Mid Week Wines Logo

Slightly Unorthodox Finds But Affordable Wines

Sicily and Germany provide today's Top Tips in our perpetual quest for value.

“Unorthodox” is the theme for today’s Top Tips starting with a sauvignon blanc from Germany – yes Germany.

Obviously riesling remains white wine king thereabouts, but other varieties do have a modest foothold – including this sauvignon.

For a red, I was emboldened by MidWeekers’ encouragement to include mineral influenced wines after I recently featured that example from France’s Roussillon region.

I spelled out then the benefits of the resulting savouriness even if it is slightly unfashionable among today’s fruit dominated wines.

So, another illustration is included today.

As is normal here, pictures and hyperlinks are provided where possible to guide you straight to the right wine on shelf or web page.

Starting, as I suggest, in Germany

2021 Weinhaus Sauvignon Blanc Kalkstein (£7.99 – instead of £10.99 until 7 May – at Waitrose and 12%):

While Germany’s Pfalz region is justly famed for its riesling and (now) pinot noir, it does produce a handful of sauvignon blancs – and this is one.

The style sits between New Zealand’s intensity and Sancerre’s restrained elegance and – given its current discount – this example is well worth seeking out.

Beautifully clean with an attractive sherbet zing, it brings us lively white peach, ripe pear and melon flavours.

That vitality is accentuated by nippy lemon acidity rounded out with a pithy grapefruit texture.

Now for that red.

2022 Bella Verita Nero d’Avola (£8 at M&S or Ocado and 13% abv):

Some say that the nero d’avola grape is Sicily’s answer to cabernet sauvignon, and the minerality it displays here gives that comparison some credence.

This example does indeed have a discernible granite base to provide that savouriness.

However, those influences sit beneath a contrasting soft plum and cherry fruitiness.

That combination is successfully coupled with modest tannin, good acidity and traces of tobacco, baking spice and liquorice.

Share the Post:

9 Responses

    1. Yes good point Chris – and some heavy discounting going on too, judging by Phil’s experience (below).

  1. Hi Brian,

    I haven’t tried the 2021 German Sauvignon Blanc. But very much liked their 2020 vintage – which was my “go-to” SB to drink in 2022 & 2023 particularly with asparagus, goat’s cheese or fishy things. Great at £7.99!

    1. Tasty sauvignon midway between the Loire and Marlborough in style and from Germany. Who knew eh?

  2. Popped into M&S, unfortunately the Nero d’Avol wasn’t on clearance offer. But there were a couple of reductions described as “Seasonal Offers” – so may be available at all stores?

    The M&S Found Zweigelt, enjoyed by me, but more importantly recommended by Brian, is at £7.

    And the M&S Found Agiorgitiko is down to £7.50. I bought it without a recommendation – but because I know how to pronounce it! I shall put it ostentatiously on my carving table, and hope I have a chance to show off my Greek.

    (I credit Richard Bampfield, MW, for this language aid – “AreYou Goodtogo”)

    The 2022 Palataia Pinot Noir from the Pfalz was reduced from £10 to £8 and must be worth a punt for MidWeek PN enthusiasts. Although not sure I have drunk it before, I do recall previous vintages got pretty good reviews.

    Lastly, following on from the recent “taste less but better theme” was very pleased to see (hidden on a bottom shelf) a good selection of half bottles, including: M&S Classics No 32 Touraine SB; a Gavi; a Chablis; and a Chianti – all at modest pro rata premiums over the full bottle prices.

  3. Just finished the Coop online wine event that was mentioned by Brian previously.A great introduction to Rioja by Muriel wines and a tasting of their Coop Irresistible Rioja Crianza and Vina Gala Rioja Blanco .Javier Murua and Chema Ryan ,two cousins who run Muriel and the Coop wine expert, Sarah Benson, gave a fascinating account of wine making-Like the Tempranillo grape bunch is T shaped.Who knew?
    Thanks for the heads up Brian and hopefully the Coop will put on some more events.I think I will now try to buy both these wines and report back.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related Posts



2 Glasses of wine