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  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 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

Barbecue wines: Four choices to enjoy come rain or shine

barbecue wines

SECOND guessing the British summer weather is a bit like a game of spin the bottle but without the kissing. But come rain or shine I bet many of you will be pouring some barbecue wines as you singe the sausages and panic about the burgers.

Here’s a pink, white, red and a sparkles – perfect barbecue wines, whether you’re hiding under an umbrella or dabbing on the suncream.

Barbecue wines:  Enjoy this pink with prawn kebabs. Treat them gently.

Aldi Cotes De Provence Rose
Aldi Cotes De Provence Rose

Aldi Exquisite Collection Cotes de Provence Rosé 2015 (12.5% abv, £5.99 or £35.94 for six from

It is the Law of Wine that you should enjoy Provence pinks in glinting sunshine. A few days ago this wine won the International Wine Challenge Great Value Rosé under £7 trophy.

It is a blend of grenache, cinsault, syrah and mourvédre and aromas flirt with strawberries and quince;  when you sip, you’ll quickly want another sip of this refreshing mouthful of summer fruits with a touch of minerality and a slight creamy texture. The flavours last too. They don’t disappear in a watery wish-wash of so-whatishness.

Barbecue wines:  This white would be fab with  Thai-spice marinaded chicken

The Society’s Grüner Veltliner 2015, (12% abv, £7.50,

The Societys Grüner Veltliner
The Societys Grüner Veltliner

My Better Half arrived home after a 70-mile bike ride (I’d walked the dog to the park – that’s the fitness differential in our household) and I thrust a glass of this  in his hand.

He’s hard to please but he gave me these adjectives “tasty, moreish, drinkable, smooth”.  I couldn’t disagree.  You might not be able to pronounce it, but I bet you’ll love this grüner veltliner.

 A nose-dip reveals aromas of peach and pear, and a fleck of white pepper; then a sip bursts with more peach and pear flavours with a nudge of spice which fizzles with the acidity to make your palate stand to attention. A wine with lovely depth to savour.


Barbecue wines:  Red is perfect for sausages, especially with charcoal scrunch.

Asda Extra Special Barbera d’Asti 2013 barbecue wines
Asda Extra Special Barbera d’Asti 2013

Asda’s Extra Special Barbera d’Asti 2013 was named Best Value Red under £7 by the IWC.  I nipped into my local Asda and there it was, an astonishing £5, quite incognito, nestling amongst the other reds. Go fill your boots.

If you do, you’ll find an Italian red which does everything an Italian red does. It is chokka with cherries and  spangled with spice.

The acidity glints like a mirror in the sunshine and it is best paired with food. So I did – a steak with a crunchy coat  of black pepper and mustard seeds; then the next day the sun was shining, we brought out the barbie and burnt some sausages. Yum.

Barbecue wines: Just let this English sparkler fizz away, sit back and enjoy

Henners Brut 2010 (£27.99, 12% abv is a multi-award-winning English sparkling wine crafted in east Sussex ( and is a blend of two traditional Champagne grapes, pinot noir and pinot meunier.

Henners Brut 2010 English sparkling wine barbecue winesBubbles giggle into the glass and the mousse isn’t for leaving this world in a hurry; aromas of ripe pears, citrus and brioche tempt from afar, drawing you into the glass for another deep nose-dip.  It’s the kind of wine I forget to taste as I’m so entranced with the aromas. Ah but not quite  – taste I did – and mouth-cleansing juicy citrus is offset by almond richness. Delicious.

First published in Raise a Glass, Trinity Mirror regionals May 22, 2016

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

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