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Top Tips for Jubilee Weekend

Two impressive £7 to £8 wines to enhance your Jubilee Weekend drinking.

With one eye on folk stocking up for the Jubilee weekend. today’s Top Tips push up the price range slightly.

However, now is a good time to mention prices more generally.

Increased wine prices are beginning to kick in significantly and – increasingly often – wine that remains at lower price points is indifferent at best.

While at least a third of budget wines I tasted used to be fairly sound, that proportion is now much smaller.

In truth, reliable, everyday wine that only recently sat in the £5 to £7 range now costs between £6 and £8.

That range is certainly the focus for today’s selections, and we must expect to see more and more evidence of this price shift.

So, please read on with that in mind.

To make that read more useful, images and hyperlinks again appear where possible to help you select the right wine.

Clare Valley but not riesling

Mention South Australia and shiraz and the Barossa Valley immediately springs to mind, while the more northerly Clare Valley is usually associated with riesling instead.

Nevertheless, as this version re-affirms, Clare can also produce quality shiraz.

Full and sturdy, 2018 Specially Selected Clare Valley Shiraz (£7.99 at Aldi stores but not currently available online) features dense bramble and elderberry flavours with liquorice and clove components and gentle oaky smoothness.

Admittedly (at 14.5% abv) it does have high-octane strength, but this is neatly constrained by chocolate-based richness.

Another revived Italian white variety

Italy’s Campania region has more than one falanghina variety but, whichever one you have, aromatics are likely to be to the fore

Perhaps that is what led Oz Clarke to describe the falanghina revival as giving us “a more subtle yet scented version of fiano”.

So, predictably perfumed but with neatly rounded texture, 2020 Best Falanghina (£7.25 at Morrisons and 12.5%) brings us ripe melon, pear drop and apple flavours with contrasting white peach hints, lemon acidity and a savoury, slightly chalky finish.

As foreshadowed last week, no post this coming Thursday but do tune in again next Monday when another pair of Top Tips will await your attention.

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6 Responses

  1. Morning Brian. I take your point about having to move up a notch these days from most of the true entry level stuff even though we may find the occasional gem lurking on the bottom shelf, at a store like Aldi for instance. I have been quite taken with their £3.99 Portuguese Red Blend by Mimo Moutinho. Given that Portugal is providing us with a lot of nice bottles that we once hardly saw in British supermarkets, and generally speaking most are not overly expensive either, this one at Aldi for the money they currently ask is terrific value. But last evening I pulled a bottle from the shelf that has been there a couple of months now, a Shiraz from South Africa, Journeys End-Identity. It was very enjoyable. I’ve had some expensive Cape Syrah before today bought as a bin-end at Home Bargains for not a lot of money. Really classy stuff, but never to be repeated! This Identity is good enough for me to want more so on checking where I bought it, Sainsbury’s … £9, then less 25%. But … I spotted it in Iceland/Food Warehouse a couple of months back when it was 2 bottles for £11. Daft like, I didn’t buy it and now they say they have none! However, more research shows it currently at Asda, normal price £8 but rolled back to £4.99!!!
    So there are still some bargains to be had, I think, for lesser money. Cheers now.
    https://groceries.asda.com/product/shiraz/journeys-end-identity-shiraz/1000278493307

  2. Tesco Beaujolais
    Only £5 per bottle – drunk lightly chilled on Saturday evening with quiche and salad -if not perfection,very enjoyable

    Looking forward to next Tesco 25% deal.

  3. thank you Derek Baker … I’ll go get a bottle or two of that. Such a price, eh? Cheers …

  4. A good tip Eddie, Journeys End provide some really attractive wines at good prices – and there are indeed other great bargains to be unearthed out there. But, as you say at the outset, the critical mass of sound “decent” bottles has moved up the price ladder (I would suggest by about £1 this calendar year). So, fewer of those bargain wines are now available and they are getting harder to find. That is where guys like you (who keep a very close eye on what is happening) are so valuable and so helpful to other subscribers. Keep up the good work.

  5. Thanks for highlighting this Derek – and at a good time, with summer (we hope) approaching. Helped by climate change, Beaujolais has certainly recovered its mojo. Great examples are emerging at the top (Cru) end of the region and, as you pinpoint here, also with basic level versions. Good ones are light, bright and exude lovely cherry and raspberry characteristics.

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