All things oenophillic

Seems like there are a good few fans of the old grapes on here … so why not.

I’ve got into my wine much more over the last few years (directly proportional with parenthood :joy:). Moving from anything on offer in the supermarket, to the 6-9 quid range in the supermarket, to buying from the local wine shops and now I’m on a Naked wine subscription.

Think I’m on my 4th case of 12 from them, and they’ve pretty much all been good so far. Don’t think I’ve had a single bad one.

All whites for our house, as the wife isn’t really keen on red. I personally love a good red, but don’t tend to buy it as we only really share a bottle on a weekend. I could easily get through one, but I know the wife wouldn’t want the ‘pressure’ of sinking the white solo. Though I’m sure I could help put on both fronts! :joy:

I have started to read a bit more on the topic and want to move my knowledge forward a bit from which grape/blend and simply “is it nice or not?”. I’d like to start paying attention to region, vintage etc.

Both fans of a new world Sauvignon Blanc. I’ve hunted out some nice alternatives as well lately. Thing like Gruner Veltliner, verdejo etc. Also found that chardonnay has a bad rep (due to the mass produced junk comes out of America especially) and there are some beautiful bottles out there. The same with pinot grigio, though they just tend to call it pinot gris for the nicer ones!

Always wanted to try making my own. Dad has some cracking south facing slopes on the farm, right on the coast of West Wales. Similar to the more southern growers like Chile, Argentina and NZ. Unfortunately it’s a bit too far away for me to manage, and dad’s not a wine drinker. So he doesn’t really get it! :joy:

So. But of a rambly self indulgent intro (expect anything less from me?!), but there we go. Oh and as per @FatPom my thread, my rules. :rofl: So no overly poetic ramble nonsense descriptions like you get on the side of a bottle! My pallete is most definitely not sensitive enough to pick avocado skin, walnut dust and bramble pollen from a glass of white!

Any good resources for furthering knowledge?
Best wine subscription services?
Wine recommendations.
Alternative, lesser known grape varieties


I love Meursault. Obviously that is a bit of a useless blanket statement and some are better than others, but in general when I open a bottle of Meursault I go all gooey inside.

My local wine shop (local to work, not home) is fantastic. Young Italian guy who really knows his wines. I tell him what I like, he asks how adventurous I want to be and what price range and then he offers up ideas. It works best when I buy three bottles, one I know I love, and then tell him to pick two that are broadly in the same category but with some difference that he can explain to me, and then the wife and I can see if we notice it.

We are hoping to do a wine tasting trip in July for our anniversary. It is booked, but not looking likely right now. Bit sad about that, but worse things in life than missing a wine tasting trip.

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That’s a shame, but hopefully you can rebook at some point.

I had a cracking German cuvee blanc last weekend. Think it was 50 Riesling,35, Pinot Gris and 15 Gewurtztraminer. Bit more punchy than a Sauv, so wife wasn’t as keen. But i loved it.

Mrs FB and me have been Naked Angels more or less since the start and pay £20 a month into our accounts so when it builds up to a good level we order a case - had one arrive yesterday. Mostly the wines have been good with just a few bummers along the way - in time you get to know who the good producers are and usually go for their offerings first. Now being part of Majestic we’ve also taken to visiting their closest store (before lockdown - not sure a 30 mile round trip to get wine is classed as essential!) and have found that a lot of the store offerings in the same price range as Naked are coming up a little bit better in taste and style.

We’re mainly red wine fans but as a white lover you and your wife should like some of the lighter pinot noirs from the Alsace region - best chilled as well.

Other white grapes we like are viognier, vermentino, verdejo, and albarino - not a fan of pinot grigio or chenin blanc. Gruner veltliner is good but not that easy to find. If you go for riesling then it has to be very dry to make it worthwhile drinking imho.

If the £ stretches to it also buy English white wines - not the fizzy stuff that everyone bangs on about - but the still wine. Chapel Down Vineyard in Kent do some crackers and if you can get hold of their Flint Dry - it uses a mix of Bacchus,Chardonnay,Pinot Blanc,Huxelrebe,Muller Thurgau,and Reichensteiner - and is about as dry a wine as you can get. Waitrose are knocking it out at £10.50 per bottle or £78 a case from Chapel Down.

We have a local vineyard, Charles Palmer, that has been knocking out some prize winning fizzy stuff but has now bottled his first Pinot Noir from 2018 - £22 a bottle. Walked down to their HQ last weekend and picked up a couple of bottles - paid online, and they left outside for us to collect. Yet to try it but it’s not going to be an “everyday” wine at that price. Probably crack one open for our wedding anniversary next week.

Some of the best wines we’ve drunk have always been in the country of origin - they sell so much locally you’ll never see them being exported. Switzerland, Slovenia, Montenegro, Oz and NZ and Argentina had some fab stuff with Argentina giving the single best viognier I have ever tasted back in 1999 on a visit to a bodega in Mendoza. It was lush!

