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Top Tips to lighten January’s gloom

Today's post explodes old myths like enjoyable pinot noir is always expensive and Italian whites are largely “same old, same old …”

In the first of the new style Monday posts, I take a look at a well-made, modern Italian white from the eastern side of Central Italy and reveal evidence of the quality (and value) of pinot noir from Chile’s coastal Casablanca region.  

I rather fancy that you will enjoy both of the resulting selections.

As usual pictures and hyperlinks should help make shopping for these wines a little easier.

Top Tips

2020 Finest Passerina (£7 at Tesco – down to £6 for Clubcard holders until 14 February):  

Passerina is another of those “born again” white wine grape varieties that are radically enhancing the Italian white wine shelves and adding appreciated variety to what is available (fiano, falinghina and pecorino are others).

In this case, the result is zingy, aromatic apple and ripe melon flavours coupled with sharp tangerine and sherbet acidity, an orange pith texture and vague saline hints that add contrast and complexity.  

2020 Tierra Y Hombre Pinot Noir (£6 – instead of £7 until 31 January – at M&S):  

Reasonably priced everyday pinot noir is a bit like hen’s teeth but Chile’s cooler regions are beginning to provide several good options – and, of course, Eastern Europe continues to do so.

Floral with good depth, this particular example exhibits attractive raspberry and red plum flavours complemented by a savoury (slightly earthy) finish, fresh acidity, mild tannin and suggestions of cola, dried herbs and allspice.

While the hyperlink takes you to the “bulk buy” M&S website, single bottles are available in M&S physical stores and on the Ocado website albeit at a different price.

Join me again on Thursday when the final “long version” Thursday post conducts its regular review of wine available online via its Pick of the Clicks feature.

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