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Top Tip Signposts for the Wine Aisles

Once again, Top Tips highlights a pair of wines that don’t shout “Buy Me” but discreetly offer brilliant value for money.

Sifting through the wine aisles is not easy – especially now when the choice, promotions and hype are at their combined heights.

I am more familiar with entry point wines than most but can still see how complicated drinks shelves are for decision making.

Therein lies the rationale for this site.

It tries to signpost good value options that many drinkers might otherwise walk past – or never see.

And it also knows that seldom do good value and the lowest prices actually correlate.

So, today’s choices pinpoint impressive wines that may not immediately catch the eye.

Not many people know, for example, how good South Australian grenache can be.

Equally, in my view, the balance of probabilities suggests wine labelled “Stellenbosch” will outperform equivalent priced “Western Cape” options.

Again, though, that too is a little bit of a secret.

Here, then, are two wines that I hope you agree support my assertions.

I trust you will enjoy drinking them.

Adopting my traditional format, images and, where possible, hyperlinks accompany the assessments of the wines.

The onward march of grenache

2020 Summer Road Old Vine Grenache (£6.99 – instead of £8.99 until 29 November- at Waitrose): 

Despite its popularity for blending (especially with syrah and mourvedre) solo performances of grenache – garnacha – are becoming increasingly important.

Spain has good examples and nowadays so does South Australia – home to this version.

With firm tannin and an ability to carry its 14.5% alcohol well, this version is satisfyingly centred around juicy cherry and strawberry flavours.

However, those features are turbo charged with mouth-watering acidity and white pepper elements that add contrasting savoury touches.

And staying in the Southern Hemisphere

2022 Welmoed Sauvignon Blanc Fairtrade (£6 – instead of £7 until 30 November – at the Co-op):

Trust South Africa’s prestigious Stellenbosch wine region to create polished sauvignon blanc like this.

Better still, it is currently discounted to a great value price of £6.

Zesty with attractive green pepper crunch, it provides grapefruit, apple and gooseberry flavours.

That flavour range is accompanied by piquant citrus acidity as well as inviting tropical fruit aromas.

25% Off Deals

Don’t forget that the current “25% off when you buy six” deals at Sainsbury’s end tomorrow but the one for Tesco Clubcard holders runs until 28 November.

Morrisons have one for all customers that is scheduled to last until 4 December while the Asda equivalent goes on for an extra week – until 11 December.

The next post (on Thursday) reveals the second of my four-part selections for Christmas with the focus on my top red choices.

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4 Responses

  1. Thank you Alf, much appreciated. Don’t sell yourself short as a “wine illiterate”. The key thing one ever needs to know is “Do I like this wine”.

  2. Hi Brian. Yes, Stellenbosch certainly has delivered for me from my first interest in the Sainsbury’s Stellenrust Chenin Blanc that is currently down from £9 to £7.50. On a 25% deal that’s £5.62!!
    https://www.sainsburys.co.uk/gol-ui/product/stellenrust-chenin-blanc-75cl
    There was a magnificent barrel fermented version more expensive but they don’t seem to stock it now. A bit ambiguous about the 25% off buy 6. I got a notification from Wines Direct to say it would continue until December 4th. Mind you, if you go to the Sainsbury’s online site finding out the information acording to them as to when it might finish is very hard to spot. I can’t see it.

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