JWL Issue #125: A trio from Waitrose

January 19, 2021

Are you joining us for the tasting this Wednesday? Almost everyone should now have had a delivery or confirmation that their box is on its way. This Wednesday, at 8pm, taste Le Merle & Gavi with our head of wine Isabelle Lynch. 

The tasting will take place on YouTube, to tune in – add our event to your calendar or subscribe to our YouTube channel here. We will be live at 8pm – have your white chilled, and both bottles open ready to go. 

£10 offer for January We find ourselves once again in lockdown. unlike November, there's a noticeably different weight this time around. As such, we've decided to roll out a £10 discount code on everything in our surplus store this month. Minimum postage amounts still apply, but this is a great way to ease some of the lockdown pains. 

Not sure what to get? My personal fave trio at the moment is Michel Gonet Champagne, Grappin Burgundy, and Samuel

We're in our new warehouse We're busy getting set up so that from February, we'll be shipping boxes ourselves. We're aiming to get everything shipped this first time by February 2nd. 

Taste

A trio from Waitrose

Altos Malbec (£14.99) is unlike some malbec you might drink. This is high altitude, terroir-driven and brings real freshness to the glass. The malbec flavours you're used to are there but in a more nuanced way than you might expect.

La Monetta Gavi del Commune di Gavi (£12.79) is a fantastic option for those who love this month's white. This has all the usual citrusy freshness you might expect, plus some toasted almonds that come with age.

Finally, Blueprint Rioja (£7.99) is a great crianza Rioja. We tasted this recently alongside the cornershop classic Campo Viejo. While the latter held up well, Waitrose' Blueprint was cheaper and much better value. Great for Rioja fans.

Learn

Letting reds "breathe"

This is a question from Tom: 
"When I’ve been watching the video tastings, the tutors often have a corks placed back in the bottles... on reds I’ve always been told that the wine needs to breathe before tasting it so either open the bottle or decant it before drinking. Is this still the case with the reds arriving in our boxes?”

Well this is a great question with lots of detail to it. First of all let's address the idea of letting a wine 'breathe'. 

Oxygen impacts wine in a few ways, one in particular is it helps soften tannins in wines. Some red wines have very high, harsh tannins in their youth. These will, over time gradually soften, as oxygen seeps through the cork. 

If you're drinking a tannic red wine quite young, before it's had a chance to naturally develop, you can aerate this wine. The best way is to do this with a decanter, or via an aerator

Letting a wine 'breathe' by opening the bottle for a short period of time, doesn't do that much. The reason is surface area. During decanting, the whole volume of liquid comes into contact with oxygen.

When you uncork a wine, only a tiny percentage of surface area does. While over a number of days, this small opening can have an impact, opening an hour or so in advance won't do that much. 

By re-adding the cork, it helps give the wine a little more longevity once it's been opened. Typically we might do this if keeping a bottle open for two or three days, which will help preserve it as much as possible during that time.

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