Olly Smith drinks Sancerre—

Sir Roger Moore would have been 91 today, so Happy Birthday, Rog, and here’s to happy memories! Sir Roger had a passion for Sancerre. So in honour of His Rogesty, here’s a brief guide, and some zesty alternatives.

Great examples of Sancerre can command high prices and although my wine of the week is £17.50, it’s well worth the money. Some supermarkets have decent own-label bottles, such as Tesco Finest Sancerre 2017 (12.5%) for £13 or Aldi Sancerre 2017 (12.5%) for £11.49. But my philosophy on Sancerre is go big or go home.

To get a similar zesty wine while saving some cash, look down the road in the Loire to Haut-Poitou for wallet-friendly Sauvignon Blanc. Colombard from Gascogny, Spanish Godello, Vermentino from Italy or Austrian Grüner Veltliner are all worth sampling.


BRILLIANT BLEND: Cuvée Pêcheur 2017 (11.5%) £5.49 Waitrose. Kapow! A pink grapefruit meteorite of a wine.

MOST SANCERRE-LY: Exquisite Collection Haut-Poitou Sauvignon Blanc 2017 (12.5%) £6.99 Aldi. A zesty bargain that’s a ringer for Sancerre – same grape, different place.

SIMPLY THE ZEST: Pfaff Neubern Grüner Veltliner 2017 (13%) £8.99 Lidl. Stunning crisp refreshment with power and definition from a world-class winery. Snap it up!

THE GLORY OF GODELLO: Maga Karma do Sil Godello 2017 (13%) £13.95 leaandsandeman.co.uk. Peachy, richly textured with zesty pure flavours – this glorious Godello is must-buy wine.


Berry Bros & Rudd Sancerre 2017 (13.5%) £16.95. A glass with ample class to raise to His Rogesty. In fact, this pristine white made by David Sautereau verges on iconic.

This column was originally published in EVENT Magazine, Mail on Sunday, 15th October 2018