My wine interest is due to the Chilean connection. A good lunch go to though is a Sainsburies Australian chardonnay thats about £4.50 a bottle called Wollemi. It’s better than many twice the price. For Sauvignon Blanc any reserva from Casablanca region in Chile will be pretty decent. My favourite red is a Chilean Carmenere. The story behind it is good as well. Basically the grape died out in France and so the wine was forgotten. In Chile they used to throw away these Merlot grapes that didnt seem to look right. One day it was realised that this was actually an “extinct” grape called Carmenere and they started producing it.

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I’ve pretty much gone off wine since Dry January; I don’t know why. But when I do/did partake, in recent times I’d grown to like Malbecs, which took over from head-splitting Shirazes from Australia or S America. White wise, the only stuff I’ll drink apart from sparkling, is Riesling. Seems odd since as we grew-up the only Rieslings you could get were hideous cheap ones, but now that has changed. Plus obviously living in Germany meant I got to try the good stuff they kept for themselves!

We have almost no wine at home in the rack anymore, except 2x D’Arenberg 'The Dead Arm’ (2005 & 2007) as keepers, a Frank Potts (also Shiraz) and a bottle of Billecart Salmon Rose Champagne. Those Dead Arms were about £25-30 a pop back when they were released, and I think we got them under-the-counter from a guy we knew in Oddbins (remember them). Historically though, I’ve always gone for the heavy reds. So a bit of Rioja has also been sunk over the years. I did shell-out £15 on a Beronia in Waitrose in recent memory.

Any recommendations of what I can get in Waitrose/Tesco welcome (my locals)

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current state of our wine rack…35 bottles :joy:


Thanks for the detailed reply. I was going to say in my original post. One of the best wines I ever tasted was about 5 euro when we were in Slovenia. 1l bottle as well! I’ve had a lovely Macedonian and Armenian wine from the local wine specialist. Can’t remember what they were, native grapes I think.

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Tonight’s wine, in the fridge. Inspired by @Hammerer


What a cool label!

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This is very true. I would have always said I hated Chardonnay, as would my gf. But in Australia we had two different one’s that really opened my eyes a little bit. The first was at Quay restaurant in Sydney where we did a wine pairing. Coming with the steamed mud crab custard ( :yum:) was a “2017 Ten Minutes by Tractor Judd Chardonnay”. Both my gf and I were astounded by it. The other was in the swan valley near Perth, but I forget the vineyard we were at now.

To be honest, all the wines at Quay were immense. And we only went for their basic wine pairing. We have the menus and the Champagne we had during one of the middle courses was out of this world. Neither of us are normally big champagne drinkers, but we both said if we get married and have a big shindig, this would be the one (NV Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve).

In terms of the general thread, I used to take my wine a bit more seriously in terms of the knowledge when I worked in a decent restaurant during sixth form. They didnt have designated sommeliers so I just used to chat with the owner during down time afternoons, and download his knowledge. Forgotten most of it now though in all honesty.

That’s where we both really like tasting menus with wine pairings. It just allows you to experiment with quite a lot of different things, you get a lot of background and explanation, and you get the menu to take away at the end so you know what you’ve had! They’re definitely treats for us though at the price they cost. That one in Sydney was our Christmas presents to one another.

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I’ll chime in with some of my current faves from Booths:

Chardonnay - Chapel Down 2015
English, 100%. Delicious chilled with fish.

Rioja - Baron de Lay Gran Reserva
Bit woody and tends to have a lot of sediment, but its head-splittingly rich.
Best with steak.

Rustenberg - Most of this stuff is decent. It’s what the wife is tasked with buying, as the label is recognisable.
Sauvignon and Chenin blanc’s are very decent with chicken.

Château Cruzeau - Again, easily recognisable label, quite a few of these available and they’re all pretty decent.
That goes for red and white.

I’ll do a panorama of the Booths wine corner if there’s a 2m gap when I go for “essential” supplies this evening

Number one. What even is Booths? A shop of some sort I guess.
Number two. My wine is rarely with food. We tend to eat early, like 5-6pm, with the kids. Wine time is then on the sofa with some snacks, normally crisps, watching telly!

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It’s the closest thing northern England has to a posh supermarket.


Booths is a supermarket for them flatcap Northern people that don’t have Waitrose… :grin:


I wonder if you can wonder into Booths, just looking for a block of cheese and a bottle of wine; then emerge with a single bag-for-life with £40 worth of shopping in it! :roll_eyes:

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only if you can take t’whippet in with you :wink:


They clearly exist as far south as Cheshire; so more likely some annoying yappy lap-dog that wipes its undercarriage all over the centre console of your Velar.


Waitrose wishes it what Booths is :wink:

We also have a Waitrose, FYI.
Although the one at Alderley Edge is better, as you get to have a nosey at what the WAGs are buying (hint: wine and chocolate)

@Jorgan - Very much so. A bit of Garstang Blue, a “Preston Not Heston” bag for life and nice bottle of Chablis would easily be >£40.

Also, who eats with their kids at home?
They eat far too early, make too much mess, a lot of noise, complain about the wine pairing :wink:

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