New Wave Wine—
When it comes to baked beans, I have a comfort zone. For years Heinz has ruled my world – and by and large I remain loyal. But occasionally, Corale, Duchy Organic or Whole Earth slips into my basket and the difference is palpable – if not always pleasurable. And where wine’s concerned, it’s well worth reaching beyond your usual safe bet for two simple reasons: firstly there are thousands of lesser-known gems and secondly they deliver sensational value for money. Added to that they are so delicious your toes will twiddle with joy – time to take the plunge.
I love Greek wine, I’ve been visiting corners of this fabulous wine-growing country for more than twenty-five years. The grape varieties to look out for include Assyrtiko (piercing), Malagousia (peachy) and Moschofilero (floral) for white and as for reds, Xinomavro and Agiorgitiko are elegant and bold respectively. Even two years ago it was tough to find a Greek wine under a tenner on the UK shelves, so I’m thrilled to recommend The Wine Society’s own label white wine which is sheer bottled beauty for £8.95. Sticking with Europe, Romania is the place to buy if you’re looking for outstanding value for money – Sorcova is an excellent label to look for, their white and red in Waitrose are superb for under ten quid. Another country whose wines really deserve more plaudits even if they are a little pricier is Germany – that Pinot Gris I’ve picked out this week is so fruity and easy it’s like a luxury Lilo on a sea of seduction. And it pays to look for specific places with a strong identity – my wine of the week is Catalan and delivers massive character for the cash. Another tip is to look for popular grapes but grown in a place you wouldn’t expect – Pinot Grigio from New Zealand is one instance of showing the grape in a whole new – and more impressive – light. But my biggest tip? Buy British. English wine has never been better I’ll be writing about it in the coming weeks, but with deliciousness right on our doorstep, what feels new wave now is world class in waiting. Get in while you can and take the plunge into unexpected excellence.
OLLY’S PICK OF THE BUNCH
Brancott Estate Marlborough Pinot Grigio 2019 (13.5%) £8.25 Morrisons. Who knew Pinot Grigio could taste this good? Stacked with lush tropical fruit, this is incredible with spicy dishes.
The Society’s Greek White 2019 (12%) £8.95 The Wine Society. Incredible value for a refreshing gently floral triumph of a wine from Greece. Taste the future of fine wine.
Pinot Gris Vom Kalkstein 2018 (13%) £11.25 Yapp.co.uk. This is groovy and indulgent as Toto’s Rosanna – and I can’t get enough. Peachy perfection with Chicken Tikka Masala.
Hidden Spring Chardonnay 2019 (11%) £20 hiddenspring.co.uk. Knocks spots of Chablis at similar prices and has all the impact of a peachy meteorite landing in your glass. Go England!
WINE OF THE WEEK
Agricola Fuster ‘Dardell’ Organic Red 2019 (14%) £8.99 Mix Six, Majestic.Perfumed and powerful, scented and sumptuous, this red is packed with fruity finesse and a tantalising tangy flourish. Bottled wonderment.
For Olly’s previous recommendations and Mail on Sunday EVENT columns, visit here.