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Recommendations, today, each with a £1 discount.

A field blend and prosecco with slightly reduced abv get the nod.

As a new government takes office, changes are certainly in the air.

Altering the planned 2025 alcohol duty proposals will not be top of their in-tray, but many in the wine trade will lobby for delay at least.

Meanwhile, Tesco seem to be covering their options with the abv of the Finest Prosecco featured today.

So, I open this morning with a closer look at that wine.

However, the French (also facing considerable change) do have the expression “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose”.

In a minor way, today’s second wine echoes that theme.

It sees a process, long abandoned in many vineyards, actually delivering the goods with an excellent example from Spain.

I hope that both wines impress and help to cushion you against any negative effects a changing world may throw at you.

Once again, pictures and hyperlinks are included where possible to make it easier to track down the wine in question.

Looking ahead to 2025

Finest Prosecco (£7 – instead of £8 until 15 July with a Tesco Clubcard and 10.5% abv):

In this site’s Comments Section, MidWeeker Paul has kept us up to date with the alcohol duty changes currently planned for next year.

Anticipating those proposals and their thrust towards lower alcohol wines, Tesco currently offer this 10.5% prosecco.

Happily, it is a pleasingly sound option – and great value at its current price while, understandably, never scaling the heights of complexity.

Its cooked apple aromas lead enticingly into coyly subdued pear, apricot and melon flavours.

These are supported by small, busy bubbles, acidic freshness and a creamy but mineral influenced texture.

Here is a hyperlink to the relevant item on the retailer’s website … https://www.tesco.com/groceries/en-GB/products/262309747

Or turning the clock back

2021 Los Tontos Sabios Red Field Blend (£7.99 – instead of £8.99 until 30 July – at Waitrose and 13.5%):

In older wine regions, field blends are common because, years ago, gaps in vineyards were filled with anything handy, regardless of variety.

Eschewing today’s customary separation of varieties, field blends are all picked and fermented together.

Nevertheless, that works well in this slightly rustic (in a good way) Spanish example.

It centres on ripe cherry, raspberry and blackcurrant flavours that are accompanied by peppery spice, soft tannin and bright acidity. 

Here is a hyperlink to the relevant item on the retailer’s website … https://www.waitrose.com/ecom/products/los-tontos-sabios/401635-804400-804401

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6 responses

  1. I can fully vouch for Los Tontos. Gluggable, with some floral notes that I associate with the mencia variety, but there are all sorts of odd indigenous grape varietes in this part of the world. Stands up to 20 minutes in the fridge on a warm day. It’s certainly a change from the chunky, oaky reds found on supermarket shelves

    1. That is one of the joys of field blends – you never know what varieties you get, and different ripening patterns mean a lot of “year on year” variation. Good advice there, too, about temperature – which neatly matches the content of my reply to another contribution to this Comments section.

  2. I second Howard’s advice to chill this wine, I always chill my reds, perhaps a little too much sometimes, but ideally I like to put a bottle in the fridge for around 20 minutes or so no matter what type it is. Serving at room temp is very subjective, in the winter a lot of rooms are just too warm with Central heating etc, and in the summer if the temp is high, again the wine will be warm. I use my 20/20 rule, take whites out of the fridge 20 mins before drinking and put reds in fridge for 20 mins before drinking, this seems to work for me.

  3. It was thrilling to be flying over the startling white, almost fairy tale hill top castle of Indomita winery and vineyards in Casablanca valley,Chile.Then landing on the open viewing platform to be greeted by Sarah Benson,Co-op wine buyer and Eduardo with four open bottles of Chilean reds.

    I am a big fan of Co- op blended Indomita wines; Brian has previously recommended some of them.

    The main three wines were Irresistible Bio Bio Malbec, Pinot Noir and Carménère.All Fairtrade and Vegan, and all very good.There was a brief glimpse of the Irresistible Pais – a lighter Beaujolais type of red- which I also rate.
    I sampled the 2022 version of Carménère Maipo Valley 13.5% abv £8.
    A previous vintage had a garish and bright label, this one was dark grey and burnt gold with a picture of a Chilean cowboy.Soft tannins, good acidity, fruit cake and fig flavours with hints of vanilla and a subtle characteristic after taste of green pepper.Very good value for this quality.

    On my long and arduous quest to become a wine bore,I do feel compelled to share some wine insights with you dear reader- some kind souls called them pearls of wisdom!
    Carménère is from the French for crimson.Is it because the grapes are coloured red? Non, vous n’havez pas raison.It is because of the intense red colour of the vine leaves, just before autumn leaf fall.
    What is the name for a Chilean cowboy? Gaucho – no.
    It is Huaso, pronounced Waso.

    The flying was courtesy of Eduardo and his drone.The occasion was the Co-op members free online wine tasting on 5th July.The next one is August 8th and is about Rosé.

    1. Please continue on your wine boredom journey, I’m right behind you. Reading your post, I was feeling major travel envy, until I realised you were sharing the same drone as me.
      The Carménère was my favourite, the green bell pepper notes were pleasing, in the style of Cab Franc but often, I find, riper and less mean in Carménère.
      It was a great online tasting.
      BTW MidWeekers may be interested that, in my newly acquired Asda app, is an offer for £2 off if you buy any 2 bottles of their excellent World Atlas wines – and it worked.
      Also, outside their Ipswich branch I noticed they had healthy looking (one with bunches of grapes on) Cabernet Sauvignon grape vines, @ £17! So any claret loving gardeners?
      I recently sent Brian a little story about buying a dead looking Pinot Noir vine in Dobbies clearance bin. My wife nurtured it over winter in our greenhouse, and is now planted and thriving outside – alongside my mature Wrotham Pinot vine. I promised not to give any pretentious reports on my future Pinot crop!

    2. Really nice piece Paul – certainly had me fooled in the opening paragraph. I have passed these comments on to Sarah who has worked hard to turn these Co-op Zoom sessions into a reality. As you say, I have been a strong advocate of these wines and will be adding that Bio Bio malbec to the Top Tip collection shortly.

      As Richard confirms, this is not boring stuff for many of what Eddie., approvingly, calls “Wine Hobbyists”. As the Oil company executive (might have) said “If the results are this good, keep boring”.

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