Wine news is good news as the days grow longer and warmer (we hope)

Prosecco SO organic Extra Dry Sainsbury wine news

I love this time of year when everything is so new again; there’s a fresh start as the sun warms and the days get longer.  Well, I’m not so sure about the sun bit yet, but you know what I mean. It’s a busy time in the wine world too, with lots of springtime wine news and things happening.


Wine news:Organic range from Sainsbury

Sainsbury has extended its organic range with the addition of a prosecco, a sauvignon blanc and a French rosé.

This comes on the heels of the wines So Organic Malbec (£6.50), So Organic Côtes du Rhône (£7.50) and So Organic Merlot (£6.50) which launched last November. Sainsbury say they saw a 25% jump in demand for organic wines last year, which they believe is driven by younger customers.

So Organic Prosecco (£10, 11% abv) isn’t cheap when you consider how much you can spend on a bottle of prosecco these days. It’s not a DOCG designated wine (the top style of wine in Italy) unlike my favourite prosecco from Sainsbury, Taste the Difference Conegliano Prosecco which comes in at around the same price.

Saying that, I shared a sniff and a dip of So Organic Prosecco with some girlie friends, including lots of swirling and chatting, and the aromas got a thumbs-up; pears, tropical fruit, a little bit of cinnamon (I don’t know where that came from) and freshly sliced apples. The label on So Organic Sauvignon Blanc (£6.50, 13.5% abv) declares the wine has “citrus and grapefruit flavours and a delicate herbaceous note” but I found the opposite. It is from Spain and the sun-dappled grapes have delivered a wine of tropical fruits, guava and a hint of nectarine. So Organic French Rosé (£6.50, 13.5% abv) is grenache-based and has  squishy strawberry aromas with a hint of spice.


Wine news: DOmaines et Chateaux range in tesco

Domaine Bariol 2016 wine news

Over at Tesco, a new selection from Domaines et Chateaux has arrived on the shelves.

The team searches for smaller parcels of French wines and once they’re sold out, that’s it, they’re gone. I read today that that is something called WIGIG – when its gone its gone.  It sounded more like a 70s folk group to me.  Hey ho.

My favourite of the new four wines I tasted was Domaine Bariol 2016 (£9, 13% abv), a white from the Côtes du Rhône. It is a blend of marsanne and viognier and has a nose of white peach and honeysuckle with a peep of candied fruit.

Those same notes carry through to the flavours and it was pretty much spot-on with my Sunday afternoon roast chicken and buttery bacon and cabbage.


Wine news: Cono Sur Bicicleta lifts its game

Meanwhile one of my reliable go-to wine brands, Cono Sur Cono Sur Bicicleta Pinot Noir wine newsBicicleta, is having a makeover. New bottles with a bicycle embossed in the glass are out next month with a nod to making the wine a little more premium. The bicycles are a tribute to the vineyard workers who travel around the Chilean vineyards on bikes.

Cono Sur Bicicleta Pinot Noir (RRP £7.49, Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury, Morrisons, Co-op, 13.5% abv) is the UK’s best-selling pinot noir and its notes of strawberry, violets and cherries are smooth and tempting.


Wine news: ALDI launches weekday helpings of wine

Aldi half bottles 50cl bottles

Finally, Aldi has brought out a new range of half-bottles for those weekday nights when you fancy a tipple with supper but you don’t want a full bottle calling “finish me, finish me”. The wines are Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir and Malbec and they are £2.99 for 37.5cl.

Let’s raise a glass to Spring! Yay!!


First published in over 30 Trinity Mirror regional newspapers including:
Hull Daily Mail – Leicester Mercury – Cambridge News – Liverpool Echo South Wales Echo – Daily Post Wales –  Huddersfield Examiner
– The Chronicle, Newcastle  – Teesside Gazette 
Birmingham Mail – Coventry Telegraph  – Paisley Daily Express 

Celebrate Tour de France with Bicicleta wines from Cono Sur

Cono Sur Bicicleta Sauvignon Blanc review

I’M NOT known for my fitness levels, but I‘m pretty good at running to a bar at last orders. So cycling? Not a chance. And don’t even think about me in Lycra. No. Don’t. 

But watching cycling is a different matter, and next weekend the much-heralded Tour de France 2014 begins in Yorkshire.
York prepares for the Grand Depart 2014
I was lucky enough to be in York the week before it prepared for the Grand Depart Tour de France 2014
York prepares for the Grand Depart
York prepares for the Grand Depart

For Chilean winemakers Cono Sur the bicycle is a symbol of the winery’s commitment to sustainability, with  workers travelling around the estate on environmentally friendly bikes.  The symbol on the Bicicleta range is a bike.  Naturally.

So it seems to make perfect sense that  Cono Sur is an Official Supporter of the Grand Départ du Tour de France 2014.
There’s  several wines in the range, but  Bicicleta ‘heroes’  for the Grand Départ are sauvignon blanc, viognier, pinot noir, and merlot.
And there’s plenty of mileage in each of them.
Whites: The sauvignon blanc is typically fresh and grassy with gooseberry and green pepper skin. The viognier is a perfumed cloud of apricots, tinned mandarins, and orange blossom. It delivers mouthfuls of bright peach. Very nice indeed.
Cono sur bicicleta pinot noir wine reviews
Cono Sur Bicicleta Pinot Noir
Reds: The pinot noir has a savoury mushroomy nose and pecks of spice. It is black-fruity rich with fine tannins and is perfect with roast beef on a Sunday. The merlot packs a velvet-gloved punch with plums and blackberries and just the hint of toastiness.
There are several supermarket offers around on the Bicicleta range to mark Le Tour. Shop around and you could get all four wines for just over £20 and you can’t complain at that.
Cono Sur Bicicleta wine review
Cono Sur Bicicleta

Tesco: Cono Sur Bicicleta Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc are reduced to £5 from July 2 to  August 12.

Sainsbury: Cono Sur Bicicleta Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc are reduced to £5.49 from  July 2 to July 22.

Morrisons: Cono Sur Bicicleta Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, and Merlot are reduced to £5.49 from July 20.
Asda: Cono Sur Bicicleta Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier are £5   to August 1.

To continue the Tour theme,  Sainsbury’s has selected seven French

wines to mark places “en route” which you can enjoy from the comfort of your armchair. Wear cycling shorts if you must to get in the zone. Here’s three of them … Taste the Difference Alsace Gewürtztraminer 2013  (£8) is a flurry of lychees and roses and a thoroughly enjoyable wine.

Taste the Difference Beaujolais Villages 2013 (£7.25). There’s beaujolais and then  there’s beaujolais villages  … this  is a step above the basic (ignoring nouveau here) and only certain villages are allowed to  class their wines as such.

This was awash with red berries and was a juicy fruity light  refreshing garden treat.

 Taste the Difference Côtes de Provence Rosé 2013 (£8) is a blend of grenache, cinsault and syrah. If you haven’t had a rosé yet this summer why not? This is crisp, dry, with a good bite of cherries and strawberries  from  Provence in  the south of France. Think of those chappies cycling away and just enjoy.

Les Jamelles Syrah 2012
Les Jamelles Syrah 2012
Also in my glass …   staying in France,  Les Jamelles Syrah 2012 (£6.49, the  Co-op). This dark  red beauty from the Languedoc won a silver outstanding medal at the 2013 International Wine and  Spirit Competition.  It has bowls full of ripe bramble fruits and is lush and deep and herby too.