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

Which cream liqueur wins 14-bottle mystery taste test?

irish cream liqueur reviews

A cream liqueur is a snuggly comfort cushion as the cold winter wind whips around outside. Now its getting cold I asked some of my girlie pals to help me blind-taste 14 cream liqueurs.

They didn’t complain. We’re not industry experts but we’re typical comfort cushion girlies who love a cream liqueur especially at Christmas.

I wrapped all 14 bottles in tin foil and then popped a number on them – don’t worry, by the time it got round to the blind-tasting I’d forgotten which was which.  

I gave my pals the rules  – drink lots of water – keep the glasses clean – be honest – write down your scores and your comments.

blind taste test cream liqueur bottles

Then get set, glasses at the ready .. let’s go.  One pal told me afterwards:   “I really loved trying all these. Who would have thought they could all taste so different, it was a real eye-opener.”

I couldn’t agree more. There wasn’t much to choose from in the scores once we got beyond the top five, but our girlies’ thoughts were oh so varied.

Let’s move on … here’s our humble, fun and slightly scientific, results. 

Continue reading “Which cream liqueur wins 14-bottle mystery taste test?”

The winning cream liqueur:

Specially Selected Irish Cream, AldiSpecially Selected Irish Cream Liqueur (Aldi £6.99) This was by far and away the winner. When I did the Big Reveal there were plenty of oohs and aahs.

Two pals had been convinced this was Baileys and were quite surprised. I thought it had a little note of citrus – where that came from only knows.

It was powerful on the alcohol, but not as much as a Baileys by comparison. One chum said “this is creamy but not too strong” and another … “very smooth to taste”.


Second place

Baileys Irish Cream LiqueurBaileys Original Irish Cream (several retailers, in Tesco at  £12) This is probably the tipple we all think of when talking Irish creams. I’d challenged all the girls to see if they could spot it when blind-tasting. No-one did.

You don’t realise how much of a kick Baileys has until you try it alongside other creams –  I blindly said it was a gloopy glug of alcohol with a strong final alcohol kickback.

One of the girls said it was  “stronger than it smells” which probably explains why she was gradually leaning into the wall.


Third place

Sainsbury Taste the Difference Irish Cream LiqueurTaste the Difference Irish Cream Liqueur (£10, down from £12 until December 8, Sainsbury, 1 litre)

 “Ugh” said one friend who didn’t like it at all – but her sister declared it was her favourite out of all of the cream liqueurs.

She gave a *thumbs-up*. Although on second thoughts, she might have been trying to hang onto the chair.  I thought the cream and some chocolatey notes combined really well. A nice fling with vanilla.


Fourth Place

Delaney's Irish Cream LiqueurDelaney’s Irish Cream Liqueur (£5.99 Co-op, 70cl)  This tastes of Christmas! proclaimed one of my pals who should win a Guiding Badge for cream tasting  dedication (if only they did them). 

She described this as having aromas of nutmeg, mingling with vanilla. When she went back to the Delaney’s after tasting all the others, she said she also loved its creaminess.

I thought there was more emphasis on dairy cream than alcohol. One girlie threw a curve ball saying she could smell and taste butterscotch. I tried again – and you know, I did too.  


Fifth Place

Feeney's Irish Cream LiqueurFeeney’s Irish Cream Liqueur  (£10, reduced from £12 until December 8, Tesco, 70cl)  Feeney’s won a Platinum award and ‘Best in Class’ at the 2015 SIP Awards. It might not have been best in class with my ladies, but it was definitely holding its hand up and winning praise.  

I thought it was a pick-me-up luxury in a glass, and our dedicated sipper said “it tastes of cocoa and is very rich”.  One of the sisters picked it as her favourite out of the bunch and said “lovely like Ovaltine!”

Though I don’t know what one of the girls  was doing, as she wrote “the alcohol goes up your nose”.  Well – this was the 14th disguised bottle in the taste test line-up.