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August Pick of the Clicks

Despite being one of Europe’s most advanced countries for online wine shopping, the UK is still missing some great wines that are available that way. Pick of the Clicks helps you avoid missing out

This regular feature gathers together half a dozen wines I can recommend that are available online and fuses them into a feature established MidWeekers will recognise as my “Pick of the Clicks”.

Online services by major supermarkets are excluded from this feature (my other posts suggest what to buy from them) to concentrate on operations I do not often mention.

The price criteria have also been tweaked slightly to put a spotlight on the £6 to £10 range – just below our Sunday Best selections.

As before, pictures appear next to commendations as this helps to ensure you are ordering the correct wine.

Starting with quality pinot grigio

I always enjoy Slurp’s website with its relaxed, chatty atmosphere that – this time – highlights a terrific pinot grigio from North Eastern Italy’s massive Venezie area – home to so much of that country’s white wine.

2019 Galeotti Pinot Grigio Delle Venezie (£6.95 – currently, instead of £7.95 – at www.slurp.co.uk and 12% abv) satisfyingly captures what makes the variety so popular by displaying floral, apple and ripe melon fruit, zesty lemon acidity, light pear drop influenced texture and a slightly spicy background. 

Staying in that part of Italy

Once a mainstay of Trattatori wine lists, Soave’s position is no longer paramount because other Italian whites such as gavi and, of course, pinot grigios (like the last one) have gained prominence.

Nevertheless, when everything works out, soave is still terrific as illustrated by the Fattori family’s 2018 Fattori Gregoris Soave(£9.50 at www. woodwinters.com and 12.5%) with its soft, ripe, apple-style fruit, zesty lime acidity, orange influenced texture and hint of sweetness.  

Moving to Spain now

Rioja’s white grape, viura, (called macabeo in other parts of Spain) is a “Goldilocks” grape – when it’s good, it’s very good but…. (I think you know the rest).

Happily, 2018 White Rioja Lopez De Haro (£9.90 at www.christopherpiperwines.co.uk and 12.5%) is from one of those good times and will delight you with its soft melon, apple and ripe pear fruit coupled with oak derived smoothness, good acidity, vanilla influenced depth and an edge of sweetness that even contains hints of honey.

Doubling back to France for a summer red

Once the novelty of “Beaujolais Noveau” fell away, so did sales of everything else from the region.

That really was a case of “throwing the baby out with the bath water” because good Beaujolais is not just tasty but perfect (slightly chilled) for summer drinking.

For example, 2018 Beaujolais Villages Louis Tȇte(£9.99 at www.virginwines.co.uk and 13%) brings us floral, bright cherry and raspberry fruit with hints of chocolate, herbs and allspice, good acidity and a rhubarb style dryness.

Thence to Italy

Nero di Troia – the grape used in this red – is not well known but, in Italy’s Puglia region, produces wine that is powerful in both alcohol and substance – and, as such, is an ideal blending partner.

However, here the variety goes it alone and, in 2018 Corsiero Nero (from £8.99 at www.laithwaites.co.uk and 13.5%), delivers red wine with sweet tinged, ripe, cherry and plum flavours, good acidity, firm tannin, touches of clove and cocoa but only medium bodied texture.

And staying thereabouts

While buying groceries online is commonplace now, there seems more reluctance to buy wine that way – even though the UK is more advanced than EU countries with online wine shopping.

That hesitancy is a pity because wine like this excellent primitivo could so easily be speeding its way to your door.

By using appassimento techniques (drying grapes before fermentation) 2018 Primitivo Appassimento, Carlomagno (£9.99 at www.houseoftownend.com and 14%) provides rich, dense red wine with ripe plum and blueberry fruit, smooth tannin, touches of tarragon, allspice and chocolate but an edge of sweetness too.   

Finally to the New World

Let’s face it, South Africa’s pinotage can be awful. Bad examples often combine volatile components with unpleasant aromas but get it right (as here) and the results are brilliant.

2018 The Old Road Wine Co Fat Man Pinotage (£8.95 – currently, instead of £9.95 –  at www.slurp.co.uk and 14%) is structured around delightful dark, soft, medium bodied loganberry, blackberry and cherry fruit which is ably supported by lively acidity, firm tannin and appealing suggestions of mocha, vanilla and liquorice.

Join us again on Monday when we look at my current Top Tips and any news on Supermarket promotions.  

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2 Responses

  1. The White Rioja Lopez De Haro is excellent .. Majestic also sell it. In their Calais store, it is £4.99 .. (sigh!)

  2. Thanks for the heads up Jerry. That is really helpful to know – even if a trip to Calais seems a less than good idea at the moment.

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