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All the Fun of the (Wine) Fair

Wine Fairs can be excellent ways to try different wines to see which tick boxes for you but do so without risking your hard earned cash. Read about one here and also look at the latest Tesco offers.

The start of the current Tesco promotions last week –more about that later – served as a reminder that the Tesco Wine Fair season begins shortly.

As a wine communicator, I warmly welcome events such as these.

In our separate ways both wine communicators and Wine Fair organisers want to help folk ascend the wine-related quality and enjoyment ladders.

Wine events –whether single retailer or multi-supplier ones – do so by encouraging participants to try (completely risk free) a range of different wines –  and, possibly, find a new favourite.

The Tesco version visits four cities and often recruits local wine folk to run master classes or wine walks at those venues. For example, the widely respected Simon Woods does so in Manchester – as do I in Edinburgh. Consider that as a “declaration of interest” if you wish!

Nevertheless, do take a look the Tesco Wine Fair website and I hope some of you decide to go along to one near you and enjoy its decidedly unstuffy atmosphere.

Back to the Day Job  

Meanwhile, the new promotion – that runs until 15 August 2016 – has its main focus on branded wines now that the Everyday Low Prices initiative covers many of their own label bottles.

Here are four I consider consistently reliable and, as ever, click on any of the bottles shown for an enlarged image.

Oak as a condiment – not principal player

Trivento Reserve ChardonnayThe Argentinean arm of the massive Concha Y Toro continues to produce enjoyable entry level chardonnay that makes exactly the right use of oak.

Gentle (almost certainly oak derived) vanilla touches are evident in 2015 Trivento Reserve Chardonnay (£6 instead of £8 and 14% abv) but they are not intrusive enough to smother the peach fruit or the Granny Smith apple acidity that underpins it.

Grey need not mean dowdy

Brancott Estate Marlborough Sauvignon GrisJust a tad bored with conventional sauvignon blanc? Then try its more substantial “grey” relative which, here, receives classic New Zealand treatment.

The extra depth in 2014 Brancott Estate Sauvignon Gris (£7 instead of £9 and 14.5%) softens the fruit element from green apple to red apple and adds a sweetish twist although the lively acidity is undiminished.

The sign of the black rooster

Piccini Chianti Classico RiservaAs the black rooster motif signifies here is wine from the original (“Classico”) area of Chianti – with many of the components we regard as classic too.

Bold, black cherry fruit is certainly one of them and that surfaces clearly in 2014 Piccini Chianti Classico (£6.50 instead of £9 and 12.5%) but, then, so does slightly chewy tannin and underpinning acidity – even if in a more muted and less complex way than in expensive versions.

Dependable fizz too

Non Vintage Brut NewInexpensive cava seems to be decidedly variable at the moment but here is a well priced version from a major player that ticks all the right boxes.

Light and fresh Codorniu Brut Cava (£6.50 instead of £10 and 11.5%) neatly balances its nutty savoury background with grapefruit acidity and floral apple based fruit.



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