JWL Issue #122: Top 10 Supermarket Wines of 2020

December 8, 2020

The countdown to the end of the year on. Christmas Party season is full swing. And we now enter this bizarre December of multiple tiers across the country. Wherever you are, we wish you the very best December you can have – and thank you for being a long term customer.

Taste & Learn

This week's Taste features our first end of year list – a roundup of our favourite supermarket whites and reds of the years. If you're looking to stop up some wines ahead of Christmas, it's a great place to start.  

Six Drinks of Christmas

Our one-off special box of wines is flying off the shelves (and we'll be shipping from this week). The £200 box features six incredible wines, all well worth exploring – and each a perfect antidote to this year. Plus every order gets a free Rose Blake tote bag.

11 days left on Crowdcube

We've got 11 days left of the Crowdcube, so if you've got questions about an investment, hit reply and let us know now. If not, head over and join the community. As well as your shares in the company, we've also got some stellar perks to apply as well. So if you're interested, there's still chance to invest now.

December shipments

The last few weeks has been the busiest weeks for logistics on record. With a huge shift towards e-commerce this year, Black Friday and now Christmas, the whole supply chain has been hit with delays. We are feeling the part of that.

Our wines are now in the country, and should be being moved to our fulfilment centre over the next few days when they will start to be packed and shipped. We are aiming to get these out to you this week if possible. While there are delays here, we can say that this is one of our most exciting shipments yet. We've got an orange wine and an incredibly special Spanish red to come. Watch this space. And thank you for your patience.


Top 10 supermarket wines of the year

Top five whites

Tesco Finest Passerina – £6
We loved shipping a passerina out to customers this year, and we loved when we discovered Tesco had been doing the same. "This has wild flowers, lemons, and peaches on the nose, which feels exciting in this [early summer] heat."

Aurora Brazilian Chardonnay, Aldi – £6.99
This was one of my favourite discoveries of the year. My first Brazilian wine I've tasted and this brings with it what you might expect. Guava and tropical fruits in abundance, but the rich ripe fruit is balanced well.

Taste The Difference Languedoc White, Sainsburys – £7.5
I had this at various points this year, from early Winter days when wanting a white, through to days sat in the park when we came out of the first lockdown. This is archetypal for a southern French white with its white flowers and peach aroma. A real delight and bargain too.

Petit Manseng, Waitrose - £9.99
Petit manseng is one of those fantastic French white grapes you probably haven't heard of. Our very own Ode d'Aydie Blanc was one such delight, but this from Waitrose is worth exploring as well. This has stone fruits and spice on the nose a with a rich palate beneath.

Tesco Finest Chablis Premier Cru – £15.99
Tesco did a great job sourcing this. This has mineral aromas underpinned by the apple and pear fruitiness you might expect. This is well balanced and reflects just a touch of oak.

Top five reds

Pinot Noir, Jean Cornelius, Lidl – £7.49

Sub-£10 pinot is a difficult thing to get right. It's a tricky grape to grow. When done right, it commands the highest prices of any wines in the world. When done badly, it's not worth drinking at all. Jean Cornelis is therefore rare. Fresh, vibrant and juicy, this is a treat.

Australian Grenache 2019, Aldi – £7.99
Sadly no longer available, though we hear there are still some in stores. This grenache is the big, bold treat you expect it to be. smoky black pepper and deep black fruits on the nose, underpinned by a noticeable tannic bite.

Pais, Waitrose – £7.99
Another light red, this time from rare grape pais, grown in Chile. This has ripe red cherries and some brambleyness as well. If that makes it sound a bit like a pinot or gamay, then you'd be right in thinking that. Great value – as ever, lesser-known wines win.

Hedonist Shiraz, Waitrose – £11.49 (currently on offer)
Silky tannins, and ripe black fruits dominate this wine. Hedonist by name... as the saying would go. For those in search of fuller bodied reds, this is a great way to go. It's also – rarely for a supermarket wine – grown biodynamically.

Brunello di Montalcino 2013, Aldi - £17.99
With zero degree days and snow all around us, we easily turn to heavier reds. And with that in mind, this Brunello is just the ticket. Blackberry, prunes, leather, with a herbal undertone – reminds me of grandfather's study.


Pairing wine with turkey

We were asked this question by a few of you this week – what to pair with Christmas Day turkey?

Christmas Day is a day for celebration. Turkey, being a lighter meat suits lighter reds or full-bodied whites very well.

If you want to go down the white route, then full-bodied whites like white Burgundy, other chardonnay, or perhaps some southern French whites would work well. Aldi's White Châteauneuf-du-Pape springs to mind, as does our very own Ode d'Aydie Blanc.

For red, you want to aim at the lighter end. Given that it's Christmas, it might also be the time to treat yourself. We have a bias towards red Burgundy – my personal favourite wine in the world – but a ready and medium-bodied Bordeaux would work well too.

When we were thinking about our Six Drinks of Christmas box, we've thought specifically about these drinks. Inside this, as well as an exceptional Champagne, we also have a white, and red Burgundy, and a medium-bodied Bordeaux that is drinking perfectly now. There's really no better treat for yourself and family this year.

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