My slimmie wine-match meal was spicy marinaded chicken with salad.)

Wine reviews first published in Raise a Glass, Trinity Mirror regionals September 2016

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

Summer wine: Six wine choices for when the sun peeks out

Cruset Sparkling Blanc de Blancs NV summer wine

It’s sunny outside. I’m happy. At the risk of tempting fate, I bring you summer wine choices – two sparkling, two whites and two reds – to enjoy while the sun shines and as autumn beckons.

Summer wine to cheer up  a staycation

Beau Beaujolais 2014 (12.5% abv, Majestic,  £8.99 or £7.99 in a Mix Six deal) The dog was having a holiday haircut (it cost more than mine!) and I spotted a Majestic Wine Warehouse across the road which tempted me. I like to browse wine shops, not shoe shops. I left the store clutching this beaujolais, whose gamay grapes are grown in limestone hills north of Lyon. It’s the basic style of  all the Beaujolais appellations and does what it says on the vin – it has fresh red fruits on the nose, is very easy to drink with a raspberry ripple and a subtlety of spice.

Beau Beaujolais 2014 summer wines
Beau Beaujolais 2014


Domaine de Sainte Rose Coquille d’Oc Blanc 2014 (13% abv, Waitrose, £7.49) This wine is a blend of four grapes, with chardonnay and sauvignon blanc having the majority share, and viognier and muscat tugging at the tailcoats. This is a lovely white for summer, so it’s a shame the summer was evading me when I tried it. It has a mix of peach, citrus and floral notes on the nose and then to taste the grapes deliver a touch of their own characters, zesty, creamy, and with flavours of both stone and citrus fruits. Very drinkable.

Summer wine with sparkles

Cruset Sparkling Blanc de Blancs NV (11% abv, The Co-op, £5.99) The price and the “blanc de blancs” tempted me as the latter indicated quality, the former indicated a bargain. This is a French take on prosecco – simple unassuming bubbles with simple floral aromas and a simple citrus taste from a blend of chardonnay, airen and muscat. It was more like blank de blancs but pleasant enough.

It's grand to pour a glass of sparklie Blanc de blancs #cruset #wine #winelover

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Brown Brothers Cienna 2013 (6.5% abv, www.slurp.co.uk, £9.95) I sipped this spritzy Australian wine with ice cubes (I know, sacrilege) and flavours are akin to a sangria but without the oomph.  The cienna grape  – created by scientists from cabernet sauvignon and sumoll – is at the heart of this sweet ruby-red wine laden with red berries and blackberries. It’s a pretty wine, and would be lovely with summer pudding or fruit-smothered meringue.

Summer wine from award-winning Wine Society

Léon Beyer Sylvaner 2014 (12% abv, £8.50) Sylvaner is  one of the main varieties in Alsace where it holds its head up higher than in Germany, where it is typically used in liebfraumilch. Ugh. This white has pear aromas, apple flavours, a hum of honey and  a savoury note. I’d cooked chicken stuffed with lemon and herbs and it was a perfect match.

Léon Beyer Sylvaner review
Léon Beyer Sylvaner

Altano Douro White 2015 (13% abv £9.99) Here is a bright white from Symington Family Estates which is better known as a key port producer. The wine is a blend of  fina, viosinho,  rabigato, códega de Larinho and moscatel galego, grown in the Douro Valley. It has vibrant aromas of  peach and pear and in the mouth those same stone fruit flavours sing with juiciness.  A decent acidity is a good counter-balance. A summer night must-have.

The society (www.winesociety.com) has won Online Retailer of the Year and Wine Merchant of the Year at the 2016 International Wine Challenge.

Summer wine … well, I like reds

Beronia Reserva 2011  (14% abv, Waitrose, Ocado, Majestic, tesco.com, RRP £13.49) This wine notched up several wins at the 2016  IWC, picking up a gold medal, Great Value Red under £15 and trophies including the Rioja Reserva Trophy.

Beronia Reserva 2011 wine review
Beronia Reserva 2011

I guess the judges liked it then.  Tempranillo makes up the majority of this blend, with tiny contributions from graciano and mazuelo. It’s a wine you just want to keep breathing in. There’s so much to enjoy on the nose, from cloves, to fresh red fruits, chocolate and a snap of bracken.  A hearty sip is rewarded with a rounded, full bodied wine, still-fresh fruits, white pepper spice and soft tannins.

First Class Pinot Noir 2015  (14.5% abv, £7.99 or £5.99 in a buy six deal from Majestic). This pinot noir from the Bio Bio Valley in Chile is great value. A  light  pinot noir is perfect for a summer’s day and when  the sun peeked out this week I bought this from Majestic. Characterful red fruits and pepper spice cloud out of the glass and in the mouth they combine to race across your tastebuds without being overpowering.

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